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Memorable Manitobans: Helen Browne “Nellie” Hislop (1872-1958)


Born at Sunnidale, Ontario on 14 May 1872, daughter of Charles Hislop and Mary Anderson, she moved to Manitoba with her family in 1883, settling on a farm near Lorette. Intially home-schooled, the family later moved to Winnipeg where her father worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway while she attended Albert School as a student of W. A. McIntyre. In 1888, she received a temporary teaching certificate and, in 1889, became a teacher at Ashfield School. Later, she attended Normal School with Nellie Mooney, with whom she remained friends.

In 1890, following graduation from Normal School, she taught at South Plympton School. She resigned in January 1891 to enroll in Manitoba College but quit a few months later to return to teaching, at North Plympton School at Dugald until December 1891. Following completion of two years at college, she took a teaching job at Margaret School for a brief time, returning to Winnipeg where she did substitute teaching. In 1893, she took a teaching job at Almasippi School near Graysville, breaking in January 1894 to continue her studies at the College, returning to the school for a second year, finally graduating with a college degree in June 1895.

In 1895, she joined the teaching staff of the Winnipeg School Division and taught for five years at Norquay School (1895-1899). She took a leave of absence in 1900 and travelled in the United Kingdom then returned to teach at Argyle School. In the fall of 1905, she took a teaching job at Revelstoke, British Columbia where she met William Arnold Sturdy, and was married to him at Winnipeg by Rev. C. B. Pitblado on 20 August 1906. She gave up teaching and, after operating a hardware store in southwestern Manitoba for a short time, the couple returned to Revelstoke where they bought a hardware store which she managed. She eventually had five children, helped to organize a public library for the town, and was active in community theatrical productions. In retirement, she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia around 1943.

She died at Vancouver on 3 September 1958 and was buried there. An account of her life and times, With the West in Her Eyes: Nellie Hislop’s Story, was published by her son-in-law in 1987.


Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

With the West in Her Eyes: Nellie Hislop’s Story by E. W. Nuffield, Winnipeg: Hyperion Press Limited, 1987.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 February 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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