John Nichol, a practicing physician and surgeon in Listowel for the last eighteen years, dates his birth in Glasgow, Scotland, November 16, 1822. His father was Hugh Nichol, manufacturer, and at one period a British soldier, a member of the 71st regiment, receiving a wound at the Battle of Waterloo. His mother’s maiden name was Mary Caldwell, who died when he was about eight years of age. He was educated at a parish school; came to Canada with the family in 1843, and his father took up 200 acres of land in the township of Peel, county of Wellington; but the son did not incline to agricultural pursuits, and two years after coming to that county, went to Auburn, N.Y., attended a grammar school, and there met Dr. Joseph Marcus Morris, who was from Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, England. At his suggestion Mr. Nichol took up the study of medicine, with the doctor for preceptor a man of great learning and much skill in his profession.
Our subject attended lectures at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, United States, where he received the degree of M.D., in the spring of 1855; returned to Canada, and practiced six years at or near St. Jacobs, county of Waterloo; went to Toronto in the autumn of 1861; was graduated in April, 1862, and on the 2nd of June following, settled in Listowel, then a very small place. Here he soon built up a good practice, and has done a very prosperous business, placing himself in a few years, in very comfortable circumstances.
Dr. Nichol has been a county coroner more than a dozen years, and a member of the village and town council for nearly an equal length of time, or since the village was incorporated and the first council met in January, 1866. He has been tendered higher positions in the municipality, but their duties would interfere essentially with his practice, and he guarded well the interests of the village, advocating all important improvements yet a prudent expenditure of public moneys. The town hall and other public buildings were erected while he was in the council.
In politics Dr. Nichol is a Reformer, but takes no part in such matters, except to vote; and has been for a number of years, master of the Bernard Lodge, No. 225, of Free Masons, and is a member of the Presbyterian church. He bears an irreproachable character.
In January, 1823, he married Miss Isabella McGregor, daughter of Rev. Robert McGregor, then pastor of the Congregational church of Listowel; and she is the mother of eight children, four sons and four daughters, all living but one daughter.