“The First Lady of the Peace”
Maude P. Clifford came to the Grande Prairie area with her husband in 1906 from Ontario where she had taught school for five years. Maude became the first white woman in the area, as well as the first teacher in the region operating a school out of her home before organizing schooling in the area.
The Clifford home did not only operate as a school but was also the site of the first primitive “hospital” with Maude serving as the first volunteer nurse. The first service for the Anglican Church and the first court of Grande Prairie was held in their home. Maude was the earliest botanist in Grande Prairie region. With her enthusiasm for science, Maude worked with the Canadian Experimental Research Farm in Ottawa and was responsible for bringing the first wheat to Grande Prairie area from the research farm.
Maude Clifford’s life is a testament to her pioneering spirit and compassion for those with whom she came in contact. Maude Clifford is remembered as highly motivated woman with a passion for education.