Memorable Manitobans: Barbara Ferguson Stewart (1855-1931)
Born at Sterling, Ontario on 2 October 1855, daughter of Alexander Stewart and Margret Stewart (1813-?), she attended high school at Stirling and teacher training at both Belleville and Toronto. She worked ten years at the Trenton High School before moving west in 1889, and embarking upon a 35-year teaching career with the Winnipeg School Board. She taught at the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute (1889-1915) and Isaac Brock School (1915-1917) prior to being named Principal of Dufferin School (1917-1918). Notably skilled in high school instruction, she returned to the classroom at Kelvin High School (1918-1924), where she specialized in Mathematics, English, and Music. In August 1924, the School Board granted her a leave of absence until the end of December when her retirement would formally begin. She was a member of the Westminster United Church and was treasurer of the Home Missionary Society. A former pupil of hers said “She did not speak much about truth, duty, honesty and religion. She did not need to: she lived them[.]” By December 1924, she had moved to Victoria, British Columbia where she later died, unmarried, on 13 February 1931. Her body was returned to Winnipeg for burial in the Elmwood Cemetery.
1901 & 1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Home Missionary Society,” Manitoba Free Press, 16 February 1900, page 9.
“Former Winnipeggers encountered on tour,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 December 1924, page 3.
“School children declared molested [Long Service Recognized, Miss B. F. Stewart],” Manitoba Free Press, 13 August 1924, page 5.
“Pioneer teacher retiring after long service,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 13 August 1924, page 7.
Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
“Miss Stewart, pioneer school teacher, dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 February 1931, page 4.
“Pioneer school teacher of Winnipeg dies in B.C.,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 February 1931, page 11.
Burial notice, Winnipeg Tribune, 17 February 1931, page 4.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 6 May 2019
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