Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Mary Corwin Russell (1864-1936)

Community activist.

Born in Quebec on 27 May 1864, she arrived with her parents at Winnipeg in 1882. On 21 February 1887, she married Francis William “Frank” Russell at Winnipeg and had two children: Leo Russell (1887-?) and Francis Joseph “Frank” Russell (1894-?). They later resided at Suite 1 - 85 Kennedy Street (Rideau Hall). She dedicated decades to community service and was involved in both church and charitable work, including 25 years with the Children’s Aid Society of Winnipeg where she was First Vice-President for many years, as well as several sub-committee Chairs, Honourary President (c1931-1936), and a long-serving Board Member (1910-1936). She was also Preisdent of Ladies Aid Society, Altar Society, and Christian Mothers’ Confraternity of the Cathedral Parish. Among her instituional involvements were the Home of the Good Shepherd, Providence Shelter, St. Boniface Old Folks Home, and St. Joseph’s Orphanage.

She died at her Winnipeg residence on 21 February 1936 and was buried in the St. Mary’s Cemetery. In 1937, she was posthumously commemorated with a plaque at the St. Joseph’s Orphanage.


Birth [Leo Russell & Francis Joseph Russell] and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Clubdom [The Christian Mother Confraternity],“ Manitoba Free Press, 5 December 1927, page 11.

“Children’s Aid again elects J. MacGregor,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 15 November 1934, page 9.

“Mrs. F. W. Russell, for more than fifty years a resident of city, dies,“ Winnipeg Free Press, 24 February 1936, page 15.

“Photo caption [Mrs. F. W. Russell],“ Winnipeg Free Press, 25 February 1936, page 7.

“Mrs. F. Russell laid to rest at St. Mary’s,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 February 1936, page 6.

Obituary [Miss M. E. Corwin], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1942, page 17.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 2 November 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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