Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Rosslyn Brough “Ross” Mitchell (1880-1972)

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Rosslyn Brough Mitchell
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Physician, historian.

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.

Mitchell 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 was a founding member of the Manitoba Museum. In 1970, he was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society.

He and wife Della Harvey (1881-1976) had three children: Edith Mitchell (?-?, wife of George McIntosh), Jean Mitchell (?-?), and James Rosslyn “Jim” Mitchell (1920-2017, husband of Catherine Gertrude Clubb, daughter of William Reid Clubb). He was a member of the Canadian Club, Manitoba Club, Masons (Assiniboine Lodge No. 114), Manitoba Medical Association (President, 1931-1932), Canadian Medical Association, Society of Obstetricians and Gyneocologists, Augustine United Church, and Winnipeg Philatelic Society.

He died at Winnipeg on 10 December 1972 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Early Doctors of Red River and Manitoba
MHS Transactions, Series 3, 1947-48 Season

The Law Marched West
Manitoba Pageant, April 1957

The Young Artist of the Red River
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 3, Number 1, September 1957

Excerpt from “Medicine in Manitoba
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 3, Number 3, April 1958

Dr. John Rae
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 4, Number 1, September 1958

Wolseley’s Intelligence Officer: William Francis Butler (1838-1910)
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 4, Number 3, April 1959

John Christian Schultz, MD
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 5, Number 2, January 1960

Butlers Mission
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 6, Number 1, September 1960

John Higgins and Higgins Avenue
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 6, Number 2, January 1961

Brandon House
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 7, Number 2, January 1962

Peter Fidler
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 8, Number 3, April 1963

Making Birch Bark Talk
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 9, Number 2, January 1964

Frederick Philip Grove, 1871-1948
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 10, Number 1, Autumn 1964

Dr. William Cowan
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 10, Number 2, Winter 1965

Andrew Graham Ballenden Bannatyne, 1829-1889: First Citizen of Winnipeg
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 11, Number 1, Autumn 1965

Lord Dufferin
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 11, Number 2, Winter 1966

Mosquito Control in Winnipeg
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 12, Number 2, Winter 1967

Robert Logan of Red River
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 13, Number 2, Winter 1968

Admiral Sir Thomas Button
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 15, Number 3, Spring 1970


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 December 1972, page 35.

Obituary [James Rosslyn Mitchell], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 September 2017.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 April 2022

Memorable Manitobans

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