C.A. Webster fonds

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C.A. Webster fonds

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  • Variations in title: Formerly known as Dr. C.A. Webster papers.

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MG 1 Vol. 2446, 2449 Accession 1986-546; MG 3 Vol. 3975 to 3982, 3984 to 3985, 3989, 3995D, E-3998, 4960 to 4962, 4972, Accession 1997-114; Graphic: 1985-117.

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Physical description area

Physical description

  • 1.2 m of textual records
  • 78 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles Ashton Webster was born at Yarmouth, N.S. on 1 June 1864, son of John L.R. Webster (1835-1885), MD and Helen Ogilvie (Geddes) Webster. He received his early education in Yarmouth and attended the Halifax Medical College. In 1886 he was admitted to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. As an intern, he spent eighteen months on Randalls Island, N.Y. at the Infants' and Randalls Island Hospitals. Dr. Webster settled in Yarmouth in October 1887 where he resumed his late father's general practice and also performed a large share of surgical work in Yarmouth County. He was appointed medical officer for the federal Department of Marine and Fisheries in 1899 and health officer by the Town of Yarmouth in February 1909, coinciding with a small pox outbreak. He was made a fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1917 and was active in the Canadian Medical Association and several other professional, civic, and charitable organizations. Webster also took an active interest in horse breeding, and was largely connected with the introduction of the Hackney and Clydesdale horses into Yarmouth County. He and his wife, Mary Page, daughter of Alexander S. and Ellen C. (Page) Murray of Pugwash, N.S., married 1 February 1912 and had six children: Mary Elizabeth, John Alexander, Ellen Page, Geddes Murray, Robert McNaught,and David Richan.

Custodial history

Business records of Dr. C.A. Webster and his father, with those of his grandfather Dr. Thomas O. Geddes and Dr. James Geddes, were discovered in the attic of Dr. Webster's residence on Main Street, Yarmouth, ca. 1979 as his children were clearing out the house for sale. C.A. Webster's youngest daughter, Ellen Webster of Halifax, donated the records to the archives in 1979, followed by additional items in 1986 and the two journals of C.A. Webster in 1997. Negatives and additional textual material in volume 2446 and 2449 were donated in 1985 by Mrs. J.E. Tremayne of Rockwood, Ont., eldest daughter of C.A. Webster.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of ledgers and account books documenting Dr. Webster's medical practice in Yarmouth, N.S. and surrounding communities. Includes account book, 1897-1901, and record book of admittance for the Marine Hospital at Bunkers Island, 1910-1942, which contain name of vessel, where from, name of seamen admitted, disease, dates of admission and discharge; and two journals, 1909, kept while Webster was health officer for Yarmouth, describing small pox occurences and patients and actions taken. Fonds also includes day books, ledgers and account books of his father Dr. John L.R. Webster, dating from 1858, whose practice he took over in 1887. Day books list the names of patients or head of households in Yarmouth and surrounding communities, treatments and prescriptions given, and charge for the visit. For some patients, their residence, occupation, and family information is also provided and illnesses such as diptheria, typhoid, and small pox are indicated. Also includes scrapbook of invoices for medical supplies purchased by Dr. John L.R. Webster, 1870-1882; memo book entitled 'Obstetrics memorandum', 1857-1891, which contains dates and names of women who delivered (after 1880, only the father's name included), the sex of the child, infant deaths, birth abnormalities, and positions; notebook kept while at Randalls Island Infant Hospital which also contains newspaper clippings concerning medical practice and profession; newspaper clippings, pamphlets, speeches, negatives, and other items pertaining to horse breeding, shows, and sales, 1900-1937; and log book entitled 'U.S.A Hospital Department' concerning patients of the U.S. Army General Hospital at Camp Frederick, Maryland, 1862.

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Physical condition

Several day books and account books in poor physical condition.

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Transcripts of journals received with the fonds available.

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Finding aids

File list available for MG 1 Vol. 2446. See I:\Shared\NSA\Finding Aids (Scanned)\MG 001\W (Wade - Wynniatt)\Webster, Charles A..pdf

Associated materials

See also the Thomas O. Geddes fonds for more records relating to the practice of medicine in Yarmouth, N.S.

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