Memorable Manitobans: Sarah Ann Sproat (1885-1976)
Born on a farm four miles east of Virden on 22 July 1885, daughter of Eliza Jane Mundell (c1854-1928) and William Sproat (1852-1941), she was educated at River Valley School, Virden High School, and Brandon Normal School. She then taught at Daybreak School (?-?), Hillside School (1905), and Buckingham School (?-?), after which she completed her teacher training at the Central Normal School.
She joined the teaching staff of Hamiota School (1909-1920) then went to Shoal Lake School (1920-?). While there, she received her First Class teacher’s certificate that enabled her to teach high school. She served as the Principal of Sidney School (1925-1930), Fort Garry High School (1930-1931), Eriksdale School (1931-1932), Warren School (1932-1933), Tolstoi School (1933-1934), and Purple Bank School (1935-1937).
Nearing retirement, she accepted a position marking correspondence papers with the Manitoba Department of Education. In 1970, she received a Centennial Medal from the Manitoba Historical Society in recognition of “54 years of dedicated service to education in Manitoba.” One of the first women to drive an automobile in Manitoba, she lived next door to a milliner and was known for wearing fancy hats.
She died unmarried at Victoria, British Columbia on 10 June 1976 and was buried in the Virden Cemetery.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Mrs. Wm. Sproat, of Virden, dies, aged 75,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 August 1928, page 7.
Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.
A History of Hamiota Village and Municipalty by Hamiota Women’s Institute, 1953.
Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 June 1976, page 41.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Heather Aldwyn and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 5 May 2021