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Hon. William H. Brouse, Senator from South Grenville, is a descendant of one of the United Empire Loyalists that settled on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence river, immediately after the American revolution, his parents being Col. Jacob Brouse, a farmer, and Nancy Parlow, his wife, the latter being also a descendant of a loyalist family.
He was born at Matilda, Dundas, Ont., June 15, 1825; received his literary education at Victoria College, Cobourg, where he took his degree of M.A. in 1849; studied medicine with the Bon. John Rolph, M.D., LL.D., of Toronto; graduated at McGill College, Montreal, obtaining the degree of M.D., in 1847; had charge that year, under the Canadian Government, of three hundred cases of emigrant fever at Port Iroquois, Matilda, and in 1848 removed to Prescott, where he has been in the practice of his profession more than thirty years. He is well known on either side of the St. Lawrence; has had an extensive practice for many years, and occupies a high position among the medical profession.
Dr. Brouse is the chief medical officer of the Toronto Life Assurance and Tontine Company; surgeon of the 56th battalion of volunteer infantry; Director of the Prescott and Brockville macadamized road, and of the Ottawa Agricultural Society, and is a member of the Senate of Victoria College. He was appointed a member of the Medical Examining Board for Upper Canada in 1850; was elected a member of the Medical Council for Ontario in 1866, 1869, 1872, and 1876, continuously, since its formation; was President of that body in 1870; and in 1876 was a delegate from the Dominion to the World’s Convention of Medical and Scientific men, held in Philadelphia. He has had several strong inducements held out to him to remove to Toronto, and in 1878 was gazetted Professor of Surgery in the Toronto College of Medicine and Science, but declined to accept. His reputation in both medicine and surgery is excellent, Dr. Brouse has been Reeve and Mayor of Prescott, and identified himself with every interest of the least importance in the town and vicinity. His heart is in every enterprise that will advance the cause of good morals and the intelligence of the people.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for St. Lawrence Division in the Legislative Council of Canada, in 1858; was first returned to Parliament at the general election in 1872; was re-elected in 1874, and in August, 1878, was elected to the Senate a life office. In politics he is a Reformer.
While in the House of Commons, the Doctor’s quite active and influential in securing the appropriation of $50,000 as a reward to the surviving veterans of the war of 1812-14. He favored the establishment of a Dominion Sanitary Bureau, and to that end moved the appointment of a committee, of which he was made chairman, the report of which committee strongly recommended action in the matter. He also favored the introduction of military drill in the schools of a higher grade, he moving for the appointment of a committee to report on this subject in the session of 1875, and advocating the measure in an able speech.
On the 12th of February, 1877, he called the attention of the House of Commons to the fact that the Imperial Board of Trade had notified the English agents of the Allan line of steamers, that none of that company’s ships, carrying passengers, would be allowed to clear at the British Custom House, unless the Surgeon had graduated at one of the colleges of England, Ireland, or Scotland an act which he declared was “an insult, alike oppressive to the Canadian medical graduates and the universities of the Dominion.” The Board of Trade is a branch of the Executive Government of England, and Dr. Brouse moved that that Board be required to rescind that Act; the resolution was carried almost unanimously; a dispatch was sent to the English board, and the desires of the Dominion Parliament were promptly complied with.
January 28, 1857, Frances A., eldest daughter of Alpheus Jones, Esq., of Prescott, became the wife of Dr. Brouse, and they have two children, William Henry, junior, a law student with Hon. Edward Blake, of Toronto, and Fanny Josephine, aged five years.