Biography of James S. Thorburn, M.D.

Dr. James Thorburn, is a native of Canada, and was born on the 21st day of November, 1830, at Queenston, Ontario. The names of his parents were David Thorburn and Isabel nee Thompson. Mr. Thorburn came from Scotland to this country, where he engaged for many years in merchandising, He also entered politics and became a prominent and influential leader of the Reform Party, holding various positions of honor and trust: For about sixteen years he sat for the Counties of Welland and Lincoln in the old Canadian Parliament, in which body he took a leading and active part during the stormy times of the rebellion; he was also warden of the Niagara District for several years, and Commissioner for the Six Nation Indians. He died in 1862.

The Doctor’s mother is a daughter of a United Empire Loyalist, whose family were prominently and actively engaged in the war of 1812. She was born in Canada, and is still living at the advanced age of 76 years. He has also living two brothers and four sisters. One of his brothers is a practicing physician in Colborne, Ont., and the other is interested in mining in the State of Nevada.

The subject of this sketch was educated at the Toronto, and Edinburgh Universities, graduating from the latter in 1855 and taking his degree of Medical Doctor. Returning to Toronto he immediately established himself in a practice which has continued ever since. He has deservedly taken a high rank among medical men, and enjoys a large and responsible practice. In addition to his regular practice may be mentioned the following positions which receive time and attention from Dr. Thorburn: Physician to Toronto General Hospital, Boys Home, Home for Incurables, Sick Childrens Hospital, and other charities; Lecturer on Materia Medica and Therapeutics in Toronto School of Medicine; Lecturer on Materia Medica in the Ontario Veterinary College, and Medical Referee for the Aetna Life Insurance Company for Ontario and Manitoba, and for the Commercial Assurance Company. He has been Vice-President of the Canada Medical Association, and is at present a member of the Senate of Toronto Universit; is also a Director in the Imperial Loan and Investment Society.

Dr. Thorburn has always taken an active interest in the Militia force of Canada, and since 1856, has been a member; has always participated in whatever service the force has been called upon to perform since that time, including the Fenian troubles; at present he holds the position of Surgeon Major in the Queen’s Own Rifles.

In religious views he is a Presbyterian, and in politics may be denominated a Liberal with Reform tendencies.

The Dr. was married in 1858 to Jennie McTavish, daughter of Donald McTavish, formerly an advocate in Inverness, Scotland, but who came to this country about forty years ago and engaged in milling.

By this union the Dr. has three children living two daughters and one son.

MLA Source Citation:

The Canadian Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self Made Men, Ontario, Volume 1. Toronto: Toronto American Biographical Pub. Co. 1880. Web. 25 January 2015. - Last updated on Aug 6th, 2012


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