Memorable Manitobans: Ellen Ann Melrose Sissons (1887-1973)
Lawyer, community activist.
Born at Portage la Prairie on 12 June 1887, one of eight children born to Thomas Sissons (1850-1931) and Mary Ann Sutherland (1858-1937), sister of Lynn Sissons, she studied at Manitoba College and graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1911, winning the silver medal in political economy and English. She studied law with the Portage la Prairie firm of Taylor and Colwill and was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in 1915. Along with Winifred Maria Wilton, she became the first woman lawyer to practice in Manitoba. She retired from law practice following her marriage on 24 July 1917 to lawyer Earl Stuart Everall. She raised three children and was an active member of the United Church, Women’s Institute, and other community organizations at McCreary. She moved to Winnipeg in 1967. She died at the St. Vital Hospital on 26 September 1973 and was buried in the Portage Hillside Cemetery.
Birth and marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“First woman lawyer of the west,” Manitoba Free Press, 20 May 1911, page 53.
“First female law student to pass,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 November 1912, page 44.
“Manitoba has two women attorneys,” Manitoba Free Press, 26 November 1915, page 1.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 28 September 1973, page 18.
Mary Kinnear (1992) “That there woman lawyer”: Women lawyers in Manitoba 1915-1970. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, volume 5, page 411.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 29 September 2021