Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Mary Emma “Molly” McFadden Basken (1896-1970)

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Mary Emma “Molly” McFadden Basken
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Author, historian.

Born at Emerson on 2 January 1896, daughter of David Henry McFadden and Emma Storey (1862-1947), she attended Brandon College before marrying Reginald Frederick Basken (1891-1967) on 14 May 1919, at Winnipeg, with whom she subsequently had a daughter, Norma Basken (wife of James G. T. Fairfield).

A freelance writer and historian, McFadden was a recognized authority in the history of steamboats which plied the rivers of the northern United States, Manitoba, and the Saskatchewan River. She was a member of the Manitoba Historical Society, Red River Valley Historical Society, and North Dakota Historical Society, and she served as Second Vice-President of the Winnipeg Branch of the Canadian Authors Association.

She died suddenly in her Winnipeg home, 349 Ash Street, on 7 July 1970 and was buried in the Garry Memorial Park.

Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Steamboating on the Red
MHS Transactions, Series 3, 1950-51 Season

Steamboat Holiday
Manitoba Pageant, April 1957

A Princess is Launched
Manitoba Pageant, September 1958, Volume 4, Number 1

The First of Many
Manitoba Pageant, April 1959, Volume 4, Number 3

The Past Meets the Present
Manitoba Pageant, January 1961, Volume 6, Number 2

Steamboats to the Rescue, 1897
Manitoba Pageant, April 1961, Volume 6, Number 3


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 July 1970, page 27.

Reginald Frederick Ralph Basken, Geni.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 January 2022

Memorable Manitobans

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