Dr. John Golden was born on the 31st of May, 1843 in Rathscanlon, Ireland. He was the youngest of 8 children born to Richard Jasper Golden and the former Annie Black. His parents were farmers and his siblings were; Maria, Jasper, Sarah, Richard, Ann, Frances “Fanny” and Elizabeth. Dr. Golden was born with a cleft lip. He had corrective surgery in a city hospital when he was about 8 years old. This information was documented in a letter from his brother Richard to his brother Jasper. (This letter is still in the family’s possession today). Further, Dr. Golden contracted scarlet fever as a child which nearly killed him and severely scarred his lungs.
Dr. Golden and his parents immigrated to Essex County, Ontario in 1852. His brother Jasper and his sisters Sarah and Maria had immigrated to Canada in 1850. In 1852, Dr. Golden and his family settled on Lot 3, Concession 7 His parents farmed in the former Anderdon Twp, Essex County. Dr. Golden’s mother died in 1857 and his father died in 1875. They were buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Amherstburg (Essex County).
Dr. Golden graduated M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1869 and returned to Essex County to begin his medical practice.
His wife Mary Jane Jackson was also born on the 31st of May, but in 1848, five years after Dr. Golden. Therefore it was appropriate that they married on their mutual birthdays, on the 31st of May, 1870, in Chatham. Mrs. Golden was the 4th of 9 children born to Thomas and Mary Jane Jackson. Her parents were farmers and she was raised in the Township of Tilbury West, (Essex County) Ontario. Her siblings were; Sarah, Edward, Samuel, Susannah, Matilda, Thomas, Joseph and Robert.
According to the 1878 Ontario Medical Register Dr. Golden joined the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 28th of April, 1873 and his medical practice was located in Comber (Essex County).
Dr. and Mrs. Golden had 3 children. Their daughter Charlotte Golden was born on the 27th of February, 1871 in Tilbury West Township. Their son, John Stanley Golden was born on the 20th of July, 1874 also in Tilbury West Township. Their son George Charles Golden was born on the 15th of August, 1885 in Blenheim. Dr. Golden was listed in the 1885 Ontario Business Directory as practicing in Blenheim and according to the 1891 census, the family was living in Blenheim.
By 1901, the Golden family was living in the Village of Highgate.
In 1902, Dr. Golden, his wife and his son George immigrated to the Fresno, California area. The drier climate in California helped Dr. Golden’s breathing, since he still felt the effects of the scarlet fever that nearly took his life as a child. The Golden family settled in the community of Fowler where he opened a medical office in his home. Dr. Golden opened a satellite medical office in the town of Bowles, which is located a short distance from Fowler. Their daughter Charlotte joined them in California in 1903.
Mrs. Golden assisted her husband in his medical practice whenever she was needed. She was active in civic affairs in her community and in their church.
Dr. Golden tended to his patients in a horse drawn carriage. He carried his medical bag and an 1860 Colt ball and cap pistol. Not long before his death, he purchased an automobile.
Dr. Golden completed documents in 1910 to become a naturalized citizen in California. On those documents, Dr. Golden described himself as 5’9″ tall, 175 lbs with grey hair and blue eyes. Dr. Golden also wrote on that form that he had a cleft lip.
Dr. Golden died on the 26th of April, 1922. His wife, Mary Jane died on the 16th of May, 1922, less than a month after her husband. Dr. and Mrs. Golden were buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Fresno, California.
*Dr. Golden’s daughter Charlotte Golden became a school teacher. After she moved to Fowler, California she taught at Sanger Elementary School. In 1915 she moved to Fresno and taught school there. She retired prior to 1940. Eventually her brother George moved in with her. Charlotte died in 1951 and she was buried in the family plot next to her parents. Dr. Golden’s son John “Stanley” Golden (and family) moved from Dryden, Ontario to Fresno, California after the death of his parents. He died in 1957. Dr. Golden’s son George Charles Golden never married. He died in Fresno, California in 1961.
**Dr. Golden’s son George Charles Golden became an ordained Episcopal Minister. Dr. Golden’s grandson John Cooper Golden became a dentist.
Tombstone Photo Credit: Marilyn