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 had 4 older sisters; Mary, Agnes, Clara (who died as an infant in 1874) and Mabel. An older 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 (Kent County) 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, 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 Albert and Emma Ewers. Her father was a Presbyterian Minister and she had an older brother named Ernest. 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. She became a teacher. On the 7th of December, 1915 Gladden Ewers submitted an application in Illinois, for a passport to travel to China to be a missionary.
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 on the 15th of January, 1939. He was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Milton. Mrs. Gladden Robertson died on the 31st of March, 1968 in Milton. She was also buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
*Dr. Robertson’s son Struan also became a physician.