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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
William Henry MacDonald, M.D.


Dr. William Henry Macdonald, successfully engaged in the practice' of medicine and surgery at Medicine hat, was born in New Brunswick on the 1st of June, 1873, and is a son of Wentworth C. and Harriett (Johnston) Macdonald. The father was born in Pictou county, Nova Scotia, and the mother was born in Colchester district, Nova Scotia, and now resides in Medicine Hat, at the age of eighty years. They were married in Nova Scotia and Mr. Macdonald engaged in business as a railway contractor. He assisted in building the short line railway and the eastern extension and was very skillful and successful in his line. He made a specialty of concrete work and the splendid quality of his work brought him continuous patronage. his death occurred in 1904, when he was seventy-four years of age. He was a consistent and helpful member of the Presbyterian church, of which Mrs. Macdonald has also been a most active representative and fraternally Mr. Macdonald was a Mason, while politically he was a Conservative. He served as councilor for the municipality for several years and manifested a progressive spirit in relation to all public affairs. The record shows that the Macdonald family is Scotch and Wentworth Macdonald was the son of William Macdonald, who was born in Inverness, Scotland, and in 1804 crossed the Atlantic, settling iii Nova Scotia on a farm in Pictou county. There in the midst of the forest he hewed out his home and spent his remaining days. In the maternal line Dr. Macdonald represents one of the old families of Nova Scotia, his grandfather, Robert Johnston, having been born and reared at Truro, while in that locality he followed farming throughout his life.

In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth Macdonald there were seven children, five of whom are living: The eldest is Hugh J., now a contractor of Winnipeg; the second is Dr. Macdonald of this review; Robert J., the next of the family, is also a contractor of Winnipeg; J. Campbell is a civil engineer in charge of irrigation for the British Columbia government. He was for ten years in Dalhousie College at Halifax, Nova Scotia, after which he participated in the South African war and he lost a year in college while playing football in the All Canadian Ball Team in England. He served with the rank of major in the World war, for service in which he enlisted in August, 1914. He went to France, where he remained throughout the struggle, winning the military cross and receiving several mentions in dispatches; Forrester, the next of the family, is a dentist of Medicine Hat. He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and in his college days was a famous football player.

Dr. Macdonald was educated in the schools of Truro and in the Truro Academy of Nova Scotia, after which he attended the Provincial Normal College at Truro, where he studied for two years and then matriculated in the Medical School at Dalhousie University at Halifax, from which he was graduated in 1896, at the age of twenty-two years. He served in the General Hospital at Halifax, where he gained broad and valuable experience and then went to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where he practiced for fifteen years. In January, 1913, he arrived in Medicine Hat, where he continues in general practice but does considerable surgery. lie is on the hospital staff and displays skill and ability in his surgical work. Formerly he served on the hospital board. In 1916 he went overseas as a member of the Canadian Army Medical Corps and there remained for two and a half years, while for three years he was in the army, serving with the rank of major. He was in charge of surgery in the Third Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, a very important position, and was in the Fifth Army retreat. He returned by way of the Panama canal and resumed his practice in Medicine Hat, where he is accorded a place among the representative physicians and surgeons of the city.

In 1898 Dr. Macdonald was married to Miss Victoria Young, who was born in Middleton, Nova Scotia, and there was reared and educated. She is a graduate nurse, having completed her course in the Nurses School of the Victoria General Hospital. Dr. and Mrs. Macdonald have become parents of two children: Bruce Stewart, who is now a senior in the Alberta University at Edmonton; and Ian, for two years in the Royal Naval College but now a sophomore in the University of Alberta.

Politically Dr. Macdonald is a Conservative but he has never been active in politics as an office seeker. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity in which he has attained the Knights Templar degree and he is a past grand senior warden of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. He also belongs to the Canadian Order of Foresters and is a member of the local golf club, which indicates something of the nature of his recreation. Both he and his wife have membership in the Presbyterian church, in the work of which they take helpful part. Dr. Macdonald is serving as an elder and Mrs. Macdonald is active in the different church societies and branches of church work. Necessarily the Doctor gives the major part of his attention to his professional duties and ambitious to attain the highest degree of efficiency possible he has taken several postgraduate courses in New York and also short courses under the Mayo Brothers, world famous surgeons of Rochester, Minnesota. He reads broadly, thinks deeply and utilizes every opportunity to keep in touch with the most advanced and scientific thought bearing upon the laws of health.


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