Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915)

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William Cornelius Van Horne
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He entered railroading as a telegraph operator for the Illinois Central Railway, in 1857. In January 1882, he was appointed General Manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway and established an office at Winnipeg, living there until moving to the CPR head office at Montreal in November. In July 1882, he fired Chief Engineer Thomas L. Rosser and they had a heated confrontation with pistols drawn at the Manitoba Club. Nevertheless, under Van Horne’s direction, the trans-continental line was completed on time, and he would serve as President of the line from 1888 to 1899. A railway car that he used during construction of the railway is on display at Fort la Reine Museum. In 1899 he established the Van Horne Farm. He is commemorated by Van Horne Street in Winnipeg, and Van Horne Avenue in Brandon.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Van Horne Farm / Searle Farm (RM of St. Clements)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Fort la Reine Museum (Saskatchewan Avenue East, Portage la Prairie)


This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and James Arnett.

Page revised: 8 September 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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