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The Famous Five: Heroes for Today
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Private Life

Heritage Community Foundation, Albertasource.ca and The Famous Five Foundation


Emily Murphy with her familyEmily Gowan Ferguson was born in Cookstown, Ontario March 14, 1868. As one of six children, young Emily learned to share family chores equally with her male siblings, never questioning that certain work would be considered appropriate based on gender. Murphy's house

At the age of 19, she married Arthur Murphy, a young minister whom she had known for four years. The two had four daughters, only two of whom lived to adulthood. Murphy took up the pen, becoming a best-selling author and journalist under the pseudonym Janey Canuck.

Old JasperWhen a diphtheria epidemic struck their community, daughter Doris (aged seven) died and Arthur Murphy was left in a weakened condition. On a doctor's suggestion, the family moved to Swan River, Manitoba. A few years later the family relocated to Edmonton, where Arthur Murphy left the ministry and sold real estate for a short time. Emily often accompanied him on his journeys around theOld Whyte Avenue countryside.

As the quicklinks excerpted from her book, Janey Canuck in the West attest, Murphy fell in love with this frontier city—its youthful bustle suited her temperament well, and she soon became a key figure in Edmonton's leading circles.

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