Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Mary French Colby Aikins (1862-1931)

Community activist.

Born at Stanstead, Quebec on 25 October 1862, daughter of William B. Colby and Malvina Wallingford, she was educated at Stanstead Wesleyan College. She came to Manitoba in 1887 with her widowed mother and took a position teaching modern and classical languages at Lansdowne College in Portage la Prairie. She later attended the Central Normal School at Winnipeg, after which she worked as a clerk in the Department of Education until her marriage.

On 6 September 1899, she married J. A. M. Aikins at Stanstead, Quebec. They had two daughters: Mary Alberta Helena Aikins (1902-1979, wife of F. J. Ney) and Elizabeth Aikins (?-?, wife of Ronald Ney). She was the first President of the Young Women’s Christian Association of Winnipeg. She was also a member of the Women’s Canadian Club of Winnipeg, the Daughters of the Empire, and the Methodist church. Her recreations included golf and tennis.

She died at Winnipeg on 9 February 1931.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, 1911. C. W. Parker, editor. Canadian Press Association, Vancouver.

“Lady Mary Aikins dies in hospital after long illness,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 February 1931, page 1.

“Lady Aikins,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 February 1931, page 12.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 June 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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