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Memorable Manitobans: James Cunningham (1823-1915)

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James Cunningham
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Farmer, MLA (1871-1874).

Born at Fort Churchill (the Parliamentary Companion 1872 gives the location as Ile-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan) about 1817, the son of Patrick Cunningham of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His father died in 1826 and two years later the family moved to Kildonan on the Red River. He married Sarah Ross, daughter of Alexander Ross, and after her death, Mrs. Hugh Matheson. He had six children: Mrs. A. Clouston, Alexander H. Cunningham, James W. Cunningham, G. Cunningham, Adam Cunningham, and Letitia Pritchard Cunningham (c1869-1940, wife of Thomas Beveridge). He lived at Headingley for some years and also at Poplar Point. He was elected to the first Manitoba Legislature representing the Headingley constituency, in December 1870. He was the Liberal candidate for the Assiniboia constituency in the 1883 general election but was defeated by Sandy Murray. He died at Somerset on 27 April 1915 and was buried in the Kildonan Cemetery.


The Canadian Parliamentary Company, 1872.

“Was member of first Legislature,” Manitoba Free Press, 27 April 1915 [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B6]

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 January 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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