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Memorable Manitobans: Alice Evelyn Brown (1916-2011)

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Alice Evelyn Brown
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Educator, historian.

Born at Souris on 20 September 1916, the first child of Guy Hetherington and Agnes Burnett, members of early pioneering families of the Souris and Glenwood districts. Her interest in local history was stimulated at an early age when she joined her father and his friends searching the banks of the Souris River in a southwesterly direction for traces of the remains of old fur trading posts.

After graduating from the Souris School at the age of 14, she worked in her father’s law office at Souris. On 3 October 1938, she married Morley L. Brown (1909-2002) of the Treesbank district and they farmed at SE19-18-16W until the outbreak of the Second World War. He augmented her interest in local history, being an expert on the locations of the trading posts and cemeteries of the Souris Mouth.

After her husband finished military service with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan at Rivers, they moved to Winnipeg in 1945 where she attended United College and the University of Manitoba. She taught at several Winnipeg schools, including Balmoral Hall, Clifton School (1955-1957), Principal Sparling School (1957-1960), and Gordon Bell High School. In 1968, she received a Masters degree in Library Science from the University of Western Michigan. She became Library Supervisor for the St. James Assiniboia School Division, a position she held until retirement in 1982.

She joined the Manitoba Historical Society soon after her arrival in Winnipeg, serving several executive positions, including a two-year term as MHS President (1965-1967). In 1970, she was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal for her work in promoting an appreciation for Manitoba history. She was involved in a 1979 initiative to recognize Manitoba farms that had been in continuous operation by a single family. In addition to writing several articles for the Manitoba Historical Society, she assisted Margaret Macleod with research for her book Cuthbert Grant of Grantown.

On retirement, she returned with her husband to the Treesbank area, on the banks of the little stream that David Thompson called Five Mile Creek, less than a mile from the group of sites known as the Souris Mouth forts. In 2008, she moved to a retirement home in Wawanesa, where she died on 14 September 2011 and was buried in Wawanesa Cemetery.

Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Early Days in Souris and Glenwood
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 10, 1953-54 Season

When the Province of Manitoba was Born
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 2, January 1957

Rivalry in the Fur Trade - Excerpt from Simpson’s Athabasca Journal
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 3, Number 3, April 1958

Honorary Secretary’s Report - 1961
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 17, 1960-61 Season

Fort Douglas Recaptured - From Miles Macdonell’s Journal and the Narrative of John Tanner
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 7, Number 2, January 1962

A Brief Chronology of Events Relative to Lord Selkirk’s Settlement at Red River, 1811 to 1815
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 7, Number 3, April 1962

Chronology of Events in the History of the Red River Settlement
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 8, Number 1, September 1962

Excerpts from the Journal of Colin Robertson
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 8, Number 1, September 1962

Honorary Secretary’s Report - 1962
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 18, 1961-62 Season

The Fur Trade Posts of the Souris-Mouth Area
MHS Transactions, Series 3, 1961-62 Season

Honorary Secretary’s Report - 1963
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 19, 1962-63 Season

Sources:

Obituary [Morley Leslie Brown], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 September 2002.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 September 2011.

We thank Linda Wessels for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 June 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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