Biography of John Henry Wilson, M.D.

John Henry Wilson has been for many years one of the best known men in the county of Elgin. He was born near the city of Ottawa on the 14th of February, 1833. His father, the late Jeremiah Wilson, was a native of Vermont. His grandfather was an United Empire Loyalist, and a veteran of the American Revolutionary War.

In 1835 the family removed to the township of Westminster, county of Middlesex. The homestead is on the London and Port Stanley Road, and in one of the richest farming districts of the Province. Here young Henry attended the common school, and being an apt and bright pupil he made rapid progress in his studies. His father had resolved on giving a medical education to two other sons Jesse and Jeremiah, who are now practicing in Michigan and he cherished the wish that Henry would enter the ministry. To that end he proposed to give him a thorough collegiate education in Arts and Theology. But the boy was father of the man; he had a will as well as an ambition of his own, and the generous offer was declined. He taught school for several years in Elgin and Middlesex with excellent success, having, as soon as his own means would allow him, taken a full course of drill at the Provincial Normal School He resolved to study medicine, and leaving the school room he attended lectures in Toronto and New York, graduating at the latter place in 1857, and at the former in 1858. After teaching the Anatomy class for two years in Toronto, Dr. Wilson, in 1860, located at St. Thomas, where his skill and abilities soon won for him not only a lucrative practice, but an abiding professional reputation.

The Doctor possesses in a high degree several of the qualifications indispensable to success in the healing art. Perception, judgment, courage and self possession, joined to an intimate knowledge of the theory and practice of Medicine, fit him to do the right thing at the right moment; and, without the slightest disposition to harshness, he never pauses to adopt heroic treatment the moment that its necessity becomes apparent. With him the saving of life is the first and all-important consideration. In acute diseases especially he is very skilful, and it has often been said of him that his patient is out of danger before many another good physician has made his diagnosis.
But while engaged in the active pursuit of his profession Dr. Wilson has found time to attend to other affairs. He has always taken a keen interest in politics, and has for eight years from 1871 to 1879-represented the East Riding of Elgin in the Ontario Legislature. He is a Liberal of advanced views, and during his two Parliamentary terms was one of the most useful members of the House. While a strong party man he is also a thoroughly independent one, and he always enjoyed the fullest respect and confidence of the two Premiers of his time, Messrs. Blake and Mowat. The Doctor also keeps a watchful eye on municipal and educational affairs, and in every matter connected with the growth and well being of his town he may be relied upon to exercise his best judgment in favor of economy and progress. In private life he is held in the highest regard by those who know him best; he is a safe counselor and a trusty friend; a man of strong and positive opinions, and both able and ready to defend them whenever or wherever the occasion calls for it.

On the 3rd of May, 1869, Dr. Wilson married Amelia, daughter of the late George Ryerson Williams, of Toledo, Ohio. She is a lady of much intelligence and culture.



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