Memorable Manitobans: Edythe Millicent “Edie” Brown (1913-2008)
Municipal official, teacher.
Born at Pinawa on 28 December 1913, daughter of Anna L. Peterson (?-1974) and Frank H. Waters (?-1953), she graduated with a BSc degree in Home Economics from the University of Manitoba in 1936. She then worked for the Extension Service of the Manitoba Department of Agriculture and was active working with local 4H groups. She also taught school on permit at Lac du Bonnet and Kenora (Ontario).
She served as Mayor of Lac du Bonnet from late 1952 to 1957 and was said to be Manitoba’s first female Mayor. She obtained a sewage system for the town, free of charge, in compensatory negotiations with the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board, as a result of Winnipeg River flooding caused by the McArthur Falls Generating Station. Other accomplishments in office included installation of vapour street lights, concrete sidewalks, and dial telephone service.
On 1 May 1937, she married Frank Brown at Lac du Bonnet and they subsequently had two children: Robin Whetter and Hart Brown.
After the completion of her mayoral term, and the death of her husband, she attended the University of Manitoba, served as Don of the Women’s Residence, and received a teaching certificate and BEd degree (1963). She then returned to Lac du Bonnet as a teacher at the high school.
On 3 January 1964, she married Walter Arnold Ehrlich (?-1975) at Winnipeg and moved with him to Ottawa, where he worked for Agriculture Canada. Following his retirement, they returned to Lac du Bonnet. For her 90th birthday, she was given the key to the town.
She died at Pinawa on 13 September 2008.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Engagements,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 1937, page 14.
Obituary [Frank Waters], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 April 1953, page 26.
“Lac du Bonnet residents set voting record,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 October 1953, page 1.
“Busy lady-mayor proves real ‘local improvement’,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 October 1954, page 9.
“Province’s 1st woman mayor turns teacher,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 May 1960. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B12, page 17]
“Ehrlich - Brown,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 January 1964, page 17.
Obituary [Walter Arnold Ehrlich], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 October 1975, page 42.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 21 February 2014