More than sixty years ago, John Gilchrist moved from New Hampshire into Upper Canada, and practiced his profession in Northumberland, Peterborough and Durham counties about forty years, educating meanwhile two of his younger brothers for the same profession.
Thirty, forty and fifty years ago, he was one of the best known men in this part of the Province, and as widely esteemed as known. He is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Aiken) Gilchrist, who, at the time of his birth, February 5, 1792, were living in Bedford, N.H. His, father was a farmer and miller, and afterwards moved to Goffstown in the same State, where he died in 1818.
Our subject received his medical education and diploma at New Haven, Conn., practiced a few months at Goffstown, and in 1818, came to Canada, and located two miles northwest of where Cobourg now stands, two or three years later moving down to the lake shore on the present site of the town just mentioned. Sometime afterwards he removed to a new town in Peterborough County, which he named Keene, for Keene, N. H., but did not practice there much on account of ill health, but engaged in the manufacture of flour and lumber.
A few years prior to the Canadian Rebellion of 1837-38, Dr. Gilchrist removed to the town of Peterborough, and at the time of the rebellion was serving his constituents in the Provincial Parliament. In 1849 he settled in Port Hope, and here practiced till near his death, which occurred in September, 1859.
The wife of Dr. Gilchrist was a daughter of Dr. Jonathan Gove, seventy and eighty years ago a noted physician at Goffstown, N.H.; she had nine or ten children, and died in 1847. Three sons and three daughters are yet living.
Dr. Gilchrist had three younger brothers, who were physicians and surgeons. Samuel and James Aiken studied with him and received their medical diplomas at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H. Samuel practiced at Port Hope, and died in 1849; James Aiken, at Cobourg, and died in 1871. Hiram Gilchrist, the younger of the four, studied with his brother Samuel, received the degree of Doctor of Medicine at Hanover, practiced at Port Hope, and died in April, 1852. The four brothers were all well educated, and had a good reputation for skill and success.