Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Winifred Maria Wilton (1891-1952)


Born at Morden on 20 October 1891, daughter of Henry Wilton and Jean Barron, she graduated with an Arts degree from the University of Manitoba in 1912. She then articled with the Winnipeg law firm of Machray, Sharpe and Dennistoun, and was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1915. Along with Melrose Sissons, she was the first female lawyer to practice in Manitoba. She went to work in London, England in the Estates Division of the Canadian Army, and later transferred to the American Red Cross in Paris. In 1919 she married Captain A. S. Stearns Wilson, an American engineer, at Paris. She returned with him to the USA was admitted to the New York Bar in 1922. She raised three sons, and died at New York on 18 January 1952.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Manitoba has two women attorneys”, Manitoba Free Press, 26 November 1915, page 1.

“Henry Wilton, west pioneer, dies aged 83”, Winnipeg Tribune, 9 October 1931. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

“Pioneer woman, lawyer here, dies in New York”, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 February 1952, page 24.

Mary Kinnear (1992) “That there woman lawyer”: Women lawyers in Manitoba 1915-1970. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, volume 5, page 411.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 September 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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