The history of Brandon is full of interesting people who have helped to shape the city as we know it today. Use the links below to explore the names from Brandon's past.
Joseph Kavanagh became Brandon’s first postmaster in 1881. In 1885 he began serving as an alderman. In 1901 he was dismissed from the position of postmaster for “offensive partisanship”. Kavanagh was an open Conservative, and the Liberals had been in power since 1896. He died in 1923.
The house at 1608 Lorne Ave was built for Harold Kelly, a local hardware merchant.
Andrew Kelly was born on July 10th, 1852, in North Middlesex, Ontario. He worked on the family farm until 1877, and then went to work for G. Carter & Son, an Ontario grain dealing firm, until 1881. He then came to Brandon, where he immediately bought into local milling company Fisher & Co., along with Mr. Alexander and Mr. Sutherland. In 1881 he married Mary Louise Bremner of Waterdown, Ontario. In 1882 Fisher & Co.became known as Alexander, Kelly & Sutherland. Mr. Sutherland left the firm in 1885, and Mr. Alexander left in 1901. The firm was then renamed A. Kelly Milling Co. From 1903 to 1905, it joined forces with Parrish & Lidsay Milling and Huron & Manitoba Milling. From this point on it was called Western Canada Flour Co., and operated over 60 grain elevators.
Kelly began his political career in Brandon in 1888, when he was elected as an alderman. He also served as the city's chief magistrate from 1889 until he was elected mayor. During his brief time as mayor of Brandon, Kelly attempted to accomplish a great deal. In 1890, he adopted plans for a new city hall to be built on Princess Ave. between 8th and 9th street, at a cost of $36,000. He also passed the by-law approving the future construction of a hospital in Brandon. In the spring of 1892, he began construction on Brandon’s water works. On August 8th, the city workers went on strike, demanding higher wages. Kelly refused to deal with them, and after the contractor E. M. Cathro suggested replacing them with “eastern workers", they returned to work after only two days.
Andrew Kelly fathered three children; Ewart C., Alan B., and Vieva Mary. During his time in Brandon he was known as a supporter of the Conservative party, and as a member of the Presbyterian church. Andrew Kelly died in 1930.
Kennedy, Patrick Angus
Patrick Angus Kennedy was born in Ontario in 1880. He studied pharmacy at the University of Toronto before moving to Brandon in 1905, where he formed a business partnership with Joseph B. Whitehead. The partnership dissolved in 1911 when Kennedy bought out Whitehead to become the sole owner of the newly-named Kennedy’s Drug Store. Later in his career, Kennedy established P.A. Kennedy Music Co. Ltd., which operated for over thirty years. Kennedy was also a member of St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church, and of the Knights of Columbus. He died in 1962 and is buried in the Brandon Cemetery.
Robert Kerr was the original owner of the house at 258 12th Street. Kerr was a local piano maker. The property was later sold by his son to the Anglican Diocese as a residence for Bishop Thomas.
Eleanor Kidd dedicated her life to the preservation of all living things. A trained nurse-midwife, she worked in England and Italy before relocating to Canada where she became a public health nurse at Portage. Following her husband William’s death in 1951, Mrs. Kidd founded and operated the Brandon Humane Society, working full time as a voluntary pound keeper, amateur veterinarian, and friend to stray animals. The City of Brandon paid Mrs. Kidd a singular honour, developing a tract of land on the south bank of the Assiniboine River as Eleanor Kidd Park. She died in 1978 at the age of 97.
James Frederick Kilgour was a Brandon lawyer and judge. After graduating from the University of Toronto, Kilgour practiced law in Guelph and Winnipeg before moving to Brandon in 1901, establishing the law firm Philip and Kilgour. In 1912 he was appointed prosecutor. Kilgour was actively involved in the community, serving on the Brandon Board of Trade, the Brandon School Board, as vice president of the YMCA, and as president of the Brandon Children’s Aid Society. Kilgour practiced law in Brandon until 1927 when he was appointed to the Court of King’s Bench. Kilgour died in Winnipeg in 1931.
Kirchhoffer, Senator John Nesbitt
John Nesbitt Kirchhoffer was a successful Manitoba lawyer and politician. Born in Ireland in 1848, Kirchhoffer arrived in Canada in 1864 and began practicing law in Ontario. He moved to Manitoba in 1883, founding the town of Souris as well as the Plum Creek settlement. Throughout his political career, Kirchhoffer served as mayor of Souris, Reeve of Glenwood, chairman of the Western Judicial Board, and president of both the Glenwood Agricultural Society and the Brandon Agricultural Society. He also practiced law in Brandon. From 1886 to 1888, Kirchhoffer represented Brandon West as a member of the Manitoba Legislature. He was appointed to the Senate in 1892, serving this role until his death in 1914.
James Kirkcaldy served as Brandon’s chief of police for thirteen years. Kirkcaldy was born in Scotland in 1866 where he was educated and apprenticed as a gardener. For six years, he served on the Black Watch, an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Kirkcaldy arrived in Brandon in the fall of 1891. In 1892, he was appointed chief of police. Kirkcaldy also served as alderman and worked as city assessor and publicity manager. With the advent of the First World War, Kirkcaldy was sent overseas, becoming a Lieutenant-Colonel. He was invalided after being seriously wounded at Flanders, in the Battle of St. Julien. He received a hero’s welcome upon returning home to Brandon in June 1915. Kirkcaldy and his wife were married in 1891 and had seven children. The family resided at 225-7th St., which has since been demolished to make way for a parking lot, for nearly sixty years. He passed away in 1957. Kirkcaldy is commemorated by Kirkcaldy Drive and Kirkcaldy School.