E. Cora Hind was chosen in the historical category – one that focuses on those individuals who made their contributions to Winnipeg during the first half of the 20th century or before. Her life actually straddled both the 19th and 20th century as she was born in 1861 and lived to 1942. She moved to Winnipeg in 1882 and became the first typist and stenographer in Western Canada. Her mission was journalism however her efforts were thwarted as the Manitoba Free Press felt the hard work and long hours was no work for a women. Undaunted, and well after establishing her own business in 1893, she was appointed the agriculture editor of The Manitoba Free Press in 1901 when John W. Dafoe became chief editor.
She gained an international reputation for a very accurate analysis of crop yields, livestock breeding and food production and marketing. Her annual predictions for crop yields became the basis for determining the world price for wheat. The prices on the international market soared or fell on release of her figures. In dealing with hundreds of millions of bushels her margin of error was often less than one percent.
Ms. Hind also initiated the western farm reports and for all of her contributions to agriculture, received an honorary degree (L.L.D.) from the University of Manitoba in 1935. After her death in 1942 the United Grain Growers established a Cora Hind Fellowship for research in agriculture at the University of Manitoba.
Cora Hind is also considered a feminist reformer. She was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, wrote newspaper pieces on living and work conditions of Winnipeg in 1894 and helped found the Manitoba Equal Franchise Club. She was involved in the Women’s Institutes movement and in 1912 was a founding member of the political equality league. In 1935 she was made an honorary life member of the University’s Women Club. Upon her retirement she put most of her energy into the organizing the Red Cross in the three prairie provinces.
Hind was a genius in her field and paved the way for other women to pursue their goals in a male dominated world.