One of Canada’s most amazing ranch women was born in Ontario in 1854. Elizabeth Coughlin came to the Okanagan Valley in the 1870’s to visit her uncle Cornelius O’Keefe who had a cattle ranch at the head of Lake Okanagan.
Now Uncle Corneilus had a partner, Thomas Greenhow, and Elizabeth became his wife in 1879. When Thomas died in 1889 Elizabeth took over the ranch operation, much to the dismay of her uncle Cornelus. In those days, women did not run ranches. Elizabeth however proved to be a very successful rancher and a savvy business woman. She successfully negotiated with the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway for a right of way worth a hundred dollars an acre. She seeded 450 acres of corn and 35 acres of oats. She introduced purebred shorthorn cattle to upgrade the ranches cattle herd. It was Elizabeth Greenhow who introduced threshing machines with traction engines to the Okanagan.
She was one of the founders of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital in 1897 and a long-time director of the Hospital Society
In 1907, when cattle ranching was giving way to orchards, she sold 8906 acres for the incredible sum of $315,000.
Elizabeth continued to live in luxury in her lovely home with her mother and close to her daughter and grandchildren.
In 1926 she moved to California, where she died in 1941.