Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Olive Elsie Knox (1903-1982)

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Olive Elsie Knox
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Educator, author.

Born at Fort Stewart, Ontario on 21 January 1903, daughter of Rev. George David Robinson (1877-1950) and Elsie Ann Lebeau (1879-1962), sister of Leslie George Robinson, she lived in South Dakota from 1909 to 1915 and Saskatchewan before arriving in Manitoba, where she attended Daniel McIntyre Collegiate and graduated from the University of Manitoba (BA, BEd). She taught school for a time then, on 25 December 1924, married fellow teacher Harold Cyrus Knox. They had one daughter, Joy Eileen Knox (?-1993, wife of James Corder Davis). She began writing in the 1940s, including children’s stories, radio plays, newspaper articles, and several books, including:

  • By Paddle and Saddle (1946)
  • Red River Shadows (1948)
  • Little Giant: The Story of Henry Kelsey (1951)
  • Black Falcon (1954)
  • Mrs. Minister (1956, a biographical book)
  • The Young Surveyor (1956, a teen novel based on the exploits of E. W. Jarvis)
  • John Black of Old Kildonan (1958).

Many of her books dealt with Western Canadian historical themes. She served as President of the Winnipeg Branch of the Canadian Authors’ Association. She returned to teaching in the late 1950s, working at Churchill High School (1959-1964). In 1970, she was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society. She died at Winnipeg on 12 March 1982.

Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

The Question of Louis Riel’s Insanity
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 6, 1949-50 season

Red River Cart
Manitoba Pageant, Number 1, April 1956

Red River Cart Trains
Manitoba Pageant, Number 2, September 1956

Three Weeks with a Red River Cart-Train, Part 1
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 3, Number 2, January 1958

Three Weeks with a Red River Cart-Train, Part 2
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 3, Number 3, April 1958


Birth registration, Ancestry.

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Daniel McIntyre Collegiate, Winnipeg,” Manitoba Calling, May 1944, page 17.

“Mrs. Knox is hostess at trousseau tea,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 June 1949, page 16.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 15 March 1982, page 37.

Obituary [Joy Eileen Davis], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 October 1993, page 54.

George Leslie Robinson, FamilySearch.

We thank Carrie Guilbault and Mike Murtha for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 January 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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