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.
George Tackaberry was a long-time resident and pioneer of Brandon. He learned the shoe repair business in Ontario where he was raised and moved to Brandon in 1892. Tackaberry was the originator of the Tackaberry Hockey Boot, which became famous throughout Canada and was sold in 23 different countries. The patent was sold to CCM in 1937 upon his death. The boots are still on the market today, commonly known as CCM “Tacks”.
Rhoda Tennant was elected as Brandon’s first female member of Council as a Labour candidate in 1935 and served on Council until 1937. She taught school in Brandon for a number of years and was a member of the YMCA Auxiliary and active in St. Paul’s United Church. Mrs. Tennant was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and of the White Shrine of Jerusalem.
Born in London, England in 1894, Tommy Town is considered one of Brandon’s finest athletes. A track and field star, he maintained his interest in running when he came to Canada at the age of 16. Town won eight Canadian Championships between 1919 and 1924 in distances ranging from 880 yards to five miles. He was a member of the Canadian contingent at the 1920 Olympic Games in Amsterdam where he competed in the 1500 metres. However, an ankle injury suffered while training on board the ship that was carrying the Canadian team severely reduced his effectiveness. Tommy’s home was filled with ribbons and trophies from his career as an athlete. Throughout his career, he was employed by the Prince Edward Hotel as a painter and decorator.
Alex Trotter was one of the owners of Trotter and Trotter, one of Brandon’s earliest businesses. The other owner was likely his brother. They were primarily horse dealers, and at one point claimed to have imported over one million dollars worth of horses into Manitoba. Alex Trotter served as an Alderman in Brandon in 1902. He died in 1931.
Trotter was a horse dealer in Brandon for many years, and purchased horses and livestock from ranches in Montana, Iowa, and the Dakotas. He operated a livery stable with his cousin, Alex, on 6th Street. Trotter wrote a book about the early days of Brandon titled “A Horseman and the West”. He died in 1934.
Turnbull McEwen, Jessie
Jessie Turnbull McEwen was a feminist who was active both locally and nationally. Turnbull was a suffragist and an advocate for women’s education; however she maintained a reputation as a persuader rather than an agitator. Turnbull was a founding member of the Toronto Women’s Literary Club and served as the institution’s president in 1883 when it became the Canadian Women’s Suffrage Association. In 1884, Turnbull and her husband, Donald McEwen, established a farm just outside of Brandon. She became a local activist, serving as president of the Brandon Local Council for Women from 1895 until 1916. During this time, the council established a public library, distributed books to new settlers, introduced domestic science and manual training courses in local schools, fought for the election of female school board trustees, and raised money for the hospital. In 1900, she became vice president of the National Council of Women. Turnbull was instrumental in organizing the first branch of the Manitoba Red Cross and was a founding member of the Brandon YWCA. Turnbull was also an active Presbyterian and a writer. She died in Brandon in 1920.