Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Carney (c1830-1905)

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Thomas Carney
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MLA (1880-1883), inventor.

Born in Brantford County, Pennsylvania around 1830, and educated there, he came to Manitoba in 1873 and in 1875 founded the Town of Emerson, along with William Newton Fairbanks. He served as Mayor from 1880 to 1883, and had was elected to the Manitoba Legislature at a by-election in August 1880, sitting until 1883. He was a participant in the December 1878 ceremony to mark the opening of the first railway to Winnipeg. While in Emerson he conceived the idea of coin changers (cash register). He left Emerson in 1884 and joined National Cash Register Company where he worked on improvements and new inventions for their machines.

He married Mary Ann Kaufelt. They had five children: Georgiana Carney (1853-?, Pennsylvania), James Carney (c1856-?, Minnesota), Robert Carney (1861-?, Minnesota), Harry Carney (1862-?, Minnesota), and Isabelle Carney (c1866-?, Wisconsin).

Carney died at Dayton, Ohio in 1905 and was buried in Chicago, Illinois.


History of Emerson, W. Carlson and Mrs. Masterson (editors), 1950. Manitoba Legislative Library, F5649.E54.

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

We thank Donna O’Keefe of the Pierce County (Wisconsin) Historical Society for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 December 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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