Ethel Cody Stoddard (1877-1922)

Suffragist and writer under the names of “Lady Van” and “Mrs. Charles Stoddard.” Active “newspaper woman” all her life, toured the world for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and contributed to many leading papers and journals of the world.

Ethel Grant Cody was born in Lindsay, Ontario to Charles Grandison Cody (1854-1918) and Laura Adeline Grant (1848- 1934). Married to Robert Charles Stoddard in Toronto in 1905 and then the Ethel and her husband moved to Vancouver with her parents. Ethel Cody Stoddard died in Vancouver in March 1922 and is buried at Ocean View Burial Park.

Stories and Articles:

“The Diamond Valentine,” British Columbia Magazine, 1907 (link)

“Celebrated Dogs of Skagway,” 1915 (link)

“An Imperial Daughter,” The Canadian Magazine, volume 46, November 1915 (link)


The Sleeping Beauty and The Lions by Jane Parkin and Ethel Cody Stoddard, 1916 (link)

Mentions in articles:

“Ethel Cody Stoddard , active club woman and sporadic contributor to the Province under the pen-name “Lady Van”, titled one of her columns “The Real Career.” Approvingly, she told the story of a young girl who had always wanted “to do something big, something that would count” but who, at the end of a brilliant university career explained her future plans thus:

I see myself packing up my books and forgetting a great deal that it has taken me years to learn. I see honors such as the world gives fading into the distance. In the place of all this I see a home – one of my own – something I have commenced to want very much… I see a husband, children, and myself a general slave but a happy one at that to all of them. I see household duties looming large and the funny little routine that housewives get into… After all , you know, there is nothing like a home of your own and I want one.

(Province, February 22, 1922, p. 6)

Her professor (female, marital status not mentioned) congratulated her; “You have the right idea at last, Sheila, stick to it.” It was a young, single woman who spoke this praise of home and motherhood. Ethel Cody Stoddard and the majority of women who wrote on or were involved with women’s issues were married with families that were at least beyond the age of needing constant care if not fully grown.”

“As Women and as Citizens: Clubwomen in Vancouver 1910-1928” by Gillian Weiss, University of British Columbia, November 1983.

Saturday Sunset devoted a great deal of space to the discussion of railway problems, then stirring British Columbia. It paid serious attention to the developing fruit industry of the Okanagan, and to the municipal growing pains of Vancouver. Ethel Cody Stoddard, who, under the pseudonym “Lady Van,” conducted a column of miscellany “About Things in General,” wrote strongly against the limp building regulations and lack of zoning which permitted the erection anywhere of those long rows of cabins which were Vancouver’s first apartment-houses. That was twenty years before Vancouver had a zoning by-law.

“Adventures of Vancouver Newspapers: 1892-1926” by D.A. McGregor, The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, April 1946

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