Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James L. Cowie (1875-1946)

Journalist, printer.

Born at Almonte, Ontario on 28 January 1875, he learned the printing business as an apprentice with the Almonte Gazette before coming to Manitoba in 1896 as a travelling salesman for the Morden Pump Works. He eventually settled down at Deloraine, working as a printer for the Deloraine Times. He later bought the business and became its publisher. He also published the MacGregor Herald for 15 years. In October 1910, he sold his printing plant and moved to Carberry when he united the two weeklies of the time, the News and the Express, into the Carberry News-Express which he published for 27 years until he joined the provincial civil service as King’s Printer. In 1943, he was elected an Honorary Life Member of the Manitoba Branch of the Canadian Weekly Newspapers Association.

During his time in Carberry, he served on town council and was the Mayor of Carberry from 1929 to 1937. He was a member of the Carberry School Board for many years. A former President of the Manitoba Liberal Association, he ran unsuccessfully for the Neepawa constituency in the 1917 federal election. He was a Manitoba delegate at the Liberal convention in Ottawa that selected Mackenzie King as the Liberal leader.

He died at Winnipeg on 16 December 1946 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Carberry News Express Building (34 Main Street, Carberry)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Riding Mountain Visitor Centre (Wasagaming, Riding Mountain National Park)


“J. L. Cowie, provincial King’s Printer, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 December 1946. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

“James L. Cowie, aged 71, King’s Printer, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 December 1946, page 3.

“Cowie funeral Wednesday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 December 1946, page 19.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 August 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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