Memorable Manitobans: Jessie Livingston Holmes (1867-1950)
Born in Ontario on 10 June 1867, she came to Winnipeg around 1883 with her parents, Hugh Holmes and Barbara Morrison. She attended the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute and, in 1886, was the first female student admitted to Manitoba College, one year after the University of Manitoba council had denied Helen Brown’s admission.
Holmes became the first woman to graduate from the University of Manitoba, earning a BA in 1889 and an MA in 1892. She worked as a schoolteacher until 1894 when she married fellow Manitoba College graduate and Presbyterian minister Rev. James E. Munro (1861-1963). They lived at Gladstone and Portage la Prairie before moving to Oakville, Ontario, around 1910. They had five children: Edward Holmes (1895-1963), Hugh Gordon Munro (1897-1916), Arthur Melville Munro (1898-1981), Margaret Morrison Munro (1902-?), and Ethel Taylor Munro (1907-?).
She died at Clarkson, Ontario on 5 April 1950 and was buried in Oakville, Ontario.
“Presbyterianism,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 16 January 1895, page 5.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Clergy Opposed to Women University Students in 1880s,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 June 1971, page 25.
“Graduation Day,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 February 2002, page 212.
This page was prepared by Liliana Lopez.
Page revised: 27 December 2021