This Week in History

Archives

For the West and Womankind!

For the week of Monday October 4, 2010 

On October 6, 1942, Ella Cora Hind died at age 81 after suffering a stroke. A woman of great strength and determination, E. Cora Hind broke the boundaries that separated men and women in the West by becoming an internationally renowned journalist and agricultural specialist. Determined that women should have equal rights, Hind also participated in several groups that fought to improve women's place in society.

Hind was considered a national expert on agriculture
© Archives of Manitoba, Hind, E. Cora, N978
Hind was born in Toronto, Ontario, on September 18, 1861. After her mother died in 1863, her aunt brought her to live at her grandfather’s farm in Grey County, Ontario. There, Hind developed a keen interest in agriculture and livestock.

In 1882, as the Canadian West was being settled, Hind and her aunt moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. With a letter of introduction from her uncle, Hind approached the editor of the Manitoba Free Press for a job as a journalist, but the editor turned her down: in 1882, journalism was considered an unsuitable job for a woman. Discouraged, but determined to make a living, Hind rented a typewriter and became so skilled that she was hired by a law firm to type up their legal briefs and other documents. Meanwhile, she was gradually able to contribute pieces to the newspaper. In 1893, Hind opened her own stenography business – the first of its kind west of the Great Lakes. 

Hind was the founder of the Winnipeg Branch of the Canadian Women’s Press Club
© Archives of Manitoba, Canadian Women’s Press Club 7, N2246

When a new editor took over the Manitoba Free Press in 1901, Hind was hired as a journalist. Growing up on the farm gave her the expertise she needed to make uncanny crop-yield estimates that astonished the world’s farming community. After completing a worldwide tour to report on agricultural markets at age 75, Hind continued to write a weekly column until her death.

As Hind broke barriers in the working world, she took a leadership role, participating in live debates and circulating petitions, in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the Political Equity League, the Women’s Canadian Club of Winnipeg, and the Canadian Women’s Press Club of Winnipeg. These groups fought to gain equal rights for women in all aspects of society, including the right to vote, and lobbied for the creation of a social safety net for women.

As a leading advocate of women’s rights and suffrage in Manitoba, E. Cora Hind was designated as a National Historic Person in 1997.

Date Modified: