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.
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. He was named to the Hall of Fame of the Red River Valley Historical Society (1968) and received a Manitoba Centennial Medal from the Manitoba Historical Society (1970).
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.
His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“An honor for doctor,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 May 1968.
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: 24 March 2023