William Hodgson Ellis

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William Hodgson Ellis

William Hodgson Ellis
WH Ellis, c.1880

In office

Preceded by
Succeeded by

Born November 23, 1845(1845-11-23)
Derbyshire, England, UK
Died August 23, 1920(1920-08-23) (aged 74)
Lake Joseph, Muskoka Lakes, Ontario, Canada
Nationality British
Discipline Natural Science
Fields Applied Chemistry
Education B.A., 1867
M.A., 1868
M.B., 1870
Alma mater University of Toronto

William Hodgson Ellis (1845-1920) was a Professor of Applied Chemistry at the School of Practical Science from its founding in 1878 until his retirement in 1919. He was the second Professor appointed to the School (after John Galbraith), and served as the Dean of Engineering from 1914-1919.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Early Life[edit | edit source]

William Hodgson Ellis was born on November 23, 1845 in Holme Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire, England (near Chatsworth and Haddon Hall). He was the son of the resident physician, John Eimeo Ellis, and his wife, who was the only daughter of Mr. Joseph Hodgson of Holme Hall. John Eimeo Ellis graduated from the University of London in 1839 with the gold medal in Anatomy and Physiology. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1840. He emigrated with his family to the State of Illinois in 1857 and then to Toronto in 1859.

Education[edit | edit source]

Ellis entered University College at the University of Toronto in 1863, receiving his B.A. in 1867 with the Gold Medal in Natural Science. He obtained his M.A. in 1868 and his M.B. (Bachelor of Medicine) in 1870. Following his education in Toronto, he went to London, England and obtained a position on the house staff of St. Thomas' Hospital, securing his L.R.C.P. in the autumn of 1871, when he returned to Canada.

University of Toronto[edit | edit source]

Ellis teaching at the SPS

He settled down to practice his profession, but was immediately offered the position of lecturer in chemistry in Trinity College, and shortly afterwards he undertook similar duties in the newly-founded School of Technology. This latter institution became in 1877 The Ontario School of Practical Science in which he was Assistant Professor of Chemistry. In 1887 he became Professor of Applied Chemistry, a position which he held till his retirement.

In 1907, when the School of Practical Science became the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering of the University of Toronto, he was made head of instruction in chemistry for the whole University. After the death of Dean John Galbraith in 1914, he was made Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science, from which position he retired in 1919.

In the Medical Faculty, he held the position of Professor of Toxicology and Medical Jurisprudence from 1897 to 1913, when he was obliged to resign owing to the pressure of other work. For more than 30 years he was retained by the Attorney-General of Ontario as analyst and expert toxicologist in connection with criminal cases. During the same period he was Public Analyst for the Inland Revenue Department.

Honours and Later Life[edit | edit source]

The variety and pressing nature of his daily work prevented him from writing any extensive scientific treatises; but numerous papers from his pen are to be found in the Transactions of the Canadian Institute, the Report of the Bureau of Mines and in the Transactions of the Royal Society.

In 1915 he was honoured by the University of Toronto with the degree LL.D., and in 1917 a similar honour was conferred upon him by McGill University.

In 1917 he was made Honorary Member of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He was a fellow of the Institute of Chemistry, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

He was an ex-president of the Royal Canadian Institute, and ex-chairman of the Canadian Section of the Society of Chemical Industry.

Ellis passed away on August 23, 1920 while enjoying a holiday with his friend Dr. Rudolf on Lake Joseph in the Muskoka district.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]