Dr. William “Edgar” Robertson was born on the 25th of May, 1878 in Milton, Ontario. His parents were Dr. David Robertson and the former Jeanette Sophia Morse. His father was a physician and a politician. Dr. David Robertson was the Mayor of Milton from 1873-1876 and he was an MPP from 1879-1883. Dr. William Robertson was the youngest of 6 children. His siblings were; Edwin, Mary, Agnes, Clara (who died as an infant in 1874) and Mabel. His brother Edwin Alexander Robertson died in 1871 at the age of 3 1/2 years old of scarlet fever.
Dr. Robertson attended Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto. He graduated from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1900. Dr. Robertson did some post-graduate work in Edinburgh and London, England, following his graduation from The University of Toronto.
Dr. Robertson’s name appears on birth and death records in Wheatley and Romney Township (Chatham-Kent) between 1902 and 1906. It is unknown if he resided in Romney Twp or in Essex County.
Dr. Robertson married Minnie May Vashti Smith on the 29th of May, 1906 in York Co. She was born on the 27th of March, 1873 in Perth County, the daughter of Rev. Nathaniel Smith and the former Anne Drake. Her father was a Weslyan Minister. She was the eldest of 4 children and her siblings were; Chelta, Myrtle and Reginald. Mrs. Robertson was raised in Niagara Falls.
After their marriage, Dr. and Mrs. Robertson travelled to Hengzhou, (now called Hengyang) in the Hunan Province of China as medical missionaries. Dr. and Mrs. Robertson were involved with the building of the American Presbyterian Church Mission Hospital. This hospital saw up to 30,000 patients per year.
Dr. and Mrs. Robertson had 2 children born to them while they were in China. Their son, Francis “Struan” Robertson was born on the 4th of June, 1911 and their daughter Margaret Elizabeth Robertson was born in December of 1915.
Mrs. Minnie Robertson died in Hengzhou, Guangxi Region, China in 1916.
Dr. Robertson married Lavinia “Gladden” Ewers in China in 1919. She was born on the 17th of December, 1886 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Rev. Albert E. Ewers and the former Emma A. Morrow. Her father was married previously to Mary Jennings Morrison in 1880 in Ohio. They had one child, Ernest Morrison Ewers who was born on the 20th of January 1885. Mary (Morrison) Ewers died on the 4th of February, 1885. Mrs. Robertsons parents were married on the 7th of January, 1886. Her father was a Presbyterian Minister.
Miss Gladden Ewers appears in the 1910 Maryville College yearbook (Maryville, Tennessee). Miss Ewers was involved with the Y.W.C.A. cabinet and the basketball team. On the 7th of December, 1915 Gladden Ewers submitted an application in Illinois, for a passport to travel to China to be a missionary. The application recorded her residence as Apple River, Illinois and her occupation as teacher.
Dr. and Mrs. Robertson stayed in China until 1927, when they felt it was no longer safe for their family to remain due to civil unrest. They moved to Milton, Ontario where Dr. Robertson continued to practice medicine.
Dr. Robertson appears on the Milton Walk of Fame.
Dr. Robertson died in Milton on the 15th of January, 1939. Mrs. Gladden Robertson died in Milton on the 31st of March, 1968. Dr. and Mrs. Robertson were buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Milton, the same cemetery where Dr. Robertson’s parents are buried.
*Dr. Robertson’s son Struan also became a physician.
**Mrs. Gladden Robertson’s brother, Ernest Morrison Ewers served with the United States Armed Forces during WWII.