Dr. George Acheson was born on the 23rd of August, 1859 in Galt, Ontario. He was the eldest of 3 children born to the Rev. Robert Acheson and the former Selina Strain. His father was a Methodist Minister and his siblings were; Belinda and Selina. Dr. Acheson attended Galt Grammar School. He was the recipient of the Dufferin Medal for his scholastic proficiency.
Dr. Acheson graduated with an arts degree from The University of Toronto in 1880. He was awarded the gold medal in natural sciences upon his graduation. Dr. Acheson became a science teacher at the Toronto Collegiate Institute for 1 year. He continued his education and achieved his M.A. in 1883 and graduated from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine with honors in 1887. Following his graduation, Dr. Acheson served as House Surgeon at Toronto General Hospital. He was appointed to the Examining Board of the Ontario Medical Council in 1888. Dr. Acheson also lectured in pathology at Toronto Women’s College. He served as a member of the Board of Examiners for the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Dr. Acheson married Louisa Mary Phymister on the 3rd of December, 1890 in Westmount, Quebec. Mrs. Acheson was born in Quebec on the 9th of March, 1866, the 2nd of 4 children born to James Phymister and the former Mary Taylor. Her father was a bookkeeper and her siblings were; Agnes Kilman Phymister, William John Phymister and Isabel Brown Phymister.
In 1891, Dr. and Mrs. Acheson were living in York, Ontario. Their daughter Evelyn Mary Crawford Acheson was born in York on the 29th of September, 1891. By 1894, the Acheson family were living in Galt, Ontario where 3 more children were born. Helen McMaster Acheson was born on the 25th of April, 1894, Aileen Isabel Acheson was born on the 11th of April, 1899 and Arthur Roberts Phymister Acheson was born on the 29th of November, 1900.
In 1893, Dr. Acheson purchased the medical practice of Dr. George Sylvester in Galt.
In 1909, Dr. Acheson and his family were living in Bothwell at 153 Oak Street and he was practicing medicine in the Bothwell area.
Dr. Acheson moved his family to 9 Proctor Blvd., in Hamilton, Ontario around 1915.
Dr. Acheson had a long history of serving his country with the militia. While he was in university he enlisted with the Queen’s Own Rifles in 1876. Dr. Acheson rose through the ranks starting as a Private and by the time he entered WWI, he was a Colonel. On his medical history sheet he was described as 5’10” tall and he weighed 165 pounds. Through the war he served at Camp Niagara in 1915 and Exhibition Camp in 1916. Dr. Acheson’s service moved to Administration Casualties from 1916 until January 1st of 1918. He served with the Headquarters Staff M.D. No 2 until he was struck off strength due to demobilization on the 29th of February, 1920. Dr. Acheson retired from the Army Reserve in 1923 and held the rank of Brigadier General.
Dr. Acheson’s daughter Evelyn enlisted in the Canadian Armed Services during World War I. She enlisted in Hamilton on the 16th of October, 1916 and she served as a graduate nurse in Canada and in England. She fell ill and she was discharged from service as medically unfit on the 27th of October, 1919. Dr. Acheson’s son Arthur enlisted in Toronto on the 8th of January, 1918. Arthur’s year of birth was recorded as 1899, which made him barely 17 years old. He survived the war and returned home safely.
In 1922 Dr. and Mrs. Acheson moved to Kingston, New Brunswick. In 1925, they moved to St Martins, N.B. In early 1929, Dr. Acheson’s health began to fail and they moved back to Ontario, settling in Hamilton.
Dr. Acheson died at Hamilton General Hospital on the 26th of November, 1929. Mrs. Acheson died in Hamilton on the 6th of October, 1942. Dr. and Mrs. Acheson were buried at Mountview Cemetery, 80 Blenheim Road in Cambridge (formerly Galt) Ontario.
*Mrs. Acheson’s brother William John Phymister served with the United States Armed Services during WWI.