Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Jane Isabel “Jennie” Andrews (1872-1953)

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Jane Isabel Andrews
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Social worker, police officer.

Born at Ellershouse, Hants County, Nova Scotia on 8 November 1872, daughter of Margaret Ann Guild (1852-1933) and Henry Campbell Andrews (1850-1922), she trained in social work with the Salvation Army and worked for the organization for 20 years in England and Canada. She resided at Truro, Nova Scotia (1901) prior to heading west.

She attained the rank of Adjutant and was appointed Superintendent (1913-1916) of the Kildonan Industrial Home, a detention centre in Kildonan / West Kildonan that took in women and girls caught up in the legal system, usually first-time offenders, and taught them life skills in hopes that they would not re-offend.

On 4 January 1917, she and Mary Dunn were sworn in as Winnipeg’s first female police officers, specializing in the investigation and arrest of women and girls. She retired on 30 April 1938, after 21 years on the force. During the Second World War, she created the Winnipeg Chapter of the “Plane Jane” fund in 1941, a fundraising effort aimed at women to help raise funds for a fighter jet for the Royal Canadian Air Force. She also worked with the Children’s Aid Society.

She died unmarried at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital on 21 October 1953 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.


Death registrations [Margaret A. Andrews & Henry Campbell Andrews], Nova Scotia Vital Statistics.

1901, 1911, 1916, & 1921 Canada censuses, Library and Archives Canada.

“General Booth to arrive tomorrow,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 November 1913, page 10.

“Police matrons appointed,” Manitoba Free Press, 30 December 1916, page 5.

“New policewomen will carry “Billies” just like men,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 December 1916, page 1.

“Police Judge swears in two women “Coppers”,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 January 1917, page 1.

“Personalia [Canada West - Two Police Matrons ...],” The War Cry, 20 January 1917, pages 8 & 9.

“Police veterans retire,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 April 1938, page 17.

“Winnipeg’s first policewoman dies at age 80,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 October 1953.

100 Years of Winnipeg Policewomen: Jane Andrews and Mary Dunn, West End Dumplings, 3 January 2017.

Winnipeg estate files (ATG 0025A), #48114 - Jane I. Andrews, Archives of Manitoba.

US Records of Aliens Pre-Examined in Canada 1904-1954, Ancestry.

Andrews-Newman Genealogy 2019 family tree, Ancestry.

We thank Nathan Kramer and Andrew Cunningham for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Christian Cassidy.

Page revised: 9 November 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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