Ontario's Historical Plaques 


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Colonel Darby Bergin 1826-1896

Colonel Darby Bergin 1826-1896

Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted October 2017

Colonel Darby Bergin 1826-1896

 

Colonel Darby Bergin 1826-1896

Plaque Location

The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
The City of Cornwall
In the graveyard of Precieux Sang (Precious Blood)
Catholic Church, 18314 County Road 2


Coordinates: N 45 01.956 W 74 38.290

Map

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Plaque Text

Bergin was born in York (Toronto) and received his medical degree from McGill College in Montreal. He practised medicine in Cornwall, where he also assisted at a local typhus hospital. He later worked with the Mohawks of Akwesasne during a devastating smallpox outbreak. Bergin was elected Member of Parliament in 1872. He was a passionate and early advocate for rural affairs, public health and social justice. His innovative efforts and political appeals to improve workplace conditions and reduce the hours of work for women and children influenced future successful labour reform in Canada. A lifelong supporter of the militia, he was the first commanding officer of the 59th Stormont and Glengarry Battalion. In 1885, he became Canada's first Surgeon General, laying the groundwork for the creation of a permanent medical corps. A promoter of local industry, he played an important role in the expansion of the Cornwall Canal and founded the Ontario Pacific Railway. After his death, Bergin was honoured with one of the largest public funerals ever held in Eastern Ontario.

Related Ontario plaque
Cornwall Canal

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