Dr. Samuel Richardson – Early Galt Doctor

Dr. Samuel Richardson


Among the old “land marks” in the medical profession, in the county of Waterloo, is Dr. Samuel Richardson, forty years a practitioner in Galt. He is better known than almost any other man in the town, having been up and down the valley of the Grand river for a long period, a distance of twenty or thirty miles, and at an early day, much farther; and even now, with all the comparatively new settlers, there are very few families in a radius of ten or fifteen miles, that do not know the Doctor. He is a native of the county of Longford, Ireland, and was born February 3, 1809, his parents being Euchmuty and Jane (Moffatt) Richardson. He was educated at a clergyman’s school and Trinity, Dublin; there studied medicine; and was graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in that city, in 1834. In the autumn of the same year he embarked for the western world to follow his profession in Upper Canada, locating first at Guelph, and there practicing for five years. Many of his rides at this date were not only long, but extremely tedious. In 1839 the Doctor removed to Galt, then a small village; and in forty years has seen the country settle up with thrifty farmers, and Galt become a manufacturing town of perhaps 5000 inhabitants. Other doctors had preceded him, or soon followed him hither, but they have gone, some to other parts of the country, one, a pioneer, Dr. Robert Miller, back to England, and others to “that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns.”

Dr. Richardson has been in general practice, and made a comfortable living by his profession. He was seventeen years in the town council; has been deputy reeve and reeve; is holding the office of justice of the peace, and has long been a valuable citizen of the town. He is a member of Trinity Episcopal church, and has served as warden at different times. He is a Master Mason, but pays little attention to the meetings of the lodge.

The Doctor has been twice married, first in 1834 to Miss Mary Ann Brereton, of Dublin, Ireland, she dying in 1849 and the second time, in 1850, to Miss Annie Orr, of Galt. He has two children living by each wife.

The Canadian Biographical Dictionary


Death of Dr. Richardson – The feelings with which we write these words will be well understood by the people of Galt and surrounding country. A face and form associated with the town and its neighborhood ever since its earliest days has suddenly been removed by the hand of death. In chronicling the fact, we simply do our duty; but the present generation will have to pass away before its memory of the kind and worthy Doctor will be allowed to fade and grow dim, or the green spot he occupied in every heart becomes seared and withered.

The death of our old friend was sudden and unexpected. Apparently in the best of health he went about his usual avocations on Friday morning last, and in the course of the morning went up as far as the Post Office to receive his mail. Walking back to his residence again, he handed the papers to other members of his family, and went into his surgery. Returning in a few minutes he asked if there was any news, and these were the last words he was ever heard to utter. A gentleman calling to consult with him a short time afterwards, it was found that the Doctor was not in his surgery; but it was thought that he had stepped out into the garden and would be back in a few minutes, and the patient was asked to take a seat til he returned. He did so; but as the minutes flew by he began to get impatient and at last said that he would call again. It was at this time that the door of the drawing room was opened by a member of the family; and there, lying on the floor with his head resting on a sofa cushion lay the Doctor in an utterly unconscious condition. Everything that medical skill could suggest was done in the hope that he might rally; but as hour succeeded hour the fatal attack only more firmly secured its hold, had at half past 8 o’clock on Saturday morning he calmly breathed his last.

Dr. Richardson was born in Richmond County of Longford, Ireland, in the year 1808, and was consequently in his 74th year at the time of his death. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and came to Canada in the year 1835. When first he came to this country, he resided for some five years in Guelph, where his brother, Robert, and sister, Mrs. Geo. Harvey, still reside, removing to Galt about the year 1840. He has from that time been a constant resident of our town taking an active party in everything calculated to advance its interests. Able and enthusiastic in his profession, he rapidly attained to an extensive practice in Galt and surrounding country. For the long period of over forty years he was indefatigable in the discharge of his professional duties, never wearying when good could be done, or when he felt it his duty to attempt it. In all those years, while he was the rich man’s professional adviser he was essentially the poor man’s friend and if the record of his professional life could only be written, how eloquently it would speak of the sympathy which turned the Doctor into a friend the professional adviser into the beloved confidant. There is scarcely an old family in our midst today but what the members thereof bear the strongest feelings of love for the genial, hearty man who ministered to them in their distress or soothed the weary hours of those near and dear to them. He has now been called to the enjoyment of the perfect rest; but the memory of his long and active life will remain in our midst till time itself shall fade away with all those who knew him in life.

Notwithstanding the arduous duties of his profession, the Doctor found time to take an active part in Municipal affairs, and was for many years a member of the Town Council, finally resigning a few years ago. He held his seat in the stormy days of our Municipal politics, when feeling in the town n certain questions ran very high; but throughout it all he retained the respect and esteem of his constituents and townsmen generally. On one occasion, if we are not mistaken, he was elected Deputy-Reeve, and served the town in that capacity with his accustomed ability. He was also an enthusiastic Oddfellow in the days of the old Galt lodge, and occupied the position of Treasurer therein up to the time of its breaking up.

Dr. Richardson was twice married, his first wife dying about the year 1848. He afterwards married Miss A. Orr, formerly of Stratford, who still survives. By his first marriage he had six children, two of whom are yet living – Mr. A. Richardson, of San Francisco, and Mrs. J. Dowker, of Chicago. By his second marriage he also had four children, two of whom are living – Mr. S. Richardson, of Galt, and Mr. John A. Richardson, of the Imperial Bank, Toronto. The Doctor’s house was always his castle; and in social life it was his aim, as well as that of his bereaved partner in life, to make their friends feel that they were indeed friends in the broadest meaning of the term. The funeral Took place on Monday afternoon, all the places of business being closed as the cortege passed through the streets on its way to Trinity Church Cemetery.

Galt Reporter 29 Sep 1882 pg 1


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s