Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Katherine “Kate” Simpson Hayes (1855-1945)

Journalist, author.

Born in Dalhousie, New Brunswick on 6 July 1855, she went to Prince Albert, NWT [now Saskatchewan] in 1879 then, six years later, after a brief failed marriage, she settled at Regina, NWT with two children. There she met Nicholas Flood Davin with whom she had two more children. She founded a literary and musical society, wrote for the Regina Leader newspaper, and served as librarian of the North West Territories legislature from 1891 to 1898. Under the pen name of Mary Markwell, she published numerous plays, sketches, short stories, songs, and verses. Her publication, Prairie Pot-pourri (1895), was said to be the first literary work published in the NWT.

Moving to Winnipeg, she joined the Manitoba Free Press in 1899 and started its first women’s page, working for the newspaper for many years. She was a co-founder of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. Her later publications included a serial entitled “The Taras Pioneer of the West” and Derby Day in the Yukon (1910).

She died in Victoria, BC on 15 January 1945.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

BC Vital Statistics.

Kate Simpson Hayes, The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan.

We thank Carol Doyle Roberts for providing corrections and additional information used in this profile.

Page revised: 7 March 2011

Memorable Manitobans

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