Memorable Manitobans: Florence Edith McTavish Rogers (1876-1947)
Born at Norway House on 26 April 1876, daughter of HBC Chief Factor Donald Campbell McTavish and Lydia Catherine Christie (?-1886), great-granddaughter of Alexander Christie, niece of Archibald McTavish Campbell. On 1 June 1898, she married Robert Arthur Rogers with whom she had four children: Margaret MacTavish Rogers, Jean Emily Rogers (1901-?, wife of Arthur Gorham Lawson), Enid Rogers (1903-1990), and John A. Rogers.
During the First World War she was very involved in volunteer work, and was particularly active in social-welfare work, including a term as President of the Convalescent Home of Winnipeg (1919-1933). She served as the only woman on the Winnipeg General Hospital Board, and was secretary of the Central Council of the Battalion Auxiliaries. In the 1920 general election, she became the first woman (and the first of Metis heritage) to be elected to the Manitoba Legislature, as a Liberal representing Winnipeg. In 1921, she introduced the legislation that incorporated The Winnipeg Foundation. An active advocate of the Child Welfare Act, she was re-elected in 1922 and 1927. In recognition of her community service, she received the King George V Jubilee Medal (1935).
She moved to Ontario in 1942 and died at Colborne on 19 April 1947. She was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery. There are papers at the Archives of Manitoba. She was selected posthumously as a Manitoba Woman Trailblazer.
Birth and marriage registrations [Jean Emily Rogers], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Receives King's jubilee medal,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 May 1935, page 15.
“Enid Rogers dies,” Colborne Chronicle, 25 July 1990.
From Women’s Hands: An Object Biography of the McTavish Collection by Angela Fey, MA (Native Studies), University of Manitoba, 2017.
We thank Anne Lindsay and Grant Anderson for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 3 February 2021