Memorable Manitobans: Rosslyn Brough “Ross” Mitchell (1880-1972)
Born at Winnipeg on 13 October 1880, son of James Bertram Mitchell and Helen Richmond Brough, he received his early education at Carlton School and graduated with a BA from Manitoba College in 1899. He taught school in rural Manitoba for two and a half years and in 1906 graduated from the Manitoba Medical College.
He was in general practice until the First World War when he served as a medical officer in a Casualty Clearing Station in Europe until 1918 and was mentioned in Dispatches. Following post-graduate training he returned to Winnipeg to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He and John McQueen started the first prenatal clinic in Manitoba, in 1921. He was elected a fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1921 and was a Governor of the College from 1949 to 1955. He was made a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1931. He was a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Manitoba. In 1956, he was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Manitoba. He held life memberships in the Canadian Medical Association and Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He was made an honourary fellow of United College in 1968.
He and wife Della Harvey (?-?) had three children: Edith Mitchell (?-?), Jean Mitchell (?-?), and James Rosslyn “Jim” Mitchell (1920-2017).
Mitchell found time to be involved in community affairs. He was recognized as an authority on Manitoba history, particularly in the history of medicine. His book, Medicine in Manitoba: The Story of its Beginnings, published in 1954, is still a useful reference today. His articles appeared in the Canadian Medical Journal, The Beaver, MHS Transactions, and Manitoba Pageant. He served on the Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba (c1952), was President of the Manitoba Historical Society (1951-1953), and became an honourary life member and served as its honourary president. He was an active member of the Civics Bureau of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Club of Winnipeg, and an honourary member of the Manitoba Club. He was a life member of the Masons (Assiniboine Lodge No. 114) and a member of Augustine United Church and the Winnipeg Philatelic Society. In 1970, he was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society.
He died in 1972 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Obituary [James Rosslyn Mitchell], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 September 2017.
Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 December 2018
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