Manitoba Historical Society
MHS website:

Past Lane


in Manitoba


No. 75

Local History


Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Questions on

Memorable Manitobans: Douglas Leader Durkin (1884-1967)

Click to enlarge

D. L. Durkin
Click to enlarge


Born at Parry Sound, Ontario on 9 July 1884, he taught at West Favelle School (1901-1902), MacGregor School (1908-1909), Brandon College (1911-1915) and later the University of Manitoba.

He wrote The Heart of Cherry McBain (1920) and The Lobstick Trail (1921), both stories about life in northern Manitoba. In 1921, he moved to the US, abandoning his family and academic career. There, he wrote his best-known novel, The Magpie (1923), set in Winnipeg after World War One. In 1945, he married author Martha Ostenso with whom he had collaborated in the novel Wild Geese, published in 1925 under her name alone. He had limited success during the remainder of his career.

His work was rediscovered after his death, which occurred at Seattle, Washington on 4 June 1967.

See also:

Introduction by Peter Rider in: Douglas Durkin, The Magpie (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974).


The Development of Education in Swan River Valley by J. N. R. Clark, MEd thesis, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, 1949, page 155.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 July 2014

Memorable Manitobans Memorable Manitobans

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 | 2013

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  |  Sources  |  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
Website © 1998-2014 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.