Memorable Manitobans: Margaret Stovel McWilliams (1875-1952)
Feminist, historian, author.
Born at Toronto, she graduated from the University of Toronto in 1898 and began her journalism career in Detroit. She came to Winnipeg in 1910 and was active in the women’s movement for years.
She served as President of the University Women’s Club (1913-1915). She was first President of the Canadian Federation of University Women in 1919, President of the Women’s Canadian Club in 1922, and Winnipeg’s second female Alderman from 1933 to 1940. McWilliams was the author of Manitoba Milestones (1928), If I Were King of Canada (1931), and This New Canada (1948). She was married to Roland F. McWilliams.
She was frequently a Canadian representative at international conferences. McWilliams was instrumental in the resurrection of the Manitoba Historical Society in 1944, serving as its President from 1944 to 1948. The University of Manitoba awarded her an honorary doctorate in 1946.
She died at Government House on 12 April 1952 and was buried in Old Kildonan Cemetery. The Margaret McWilliams Awards, commemorating her contributions to Manitoba history, was inaugurated by the Manitoba Historical Society in 1955 as one of Canada’s first literary prizes.
We thank June Dutka for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 13 February 2015
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