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E. J. Casey: From Soldier to Showman
North American Carnival Museum and Archives
Stittsville , Ontario

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   The life story of Edgar
James (E. J.) Casey is quite
a remarkable one. It reads
like an adventure novel set
against the backdrop of the
Canadian Prairies. Born in
Belleville, Ontario, Edgar
migrated west with his family
to Winnipeg in 1905 on a
"Harvester Special". He would

serve his country overseas on
the famous French and Belgian
battlegrounds of the First
World War and in pre-
revolution Russia. Raising a
family and struggling to find
steady work in the
Depression, he turned a
$1,250 investment into a
carnival company that

employed up to 120 people and
which travelled from Eastern
Ontario to the foothills of
the Canadian Rockies. Along
the way he endure many
personal tragedies including:
losing his father to a
railway accident, his war
bride at a young age to
Tuberculosis, his eldest son

shot down and killed in the
Second World War and his
second son dying from a naval
accident shortly after the
war. His carnival business
was also affected by the loss
of employees in the Second
World War as well as fire and
floods. He would be
recognized for his relief

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