Memorable Manitobans: Martha Jane Richards Hample (1859-1927)
Born at Shropshire, England in 1859, she came to Canada with her father Samuel D. Richards. In 1888, she married Adolph Gideon Hample. They had two children: Carl Samuel Hample (1890-?) and Bessie Edwina Hample (1892-1969, wife of Charles Elwyn Fillmore).
She ran a successful catering and confectionary business, and built the Hample Building on Portage Avenue, the first commercial building in the city by a woman. Hample sold her namesake building in 1918, but the name “stuck” despite the passage of time. She owned a tract of land at Sturgeon Creek, where she had a summer cottage, and had interests in ranching. In 1911, she built a home at 808 Wolseley Avenue. She was also politically active as a member of the Political Equality League, which lobbied the Manitoba government for female suffrage. Meetings were held at her home, and she bankrolled its activities. Other founding members included Nellie McClung, Lillian Beynon Thomas, and Cora Hind.
In 1907, she help to found the Knowles Home for Boys to care for abandoned and orphaned boys. In 1917, she became a member of the Winnipeg School Board, one of the first women to hold the position. In the 1922 provincial general election, she was one of eight Progressive candidates for a Winnipeg seat in the Manitoba Legislature, the others being George F. Chipman, Thomas J. Murray, Richard W. Craig, Patrick James Henry, Peter McCallum, Charles K. Newcombe, and Arthur W. Puttee.
In 1923, she moved to Long Beach, California, where she died on 9 December 1927 and was buried there. She was selected posthumously as a Manitoba Women Trailblazer.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
“Vote Progressive for a united province,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 July 1922, page 5.
“Noted pioneer woman of city dies in south,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 December 1927, page 2.
“Mrs. Jane Hample buried today in California,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 December 1927, page 3.
“Mrs. A. G. Hample dies at California home,” undated newspaper clipping. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8, page 117]
We thank Linda McDowell for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 2 April 2023