Happy Women’s History Month!
In honour of Women's History Month, we're profiling some of the accomplished women we have at the Park.
October 4, 2023
About Jane Howse
Jane Mary Howse was born in Saskatchewan to Janet Spence and Henry Howse in 1848. Jane’s paternal grandparents were Mary, a Cree woman, and Joseph Howse. Joseph worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company, fur-trading and writing books on the Cree language. Jane continued her grandfather’s work on the Cree language in her own writing, reflecting the importance her Métis heritage held in her life.
A 16-year-old Jane met Sam Livingston in Northern Alberta, and the pair married in 1865. Sam is well-known as a pioneer of settlement in the Calgary area. However, according to Dennis Dower, Jane’s grandson, it was Jane’s use of her scrip money that secured the Livingston’s official land title. It was also Jane who turned the Livingston House into a ‘showplace’, used to entertain dignitaries such as the Marquis of Lorne, Canada’s first governor-general, and a place to amuse Jane and Sam’s 14 children daily!
Photo credit: “Mrs. Sam Livingston.”, [ca. 1898-1899], (CU182849) by Unknown. Courtesy of Glenbow Library and Archives Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.
About Mildred Ware
As women’s history month serves to remind us that the lives of many historical women went under-recorded, it comes as no surprise that Mildred Lewis is known to us as the wife of the legendary cowboy John Ware. But, like many frontier women, Mildred was as fundamental to the founding of their homestead in Millarville as John was, particularly in the face of the rampant anti-black discrimination in Alberta at the time. Ranchers from around Millarville, like the Wares, helped to build the Millarville Ranchers’ Hall now found here in Heritage Park.
Photo credit: “Mrs. Mildred Ware and three youngest children.”, [ca. 1903], (CU1107940) by Unknown. Courtesy of Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.
About Mathea Thorpe
Picture this: an open front door welcoming you into a cozy home filled with music and laughter. This was the dream of Mathea Thorpe when she emigrated to Canada in 1886 from Norway (by way of Wisconsin). With eight children, a thriving community, and a loving marriage, Mathea built this life in Calgary. The Thorpe house made its way to Heritage Park in the 1970s so that the front door could always remain open and waiting for more guests.
Photo credit: “Mrs. Mathea Thorpe with daughters Bessie Thorpe and Lillian Thorpe, Calgary, Alberta.”, [ca. late 1910s], (CU1122966) by Unknown. Courtesy of Glenbow Library and Archives Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.