Biography of William McGill, M.D.

The life history of William McGill, while in many respects very like that of many others, 1. is yet marked by a resolute determination, and will power that entitles it to a most careful consideration. He is a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and was born December 20, 1814. His father, George McGill, was a jeweler and watch maker in the old country, emigrating to Upper Canada when William was a youth, and settling on a farm in the township of Whitby, near where Oshawa now stands. The mother of our subject, before her marriage, was Elizabeth Dick.

Dr. McGill was educated in English at the grammar school at Oshawa, and in the classics privately by the Rev. Dr. Thornton, of this town; studied medicine partly in Canada and partly in the United States, commencing with Dr. George H. Low in 1835; attended two courses of lectures at Willinghly medical college, Ohio, 1837-1839; received the degree of M.D. at McGill medical college in 1848 (after practicing six or seven years), and subsequently attended Mott’s medical school, New York city. Thirty years ago, very few physicians and surgeons in this part of the Province received so thorough a professional education as Dr. McGill; and his acquirements, experience and skill, placed him in the front rank of his profession. In surgery he excels. He has practiced in Oshawa since 1841. At one period he represented “King’s and Queen’s” in the medical council of the college of physicians and surgeons of Ontario.

Dr. McGill was a member of the first Ontario legislature 1867-1871 and has held a few local offices, such as were forced upon him; but has kept as much as possible out of everything that would interfere with his medical pursuit and studies. Evidently his belief is that the way to success in anything is to stick to it He owes his high standing in his profession to his studious habits, and his disposition to plod and persevere, he being a great reader and thinker, as well as experimenter. He is small in stature and large in minda very intelligent man on general subjects, making no display of his knowledge, yet an interesting converser.

The Doctor is a member of the Disciple church, an elder of the same, and is regarded as a man of marked purity of character. He has long been a Bible student, and not unfrequently supplies the pulpit on Sunday.

In 1848, Miss Julia Ann Bates, daughter of James Bates, one of the early settlers in Darlington, was joined in matrimony with Dr. McGill, and she died December 22, 1896; they had four children, and three of them are still living. Louisa, the elder daughter, is the wife of Joseph H. McClelland, of Liverpool, township of Pickering; Solomon G. is a law student, and Christina Victoria is with her father.

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. 12 December 2014. - Last updated on Aug 7th, 2012


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