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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
William John Simpson, M. D.


A prominent member of the medical profession in Lacombe is Dr. William John Simpson, who is enjoying an extensive and representative practice and is also mayor of the town. He was born in Carleton county. Ontario, oil 10th of April, 1864, a son of Samuel C. and Margaret (Kennedy) Simpson, likewise natives of Ontario. The paternal grandfather, William Simpson, was born in the north of Ireland and located in Ontario at an early day, making the trip across the ocean in an old sailing vessel, and coming to Ontario by way of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers. He was active in the building of the Rideau canal locks at Ottawa. When he came to Canada the present prosperous community of Ottawa consisted of but a few log houses, known as Bytown. He was a true pioneer of the country and he homesteaded land which was nothing but woods. To him fell the laborious task of clearing it and in due time he had one of the finest farms in the district, and resided thereon until his demise. The maternal grandfather, Robert Kennedy, was born in Scotland, but he was all settler of Lanark county, Ontario. Samuel C. Simpson farmed all of his life and achieved substantial success in that connection. He was license inspector at one time and was very active in political affairs, being a stanch supporter of the Liberal party. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Simpson seven children were born, six of whom are now living, Dr. Simpson whose name introduces this review, being the second in order of birth. The family was reared in the faith of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr. and Mrs. Simpson were zealous and sincere workers.

In the acquirement of his early education William John Simpson attended the public schools of his native district and later entered the Carleton Place high school and the Perth Model School. He was graduated from the Ottawa Collegiate School and the Ottawa Normal School and subsequently engaged in teaching for twelve years, being principal of the Carleton county Model School for seven years. He did not find teaching entirely to his liking, however, and therefore enrolled in the medical department of Queen's University at Kingston, from which institution he was graduated in 1899, with the M. D. degree. On the 14th of July, 1899, he came to Lacombe and has since practiced here. At first Di'. Simpson was compelled to make his professional calls on horseback or with a horse and carriage. It was not long before he built up an extensive general practice and today he ranks among the foremost members of the profession in the district and Province.

On the 10th of July, 1899, was celebrated the marriage of Dr. Simpson to Miss Esther Isabelle Hill, a native of Ontario, where she was educated and reared to young womanhood. To their union three children have been born: Muriel Huntingdon married C. H. Chapman of Edmonton, who is in the insurance business, and they have two sons, Robert and Hugh; Isabelle Kennedy married James S. Daly of Edmonton, who is a veteran of the World war; Robert Hill, who is farming in this province, is a veteran of the World war also, having enlisted in 1915 in the sixty- sixth Battalion and later was transferred to the Thirty-first Battalion. He saw much active service the latter part of the war, and for some time was in the Headquarters Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp. After the battle of Vimy he was poisoned by a scratch from some barbed wire and was confined to the hospital for four months.

Dr. Simpson is a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, and has been active in church and Sunday school work for many years. Fraternally he is a Past Master of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and is also a member of the Independent Order of Foresters. In his political views he is a Liberal, and has served as president of the Liberal Association for years and is very active in party affairs. For a number of years after first coming here he was a member of the school board and has again resumed a place on the board. He was elected mayor for 1923-24, and his administration is being characterized by its progressiveness and law enforcement. Dr. Simpson is essentially public-spirited and has wielded a great influence for good in this community. A large part of his time and attention is devoted to his profession and although he was well grounded in it when he came to Lacombe he has remained a constant student and through membership in various medical fraternities keeps well informed on the advancement being made by prominent physicians and surgeons throughout the country. The doctor's genial and pleasing personality and his public-spiritedness have won for him many friends and he is accorded the confidence and esteem of all who know him.


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