Biography of William Coburn, M. D.

Doctor Coburn, son of John and Eliza (Walker) Coburn, was born near Bradford, County of Simcoe, November 11, 1837. His father was born in the City of New York; his mother, near Belfast, Ireland. His paternal grandfather was also from Ireland, and moved from New York to Upper Canada when the father of our subject was a youth, settling near the Village of Bradford. John Coburn became a wealthy farmer, and is still living in the old homestead, hale and robust, having always been a man of industrious and, in every way, correct habits. His (the Dr’s) mother died December 1, 1868.

In addition to a Common and Grammar School education, the Doctor received classical private tuition; during that period he spent three years in teaching at Clarksville, in Tecumseth, and at Fisher’s Corners, County of Simcoe; studied medicine two years with Dr. Thomas Cook Schofield, of Bond Head; attended lectures at Toronto in the medical department of Victoria College, under Dr. Rolph, receiving the degree of M.D. in the spring of 1864, and May 6th of that year commenced practice in the Village of Markham.

On the 29th of October, 1866, Dr. Coburn settled in Oshawa, a town of 4,500 people, and for thirteen years has been in general practice there, now sharing, with five other physicians, the patronage of the town and surrounding country. It is noteworthy that these several medical men are, without exception, temperate in their habits, well educated, skilful in their profession, and among the leading men in the community.
Dr. Coburn represented the medical territory termed ” King’s and Queen’s,” in the Medical Council of the College of Physicians an Surgeons of Ontario, in 1872, 1873, and 1874, succeeded Dr. McGill, of Oshawa, has been secretary- treasurer of the Medical Association of ” King’s and Queen’s ” since 1875; has been Coroner of the County since 1871 and a member of the local Board of Education during the last nine or ten years most of that time occupying a prominent position on the Committees of `the board. The Doctor is very active in local affairs and has a hand in everything that looks like progress in educational or social matters.

October 8, 1866, Miss Marion Augusta Reesor, eldest daughter of Hon. David Reesor, of Markham, became the wife of Dr. Coburn, and has had three children, losing one of them Dec. 7, 1878. The family attend the Methodist Church of Canada.

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. 17 January 2015. - Last updated on Aug 7th, 2012


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