Dr. William Norrie Robertson was born in Downie Township (Perth County), Ontario on the 18th of February, 1858. Dr. Robertson was the 4th of 5 children born to William Robertson and the former Jessie Webster Norrie. His parents were born and raised in Scotland and after their marriage they had 2 children, George Robertson and Susan Robertson in Scotland before they immigrated to Canada. They settled in Perth County, Ontario and had 3 more children, Margaret H. Robertson, Dr. Robertson and Alexander Robertson. Dr. Robertson received his primary education in the village of Monkton (Perth County).
Dr. Roberton graduated from Pickering College in 1875 and took a teaching position in Collingwood Twp, (Grey County) for a short time before becoming a book-keeper for 5 years. Dr. Robertson graduated from Trinity Medical College in 1884. He took post-graduate courses in Edinburgh, Scotland graduating in 1885. Dr. Robertson became a ship’s surgeon on a steamship that travelled between Liverpool, England and Bombay, India.
According to the 1891 census, Dr. Robertson was living and practicing medicine in Stratford, Ontario.
Dr. Robertson married Jane Anne Monteith on the 30th of March, 1892 in Downie Township. Mrs. Robertson was born in Downie Township on the 21st of March, 1858. She was the 4th of 7 children born to Samuel Monteith and the former Annie Jane Nelson. Her siblings were; Elizabeth Gibson Monteith, Frances Matilda Monteith, John Monteith (who died in infancy), Mary C. Monteith (who died in early childhood), Margaret C. Monteith (who died at the age of 15 months old) and Samuel Nelson Monteith.
Dr. and Mrs. Robertson had a son, William Nelson Robertson who was born in Stratford on the 6th of May, 1895.
Dr. Robertson was known to be practising medicine in Wallaceburg, Ontario in 1897. While living in Wallaceburg, Dr. and Mrs. Robertson had another son, Albert Norrie Monteith Robertson who was born on the 26th of April, 1897. Sadly, Albert died on the 11th of March, 1899 in Stratford and he was buried at Avondale Cemetery in Stratford.
Dr. Robertson travelled to the Yukon during the gold rush and published a book in later years entitled, “Yukon Memories: Sourdough Tales of Chaos and Changes in the Klondike”. It captures his memories of his time in the Yukon between 1898 – 1899. Dr. Robertson was an avid cyclist and held a number of Canadian cycling records. In his obituary in the Canadian Medical Journal (April 1934), it mentions that, “He held the 100 mile road record having covered the distance in 5 hours and 50 minutes; and the 24-hour record of 255.5 on the road, and the Toronto-Sarnia record of 209 miles in 18 hours and 20 minutes.” Dr. Robertson published a book in 1894 called “Cycling”; extolling the health benefits of riding a bicycle.
In 1901, Dr. and Mrs. Robertson and their son William were living in Stratford. In 1911, Dr. Robertson was the Medical Officer for the northern section of the Canadian Northern Railway. Dr. and Mrs. Robertson and William were listed on the Algoma East census.
Dr. Robertson died at St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto, Ontario on the 19th of February, 1934. Mrs. Robertson died on the 29th of November, 1936. At the time of her death, she resided with her son at 124 Hiawatha Road in Toronto. Dr. and Mrs. Robertson were buried at Avondale Cemetery in Stratford, where most of Mrs. Robertson’s family were buried.
*Dr. Robertson’s son William Nelson Robertson became a lawyer. He died in 1958 and he was buried at Avondale Cemetery.