Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Margaret Lillian Arnett MacLeod (1877-1966)

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Margaret MacLeod
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Historian, writer.

Born at London, Ontario on 14 January 1877, daughter of Lewis Arnett, who came to the Red River Settlement in 1870 with the Wolseley Expedition. She was educated in Brandon and Winnipeg before taking a teaching job at Stonewall. Her husband, Dr. A. N. MacLeod, was a Stonewall physician. Her son, Alan, who died during the First World War, was awarded the Victoria Cross. She also had two daughters, Helen MacLeod and Marion MacLeod.

She began researching and writing history in the 1930s. Her first work, The Frozen Priest of Pembina, was published in 1935. Her next book was Bells of Red River (1938). She edited The Letters of Letitia Hargrave (1947), wrote Songs of Old Manitoba (1960), and co-authored Cuthbert Grant of Grantown (1963) with W. L. Morton. She also researched the songs of Pierre Falcon. She became a life member of the Manitoba Historical Society in 1964 and a member of the Order of the Buffalo Hunt. She was the first woman elected to the executive of the Champlain Society.

She died as a result of a house fire at her home on Maryland Street on 17 February 1966 and was buried in Old Kildonan Cemetery. Her personal papers are at the Archives of Manitoba and her research papers are at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections. The latter contain research notes for her publication on the correspondence of Letitia Hargrave. Research material about the Red River Settlement and some original letters of the era are also included.

Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Life in the Early West
MHS Transactions, Series 3, 1947-48 Season

A Fur Trade Romance
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 3, Number 2, January 1958

The Legend of the White Horse Plain
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 3, Number 2, January 1958

Red River Resourcefulness in 1852
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 3, Number 3, April 1958

The Kidnapping of Sister Ste. Therese
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 6, Number 1, September 1960

A Language of Their Own, an Excerpt from "Life in the Early West"
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 9, Number 3, April 1964

Two Railway Titans Meet at Winnipeg, 1909
Manitoba History, Number 53, October 2006


Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.

“Manitoba historian goes to two eastern meetings”, Winnipeg Free Press, 7 June 1952. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 February 1966, page 38.

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

We thank Alan Arnett MacLeod Adams and James Arnett for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 November 2013

Memorable Manitobans

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