George Cunningham [ 1848 (Approx.) - 1917 (Approx.) ]

The Dominion Telegraph had been “lately established” and “under the charge of George Cunningham” when it was noted in the Canadian Post [11 Sept 1874; 3]. There is no indication that the Company had an office in Fenelon, so it must have operated out of Cunningham’s business. In October 1881 the Montreal and Dominion Telegraph companies amalgamated to form the Great North-Western Telegraph Company, with George Cunningham as their Fenelon Falls agent. The Montreal’s office was closed and their instruments moved to Cunningham’s store [FFG 29 Oct 1881; 2]. A general store is mentioned in D&B in January 1880 but Cunningham was soon afterwards appointed the village postmaster, so much of these operations must have continued out of the post office. He was certainly the postmaster from 1880 until November 1887 when he resigned [CP 11 Nov 1887; 1]. Cunningham was also active as the Clerk of the 2nd Division Court, the Village Clerk, and as an Insurance Agent for the Confederation Life Association [and] Citizens Insurance Company of Canada. He advertised as “General Insurance and Loan Agent” for much of the 1880’s [see FFG 17 May 1884; 2]. Cunningham also developed and rented property on the main street to other businessmen. He is listed as a 43 year-old widowed labourer in the 1891 Census, living with his sister and widowed mother. There is little record of his activities after this date. He may have been dead by 1917.

247 Cunningham’s wife and newborn son both died in December 1873 and are buried in the village Cemetery.

248 A George Cunningham of Peterborough died in Vancouver on January 25th, 1917, the son of the late George Cunningham. [FFPL – 17:4]

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