Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Francis Lee “Frank” Kenny (1866-1925)

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Francis Lee Kenny
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Businessman, municipal official.

Born in County Kildare, Ireland on 22 June 1866, son of Thomas Herbert Kenny (1837-1919) and Mary Kenny (1839-1926), he came to Canada in 1877 with his parents and settled at London, Ontario. They moved to Winnipeg in 1878 and later he got a job as a painter with the Canadian Pacific Railway. After working for the railway for several years, he founded the Kenny Sign Company which he operated until his death.

In 1891, he married Ellen Amelia Brown (1871-1948) at Winnipeg and they had seven children: Lila Ellen Kenny (1892-1986, wife of William John Duff), Wilbur F. Kenny (1894-1975), Elmer Lee Kenny (1896-1916), Clara Brown Kenny (1899-1904), Francis Blackburn “Frank” Kenny (1905-1971), Charles Kenny (1907-1908), and Russell Jordan Kenny (1908-1985). He was Mayor of Winnipeg Beach (1925), President of the Granite Curling Club (1922-1923), and a member of the IOOF (Grand Representative for Manitoba), Winnipeg Kiwanis Club, Manitoba Curling Association, and Masons.

He died suddenly of appendicitis at the Misericordia Hospital on 14 July 1925 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.


1901 and 1911 Canada censuses, Automated Genealogy.

“Thomas H. Kenny, resident since 1878, passes away,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 April 1919, page 5.

“Mrs. Mary Kenny dead at age of 85 years,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 June 1926, page 6.

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Francis L. Kenny dies following brief illness,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 July 1925, page 3.

“Francis L. Kenny is laid to rest,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 July 1925, page 2.

“Pioneer Rebekah dies in city home,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 September 1948, page 19.

Obituary [Lila Ellen Duff], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 April 1986, page 33.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Rick Mutton for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 April 2022

Memorable Manitobans

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