Image of the City of Regina

William Rothwells (1837-1913) Margaret (Turnbull) Rothwell (1847-1928) and Dr. Oswald E. Rothwell (1879-1952)

Taking Strides for Education & Women

William, a seasoned educator, arrived in Moose Jaw in the Northwest Territories in 1890 to become principal of two schools. In 1892, he moved to Regina and established the Regina Model Class Institute, the first teacher training class in the Northwest Territories. He was also appointed an inspector of schools for the Western Assiniboia District where he traveled on lonely trails with faithful horses who never failed to reach their destination. William rewarded their efforts with generous supplies of sugar. William helped to forge the high standards of education we enjoy today.

Margaret, a gifted artist, joined her husband in Regina in 1892. She was active in church, community and the women’s movement. She was the first secretary of the Regina Council of Women from 1901 to 1905, and president from 1909 to 1913.

One of the couple’s three sons, Oswald, trained in psychiatry and was the first medical doctor at the Regina jail in 1912 where he worked for 15 years. He was the first director of the General Hospital’s psychiatric wing. William and Margaret also had four daughters.

Rothwell Street and Rothwell Crescent were named in honour of Dr. Rothwell.

Attracted by the educational development in the West, William traveled to Moose Jaw in 1890 after graduating from the University of Toronto as a specialist in classics and mathematics. A native of Dutton, Ont., he had taught for a few years in Perth, Ont., and then at Brantford Collegiate before accepting the principalship of the Union Schools in Moose Jaw. After serving in that position for two years, he moved to Regina in 1892 to become an instructor at the Regina Model Class Institute, the first teacher training class in the Northwest Territories. He rewarded his students’ correct answers with bull’s eye candies. Later that year, his family left Ontario and joined him in Regina.

A talented artist, Margaret soon established herself as a community leader. As the first secretary of the Regina Council of Women from 1901 to 1905, she inspired women to strive for equality, both at home and within society. After serving as RCW president from 1909 to 1913, she continued to work with the Knox Presbyterian Church and within Regina’s artistic community until her death.

Born in Brantford, Ont., their son and youngest child, Oswald, came to Regina with the family in 1892. After attending public school here, he enrolled at the University of Manitoba where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1901. Afterwards, he entered medical school at McGill University, receiving a degree in neuropsychiatric medicine in 1906.

After returning to Regina, he conducted his own general practice for a number of years before being appointed as physician of the Regina jail in 1912. After serving in that capacity for more than 15 years, he resigned in 1929 to become the first director of the General Hospital’s psychiatric wing, later known as the Monroe Wing. Afterwards, Dr. Rothwell became increasingly active in many medical organizations within the province.

A member of the Medical Council of Saskatchewan and an executive member of the Medical Council of Canada, he also served as president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan. Because of his prominence in the psychiatric field, Dr. Rothwell was often called to testify in murder trials and other legal cases throughout the province. In 1948, Dr. Rothwell was awarded a life membership within the Canadian Medical Association for his outstanding work in the field of psychiatric medicine. He was married to Mabel Jenny Young (1884-1956) of Regina in 1910.