Memorable Manitobans: David Young (1847-1931)
Born at Sarnia, Ontario on 18 February 1847, son of Archibald Young (1806-1881) and Helen Reid (1810-1892), he graduated in medicine from Queen’s University, Kingston, in 1871. He moved to Manitoba in June 1871 and practiced medicine at St. Andrew’s Rapids, near Lockport, making his home at Hawthorne Lodge on the banks of the Red River. He provided medical service for the Manitoba Penitentiary at Lower Fort Garry from 1871 to 1877. He was active during the scurvy epidemic that swept through the district following the grasshopper plague of 1875 and, a year later, was sent to fight an outbreak of smallpox that killed many Icelandic immigrants at Gimli.
In January 1877 he became Indian agent and medical officer for the Clandeboye Indian agency. In 1873, he acted as Captain and Medical Officer for the North West Mounted Police unit formed at Lower Fort Garry. In 1884 the provincial government appointed him medical superintendent of the mental hospital at Selkirk, completed in May 1886. He remained at the head of the institution until March 1912, when he retired to private life.
On 11 September 1872, he married Rosina Arabella Somerville (1847-1917) of Huntingdon, Quebec. They had five children: Richard Hunter Young, Mary Somerville Young (1878-1974, mother of Joseph Doupe), Walter Beatty Young, Philip Collamer Young (1883-1974), and Alexander Arthur Young.
He died at Winnipeg on 16 October 1931 and was buried in the Little Britain Cemetery, near his home. Many of his daily journals are at the Archives of Manitoba. He is commemorated by a plaque at Lower Fort Garry. A reception building at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre was named the Dr. David Young Building in 2009.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Oldest physician in Manitoba succumbs,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 October 1931.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
We thank Donald Young for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 17 June 2021