Memorable Manitobans: Harriet Anderson “Hattie” Walker (1865-1943)
Journalist, theatrical producer.
Born at New York City in 1865, daughter of George W. and Anna Hickman Anderson, she was educated at the St. Matthew’s Academy (German Lutheran) of New York City. She began to recite in public when about eight years old, winning a $50 prize in an elocution contest at Chickering Hall, New York, when she was thirteen years old. She studied music during next two years with Max Maretzek and James Alden, New York, making her debut in comic opera as “Fiametta” in “The Mascot” in September 1882. She remained on the stage for a number of years as prima donna and comedienne, starring through the United States and Eastern Canada. She retired from the stage and took up song and sketch writing for M. Witmark & Sons, New York.
She came to Manitoba in 1897. She never appeared on the stage professionally but she produced musical comedy, light opera, and drama in Winnipeg for many years. She became corresponding secretary of the Canadian Women’s Press Club (1906-1910), Honourary President of the Canadian Women’s Press Club (1910-1913), President of the Winnipeg branch of the Canadian Women’s Press Club (1909-1910), and President of the Women’s Branch of the Winnipeg Humane Society (1911). She was a member of the Women’s Musical Club, a charter member of the Winnipeg Playgoers Club, and a member of the Board for the Children’s Hospital (1911). She was a press agent for the Winnipeg and Walker Theatres, and contributed articles on theatricals to other papers in Winnipeg and around the province. She wrote “The Matinee Girl” for Winnipeg Town Topics for over ten years under the pen name “Rosa Sub.” In 1917, she founded the American Women’s Club of Winnipeg.
She married Corliss Powers Walker with whom she had a son (actor George Anderson) and a daughter.
She died at Winnipeg on 24 September 1943 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery. There is a manuscript biography by Victoria Morris at the Manitoba Legislative Library.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
“Mrs. C. P. Walker, stage pioneer, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 September 1943. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 138]
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 6 June 2022