Memorable Manitobans: Margret Jónsdóttir Benedictsson (1866-1956)
Born at Hrappsstaoir, Vioidalur, Iceland on 16 March 1866, daughter of Kristjana Ebenesdóttir and Jón Jónsson, she immigrated to North Dakota in 1887, where she attended Bathgate College. Four years later she came to Winnipeg, took classes in accounting and typing, and lectured on women’s rights and founded an Icelandic women’s suffrage society. She was a founder of the Unitarian congregation in Winnipeg.
In 1892, she married poet and publisher Sigfus B. Benediktsson (1866-?) and they lived on Hecla Island (Mikley) for three years. They moved to Winnipeg in 1895 then to Selkirk in 1898 where they established Freyja, “the only women’s suffrage paper published in Canada,” publishing it for twelve years.
She divorced her husband in 1910 and, in 1912, moved with their two children to Blaine, Washington. She died at Anacortes on 13 December 1956. She was selected posthumously as a Manitoba Women Trailblazer and was inducted into the Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Margret J. Benediktsson, Heimskringla, 14 March 1956, page 2.
Obituary [Margret J. Benediktsson], Heimskringla, 19 December 1956, page 1.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 May 2022