Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Dr. John Wellington Rosebrugh

Male 1828 - 1897  (68 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name John Wellington Rosebrugh 
    Prefix Dr. 
    Born 5 Nov 1828  North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Occupation 1853  Hamilton, Wentworth Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-167196 
    Died 25 Mar 1897  Hamilton, Wentworth Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I167196  Generations
    Last Modified 3 Sep 2019 

    Father Thomas Rosebrugh,   b. 29 Oct 1795, of, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Mar 1842, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 46 years) 
    Mother Johanna Mulholand,   b. Abt 1805, Of, Branchton, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F230029  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 5 Nov 1828 - North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Doctor - 1853 - Hamilton, Wentworth Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 25 Mar 1897 - Hamilton, Wentworth Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Rosebrugh, John Wellington, M.D., Hamilton, Ontario, President of the Ontario Medical Association, 1887, and member of the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. This distinguished medical gentleman was born near Galt, in the county of Waterloo, Ontario, on the 5th November, 1828.

      His father was the late Thomas Rosebrugh, of Dumfries, who, when a lad of sixteen, took up his gun, went to the frontier, and fought for his young country at the battles of Lundy's Lane and Queenston Heights. His grandfather was a U. E. loyalist.

      Dr. Rosebrugh received his early education at the schools of his neighborhood, the Galt High School and Victoria College. In 1850 he commenced the study of medicine under the Hon. Dr. Rolph, Dr. Joseph Workman, and others, afterwards called the Toronto School of Medicine; and later on the Medical department of the University of Victoria College. At the end of two years he passed his examination, and received his licence to practice from the Medical Board of Canada in 1852. He then went on to New York, attended an additional course of lectures at the University of New York city, from which institution he received the degree of doctor of medicine, in 1853.

      During his sojourn in New York, he faithfully followed up all the great advantages derivable from the lectures and clinics, and witnessed a large number of surgical operations in the hospitals of that city. Having a natural inclination for surgery, he cultivated his bent in that direction, and thus laid the foundation for his great success in after life. His career is an excellent example of what can be gained by one who sets before himself a high ideal of life, and the steadfast purpose and determination to rise to a useful and exalted position in his profession. Only force of character, unusual energy, and strenuous devotion to his high purpose could win such signal success as he has attained without the adventitious aids of an artificial society, professorships, or hospital appointments.

      Success is always a relative term, and is used appropriately only when employed to describe conditions in which effort guided by intelligence and skill to definite purpose accomplishes its aims. If this be true, then no physician in Canada to-day has a stronger claim to this distinction than the subject of this sketch, for his effort and perseverance have placed him in the front rank of his profession. He is a licentiate of the Canada Medical Board, 1852; M.D., University of New York city, 1853; M.D., University Victoria College, 1855; member of the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Ontario ; member of the Ontario Medical Association; member of the Canada Medical Association; member of the British Medical Association; member of the International Medical Congress ; honorary member of the American Medical Association; fellow of the British Gynecological Society; corresponding member of the Boston Gynecological Society, etc. It will thus be seen that he has already reached a higher degree of prominence in the medical profession of the country than has been the fortune of but few disciples of Aesculapius to enjoy.

      His success as a physician and surgeon is the fruit of hard work, persevering research and natural adaptability to his chosen profession. His cheerful presence is a blessing to any sick chamber, and his mild and gentle manners bring cheer and comfort to the suffering and desponding ones, while his quiet though earnest assurances of recovery infuse hope and joy into the desponding heart. He always had a penchant for surgery, and, besides his hospital practice during the time the railways were being constructed about Hamilton and Dundas, had quite a large experience in surgical operations, so that before he took up his specialty, he had the reputation of being an excellent general surgeon. His practice, however, during the last few years has gradually drifted more and more into gynecology and abdominal surgery. His great skill and wonderful success as an ovariotomist and abdominal surgeon, soon attracted the attention of his medical brethren, and they sent him the difficult cases which they did not wish to undertake themselves.

      In order to improve his knowledge as an abdominal surgeon, he has made frequent visits to the United States, Great Britain, and the continent of Europe. In this way he became practically acquainted with the methods of the most celebrated abdominal surgeons in the world, including Sir Spencer Wells, Thomas Keith, Lawson Tait, Granville Bantock, Knowsly Thornton, Carl Schroader, and A. Martin. Dr. Rosebrugh commenced the practice of his profession in the town of Dundas, where he resided for a period of three years, and then accepted a partnership with Dr. Billings, of Hamilton. This co-partnership at the end of three years was dissolved by mutual consent, and Dr. Rosebrugh since that time has practised by himself. While residing in Dundas he was appointed coroner for the county of Wentworth, and after removing to Hamilton he was appointed coroner for the city, and, associated with the late Hon. H. B. Bull, he presided with noted ability and dignity at the celebrated inquest concerning the Desjardins Bridge accident, where about sixty persons were killed and a large number wounded.

