Dr. William D. Mcdougall, actively engaged in the practice of medicine in San Jose and serving as health officer of that city, wa born in Porter township on the bank of the Niagara river in Niagara county, New York, January 9, 1857. He is a son of Allen Stephen and Mary E. (Eaton) McDougall. The father was a native of Scotland and in his boyhood days accompanied his parents who crossed the Atlantic from the land of the heather to Canada, settling there about 1825. After his marriage the father removed to New York and devoted his life to the ministry as a clergyman of the Baptist church. He died while serving as pastor of the church of that denomination in Ransomville, New York.
Dr. McDougall had one brother and two sisters, and like the other members of the family he pursued his early education in the public schools of Canada. He afterward attended the academy at Drummondsville, Ontario, and at the age of twenty he put aside his text books bearing upon literary subjects, for the three years following engaged in mercantile pursuits, and then took up the study of medicine, entering the medical department of the University of Buffalo, in which he was graduated with the class of 1882, the degree of Doctor of Medicine being conferred upon him at that time.
Dr. McDougall located for practice in Monroe county, New York, where he remained as a representative of his profession until 1887. He then came to California, arriving in this state in the month of January. Opening an office in San Jose, he has since continued here and has won for himself an enviable position as a representative of the medical fraternity. During the small-pox epidemic of 1888-9 he was appointed by the county as small-pox physician, and the excellent work which he did in this connection and the bravery which he displayed in treating this infectious disease brought him into prominence. In 1891 he was appointed county physician to fill out an unexpired term, in 1892 he was elected to that office and again in 1893. In 1902 he was appointed commissioner on the board of health, and in 1902 was elected by that body as health officer for a term of four years.
In 1894 was celebrated the marriage of Dr. McDougall and Mrs. Annie E. Root, the widow of Dedus Root of Indianapolis, Indiana, and a daughter of james E. Robertson, who was a pioneer settler of that state. Her father was for many years a wholesale grocer of Indianapolis. In his social relations the doctor is a Knight of Pythias, and belongs to the Society of British Californians. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party.
Deeply interested in the welfare of his adopted state and with a keen recognition of its possibilities and advantages, Dr. McDougall has become an active factor in fruit culture and now owns an orchard of about forty acres, having cleared the land and planted it to prune trees. His annual fruit crops add materially to his income. His chief attention, however, is given to his professional duties, in the discharge of which he has won high favor both by reason of his skill and his marked devotion to his calling. Any subject that bears upon his profession and tends to make the labors of the physician more effective and far-reaching elicits his earnest attention, and he is ever ready to adopt any new method or remedy that he believes will contribute to the success of the medical fraternity.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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