Memorable Manitobans: William Thomas Kennedy (1880-1948)
Born at Toronto, Ontario on 11 March 1880, son of Daniel Martin Kennedy and Charlotte Ellen Hewett, brother of Louis J. Kennedy, he came to Winnipeg in 1905 and, the following year, founded the Northern Shirt Company in a four-storey buildng at the corner of Gertie Street and Cumberland Avenue. It manufactured dress shirts, work shorts, and overalls for distribution throughout western Canada. He held the titles of President and General Manager at the time of his death. During the Second World War, he was deputy administrator of work clothing for Manitoba and Saskatchean for the Wartime Prices and Trades Board. He and wife Anna Francisca Tschirhart (1884-1977) had five children: Gerhard William Kennedy (1912-1975), Nelda Anna Kennedy (1918-1941), Helen Mary Kennedy (b 1920, wife of Paul G. Molloy), William Thomas Kennedy, and Margaret Regina Kennedy (wife of Cecil K. Parrish). He was a member of the Canadian Manufacturers Association, St. Charles Country Club, Carleton Club, and St. Ignatius Catholic Church. He died at his Winnipeg residence, 1230 Wellington Crescent, on 27 May 1948.
Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.
“Made-in-Winnipeg shirts,” Manitoba Free Press, 1 June 1915, page 23.
1921 Canada census, Ancestry.
“W. T. Kennedy, shirt company President dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 May 1948, page 16.
We thank James Arnett for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 2 January 2017
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