Memorable Manitobans: Margaret Stovel McWilliams (1875-1952)
Feminist, historian, author.
Born at Toronto, Ontario in 1875, 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), President of the Canadian Federation of University Women (1919), President of the Women’s Canadian Club (1922), and Winnipeg’s second female Alderman (1933-1940). She was the author of Manitoba Milestones (1928), If I Were King of Canada (1931), and This New Canada (1948).
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 (1944-1948). The University of Manitoba awarded her an honorary doctorate in 1946.
She was married to Roland Fairbairn McWilliams. They had no children.
She died at Government House on 12 April 1952 and was buried in Kildonan Presbyterian 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. She was selected posthumously as a Manitoba Woman Trailblazer.
We thank June Dutka for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 June 2019