Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 141 years


Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Endangered Top 10
LG History

Fundraising Dinner 2020

Endangered Top 10
Top 10

Jens Munk at Churchill
Field Trip:

Manitoba History No. 90

No. 90

Memorable Manitobans of 2019
of 2019

War Memorials in Manitoba
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old

Abandoned Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: Mary Ellen Dunn (1872-1928)

Community activist, policewoman.

Born at Ottawa, Ontario on 29 June 1872, daughter of Michael Halpin (?-?) and Margaret Mann (1835-?), she married William Henry Dunn (1868-1913) on 14 April 1890, at Ottawa, and they subsequently had eleven children: Kathleen Dunn (b 1893), Ethel Dunn (b 1895), Beatrice Anna Dunn (b 1895), Louisa Dunn (b 1897), Gerald Michael Dunn (b 1900), Wilfred James Dunn (b 1902), Vera Isabel Dunn (b 1906), Normal Percival Dunn (b 1908), Shirley Teresa Dunn (b 1909), Margaret Helen Dunn (b 1910), and William Henry Dunn (b 1911). She came to Winnipeg with her family in 1905 and was active in charitable and social work as a member of the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Christian Mothers Confraternity, Foster Home Committee, Providence Shelter for Children’s Aid, Catholic Women's League, and Winnipeg Red Cross. Following the death of her husband, she supported her family as one of the first two female officers with the Winnipeg Police Department, along with Jane Andrews, appointed in December 1916. She married again, on 19 April 1920, to former policeman Joseph Guertin (?-1921). Within 18 months of their marriage, her second husband was killed in a railway accident. She died at the Misericordia Hospital on 29 January 1928 and was buried in the St. Mary’s Cemetery.


Ontario marriage registration, Ancestry.

1901 and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

Obituary [William Dunn], Winnipeg Tribune, 20 August 1913, page 10.

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

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

“Former police officer killed,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 November 1921, page 20.

“Mrs. M. Guertin, prominent city Catholic, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 January 1928, page 2.

Death registration [Mary Ellen Guertin], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

We thank Christian Cassidy for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 December 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS and

Back to top of page


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2020 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.