Ursula Martha (Koons) Dalhgren (1905-2001)

Ursula Martha (Koons) Dalhgren (1905-2001)

Born in Douglas, Ontario on 21 August 1905, she was the daughter of James Koons (1863-1948) and Minnie Wickwire (1868-1951). She moved with her parents to Minitonas in 1913. She started her musical training with piano classes (Clarence was one of her teachers). She took Normal School in Dauphin and did classroom teaching for seven years, teaching at the Lady Hubble School near Bowsman, three years in Minitonas, and then Garson. She took voice lessons in Winnipeg and at the end of her first year, she won the Rose Bowl, a coveted trophy, at the Winnipeg Music Festival. The next year, she won the operatic class and continued to study with the Toronto Conservatory where she received her ARCT practical in.

On 26 July 1933, she married Clarence Zelora Nathaniel Dahlgren (1895-1988) and they had two children: Lorna Margaret (married to James Tompkins), Carol Lynne (c1940, and married to Glenn Hodges).

Educator, Soloist, Community Member

In 1933, Ursula and her husband moved to Dauphin where they owned and operated the Dahlgren Music Studios until 1973. Their studio was first located at 127 3rd Avenue SW, then in 1934 it was moved to 34 5th Avenue NW, and in 1939 they moved it to their residence, 703 Gartmore Street North (later to be called Main Street North). Ursula taught voice and music lessons and in 1939 opened a private kindergarten program which started with classes twice a week and in 1939 grew to two classes daily for five days a week. The classes taught the pupils kindergarten piano, singing, games, clay modelling, and socializing. The kindergarten year would always end with a ‘tiny operetta’ — a nursery story play complete with costumes and props. The singing, acting, and speaking parts were always a delight for the audience.

She was involved with the community as the choir leader at the Dauphin First United Church (1933-1966), a soloist at various events, a member and President (1949-1952) of the Dauphin Music Festival, a music festival adjudicator, and participated in the school music programs. She was, also, a member of the Little Theatre Company which performed one-act plays, skits, comedy, and musicals.

In 1967, she was honored with a citation scroll from the Dauphin Council of Women for her role to keep “music festivals alive in Dauphin and has made a great contribution to the cultural life of Dauphin in the field of music.

She died in Winnipeg on 04 June 2001 and is buried in Brookside Cemetery.


  • Births, Marriages and Deaths, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
  • Business Announcements, Dauphin Herald, 1933-1972.
  • “United Church Notes”, Dauphin Herald, 31 August 1933, page 1.
  • “Dahlgren Kindergarten Classes Are An ‘Institution‘ of Dauphin“, Dauphin Herald, 20 October 1965, page 13.
  • “Mrs. C.N. Dahlgren Honored for 33 Years as Choir Leader of Dauphin United Church”, Dauphin Herald, 02 November 1966, page 1.
  • “Twelve Women Honored with Citations”, Dauphin Herald, 25 January 1967, page 1.
  • “Dahlgrens end music career”, Dauphin Herald, 29 June 1973, page 4.
  • “Generations of Dauphinites sing and play with Dahlgrens”, Dauphin Herald, 02 August 1978, page 4.
  • Obituary, Dauphin Herald, 19 June 2001, page B6.


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