      In 1858 he was appointed president of the Mechanics' Institute, at that time and for some years subsequently a flourishing institution of the city. In the year 1860 he was elected a member of the city council, and immediately gave his particular attention to the reorganization of the city hospital system, which was at that time more a hole-and-corner concern, or a house of refuge, than a hospital. At first he met with a formidable opposition to all efforts at reform, but his personal popularity and influence gradually won over a majority of the friends of the old regime, and towards the end of his second year in the council he carried his bylaw of reform. This by-law was so perfect in all its details that it stands to-day at the end of a quarter of a century, with scarcely an alteration. After carrying through his scheme, he remained in the council another year as chairman of the hospital committee, in order to get the new by-law into good working order.

      In educational matters he has always taken a deep interest, and for a number of years was a member of the Grammar and Public School Board. He was also one of the promoters, and is still a director of the Ladies' College. He has always taken a lively interest and an active part in the great temperance movement, and is a liberal supporter of that cause. He was born and brought up in the Methodist Church, and has never left its fold. He was one of the promoters of the Centenary Church, and has held the office of trustee and steward from the time that church was erected. Dr. Rosebrugh is an active and enterprising member of the medical profession, determined from the beginning to keep fully abreast with the literature and knowledge of the times, taking the best medical journals and purchasing the newest books. He was one of the first elected under the new by-law as attending physician to the hospital, which he held as long as he wished, and was then chosen one of the consulting physicians. During the time of his service he was for some years chairman of the staff. He was one of the active founders of the Hamilton Medical and Surgical Society, which is still in a flourishing condition, and was president of the same.

      To him more than anyone else belongs the honor of the formation of the Ontario Medical Association, as he was the first to urge the medical journals to write the matter up; and he attended the preliminary meeting in Toronto for the purpose of drafting the by-laws for the management of the same. This growing and flourishing association has now been in existence about seven years, and this year chose Dr. Rosebrugh president for 1887-8.

      Geo. MacLean Rose, A Cyclopaepdia of Canadian Biography being chiefly men of the time. Rose Publishing Co., Toronto 1888


      ROSEBRUGH - At Hamilton on Thursday, at 11 p.m., Doctor J.W. Rosebrugh in his 69th year. Funeral on Monday at 2: 30 p.m., from his late residence, 96 James St. South. No flowers. Doctor J.W. Rosebrugh, one of the best known and longest resident physicians in Hamilton, died rather unexpectedly shortly after 11 o'clock at his home, corner of James and Hunter Streets. He had been ill for a week or two suffering from that all-prevalent malady influenza, but none of his friends nor he himself had anticipated any serious result. Early yesterday afternoon, however, he took a bad turn, and Doctors Malloch, and Mullin were called in. Along with Dr. Fred Rosebrugh, son of deceased they remained with him, but medical aid could not avail and death came shortly before midnight. It is believed that influenza brought on a complication of diseases.

      Dr. Rosebrugh was 69 years of age. He was born in Galt and graduated from Victoria University, taking post graduate in medical colleges on the other side of the line and in Europe. He settled in Hamilton many years ago, and at he time of his death, was one of the oldest and most respected practitioners in the city. For a long time he held the position of jail surgeon. Deceased leaves a widow, a daughter, Mrs. H. Jones, wife of Brantford's city engineer, and a son, Dr. Fred A. Rosebrugh of this city. He also has a brother, a medical man and specialist, in Toronto.

      Dr. Rosebrugh was prominent in Centenary church work being a trustee of the church and a director of the Hamilton Ladies college. He was a member of Temple lodge, A.F. and A.M. The funeral will take place on Monday afternoon, Rev. Dr. Smith conducting the service, and the pallbearers being medical men and members of the trustee board of Centenary church. The physicians of the city will attend the funeral in a body.

      Hamilton Spectator 26 Mar 1897

  • Sources 
    1. [S506] News - ON, Wentworth, Hamilton - Hamilton Spectator, 26 Mar 1897 Obituary of Dr. J. W. Rosebrugh.