The subject of this sketch is a descendant of that branch of the Willoughby family that went from Somersetshire, England, to Ireland, about the time of Cromwell, his father George H. Willoughby, coming to Canada, and settling ona farm in the Township of Essa, County of Simcoe, about 1837. There William Armson Willoughby was born, February 2, 1844, his mother, before her marriage, being Sarah Armson. She died at Elmwood, Illinois, in 1866. George H. Willoughby is now living with his son in Colborne.
Our subject received a grammar school education at Bradford, County of Simcoe; studied medicine with Dr. Alex. Hamilton, at Barrie, and was graduated at the medical department of Victoria College that department then being located at Toronto in May, 1867. He practised at Grafton, County of Northumberland, for eight years, and then settled in Colborne, where he has built up a practice second in extent and success to that of no one in this part of the county. He makes his profession his exclusive study; has an excellent medical library, and the leading periodicals of the day in his line, and is a reading, thinking, growing man. He does a great deal of surgery, but in a town like Colborne, his practice is necessarily general, and he has all the business any one man could desire, who wishes to get any time for study. He is Surgeon of the 40th battalion Northumberland volunteer infantry.
The Doctor always had a taste for fine horses, and has the best by far in Northumberland County. He has two stallions which are unsurpassed in this part of the country for quality of blood “Aberdeen, Jr,” whose dam was by Hetzel;” “Hambletonian,” and “Grand Duke,” son of “Iron Duke,” with the famous “Black Hawk” and “Bashaw” blood on the mother’s side. The Doctor keeps these horses and others exclusively for breeding purposes, and has never tested fully their speed. He is doing much to improve the quality of horse flesh in these parts, and in many respects is an enterprising man.
He is a member of the Town Council and School Board, and takes a lively interest in local affairs is a Conservative in politics, and quite active, being Vice President of the County Association of his party, not, however, letting such matters interfere with his professional duties.
He is a Master Mason, belonging to Lodge No. 17, (Cobourg) and holds his religious connection with the English Church. Morally as well as professionally his character stands high.