Fonds PR1175 - Ethel Wilson fonds

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Ethel Wilson fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the records.

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    • 1966 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    40 slides. -- 5 photographs. -- 0.01 m of textual records.

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Ethel Sybella Knight was born in Sunnyside, Northwest Territories in 1902. She moved to Edmonton in 1925, where she attended Edmonton Business College. She married David Andrew Wilson (1900-1958) that year, and together they had three children: Velma (Huene) (1928-2007), Vada (Hill) (1929-2000), and Allan Lloyd. Ethel and David separated in 1937, ultimately divorcing in 1956.

    She worked as a seamstress for Burns Meats until 1962. She served as Recording Secretary for the Edmonton District Labour Council and the Labour representative and the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. She also served on the boards of the Edmonton Public Library, the Edmonton Board of Health, and the Edmonton Exhibition Association.

    She was elected as an Alderman for the City of Edmonton council in 1952. She served as an alderman from 1952 to 1966. She was also active in the Social Credit Party and, in 1959, she was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the electoral district of Edmonton Kingsway. After serving both as a city councilor and MLA, she left municipal politics in 1966. She served as a Cabinet Minister without Portfolio from 1962-1971 and was instrumental in developing Hilltop House, a hostel for disadvantaged women, in 1965 and reviving the Alberta Women's Bureau in 1966. She was defeated in the 1971 provincial election and retired from public duties in 1972.

    She died in Edmonton in 1983.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of a script and accompanying slides entitled "Historical Fashion Pageant" created by Ethel Wilson regarding the history of women in Alberta, dating from 1966. The fonds also includes photographs featuring the "Famous Five": Irene Parlby, Louis McKinney, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, and Henrietta Muir Edwards dating from the early part of the 20th century.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    In 1971, Ethel Wilson donated material comprising PR1971.0300 to the Provincial Archive of Alberta. It's unknown how she obtained the material. In 1991, Lillian French donated the material comprising PR1991.0311 to the Provincial Archives of Alberta. The provenance of the material prior to 1991 is unknown.


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      Script of material

        Language and script note

        The material is in English.

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File list is not available.

        Associated materials

        For more material on the Women’s Bureau, please see the Alberta Women’s Bureau records at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

        For material on the Women’s Bureau, please see the Alberta Women’s Bureau fonds at the University of Alberta Archives.

        Related materials


        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Information for the administrative history/biographical sketch sourced from the fonds. Labor Omni Vincant; the Edmonton Labour Council in Municipal Politics 1903 - 1960, Eugene W. Plawiuk, Presentation for Edmonton's Bicentennial Historical Reflections Symposium May 1995. Available at: (Accessed Oct 2, 2008). Photographs of the "Famous Five" can be found under the numbers A3458 - A3462 in the photographic reference section of the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

        General note

        Includes accession PR1991.0311 and PR1971.0300.

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