Dr. William “Edgar” Robertson was born on the 25th of May, 1878 in Milton, Ontario. He was the youngest of 6 children born to Dr. David Robertson and the former Jennette 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 Edgar Robertson siblings were; Edwin Alexander Robertson (who died at the age of 3 1/2 of scarlet fever), Mary Carlotta Robertson, Agnes Gertrude Robertson, Clara Jennette Robertson (who died as an infant in 1874) and Mabel Clover Robertson.
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 Vashti Smith on the 29th of May, 1906 in York Co. She was born on the 27th of March, 1873 in the small community of Millbank (Perth County), Ontario. She was the 2nd of 7 children born to Rev. Nathaniel Smith and the former Anne Theresa Drake. Her father was a Weslyan Minister and her siblings were; Francis Drake Smith, Chelta P. Smith, Gervase Floyd Smith, Myrtle B. Smith and Percival “Reginald’ Smith and Reginald Goldwin Smith. 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.
**Dr. Robertson’s sister Mabel Clover Robertson married Dr. Clarence W. Field. He graduated M.D.,C.M. from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1905. He practiced medicine in Alberta.
**Mrs. Gladden Robertson’s brother, Ernest Morrison Ewers served with the United States Armed Forces during WWII.