Memorable Manitobans: Alice Evelyn Brown (1916-2011)
Born at Souris on 20 September 1916, the first child of Guy Hetherington and Agnes Burnett, members of early pioneering families of the Souris and Glenwood districts. Her interest in local history was stimulated at an early age when she joined her father and his friends searching the banks of the Souris River in a southwesterly direction for traces of the remains of old fur trading posts.
After graduating from the Souris School at the age of 14, she worked in her father’s law office at Souris. On 3 October 1938, she married Morley L. Brown (1909-2002) of the Treesbank district and they farmed at SE19-18-16W until the outbreak of the Second World War. He augmented her interest in local history, being an expert on the locations of the trading posts and cemeteries of the Souris Mouth.
After her husband finished military service with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan at Rivers, they moved to Winnipeg in 1945 where she attended United College and the University of Manitoba. She taught at several Winnipeg schools, including Balmoral Hall, Clifton School (1955-1957), Principal Sparling School (1957-1960), and Gordon Bell High School. In 1968, she received a Masters degree in Library Science from the University of Western Michigan. She became Library Supervisor for the St. James Assiniboia School Division, a position she held until retirement in 1982.
She joined the Manitoba Historical Society soon after her arrival in Winnipeg, serving several executive positions, including a two-year term as MHS President (1965-1967), and she served on the Historical Observances Committee of the Manitoba Centennial Corporation. In 1970, she was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal for her work in promoting an appreciation for Manitoba history. She was involved in a 1979 initiative to recognize Manitoba farms that had been in continuous operation by a single family. In addition to writing several articles for the Manitoba Historical Society, she assisted Margaret Macleod with research for her book Cuthbert Grant of Grantown.
On retirement, she returned with her husband to the Treesbank area, on the banks of the little stream that David Thompson called Five Mile Creek, less than a mile from the group of sites known as the Souris Mouth forts. In 2008, she moved to a retirement home in Wawanesa, where she died on 14 September 2011 and was buried in Wawanesa Cemetery.
Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
Obituary [Morley Leslie Brown], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 September 2002.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 September 2011.
We thank Linda Wessels for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 7 June 2019
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