Tag Archives: Winnipeg General Hospital

Jesse Potter Duncan Boardman: Nurse

Jesse, the wife of Edmund James Boardman, the doctor, was a nurse.

Jesse is the one at the back of the portrait

Photo:  Jesse is probably the one standing in the very back indicate by the X.  The other nurses are unidentified.  I also do not know what nursing school they attended.

I am not familiar with the experiences of nurses in Canadian as I am with the U.S.  My mother Marjorie (Boardman) MacDonald and Aunt Eddie McDonald (dad’s sister) became nurses.  My mother she went to nursing school in Seattle at Virginia Mason, a hospital that still exists, and had to live in a dorm about 1937-1938.  That dorm was taken by the I-5 Freeway.  My Aunt Eddie had a similar experience around 1925 to 1928 in Spokane.  She attended Sacred Heart which also exists as a hospital. In those days to become a nurse you went to nursing school.  These nursing schools are gone now replaced by college and university programs. They have in some cases photographs like the one above and school documentation like attendance reports and grades. I contacted the Sacred Heart hospital and was able to see photographs and get the records of my Aunt Eddie.

I have not done any investigation into Jesse’s experience, but it would be very interesting.  Apparently there was a nursing school at St. Boniface Hospital opened by the nuns in 1897, maybe that is where she attended?

Apparently the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum has “The Canadian Nursing History Collection.”  Here is a link to a PDF about this collection:


Another PDF online listed other resources for researching the history of nursing in Canada.  Apparently there is the Manitoba Association for the History of Nursing.  This PDF was done in 2002 so things might have changed but it is a start.


Jesse appears in one article that I found in the Winnipeg Free Press for 11 February 1915.  “The nurses gave a reception to aid in the war effort and Mrs. E. J. Boardman served tea for the second hour.”  It references the Alumnae Association of the Winnipeg General Hospital.

When I saw the military uniform that James was wearing in the last post, I thought maybe he had also served in World War I.  I have searched the Library and Archives of Canada’s website regarding military service for him.  I did not find Edmund James, but I find his brother John!

I think it very interesting that Jesse is living with her parents in the 1916 Canadian Census and Edmund James is not with her.  This is a wonderful find regarding Jesse’s family the Duncans.

Line 14, 178, 179, Duncan, Jean, 48, 7, 3, Royal, Head, F, W, 69, Scotland, all Presby., 1871, Canadian, Scotch, yes, no, English, farmer. Line 15, 180, 180 Duncan Thomas, 48, 7, 3, Son, M. S, 35, Man, Canadian, Scotch, yes, no, English, Farmer. Line 16, 181, 181, Gray Georgina 48, 7, 3, Head, F, W, 33, Man. Line 17 Gray, Walter, Son, M, 3, 12, Eng. Line 18, 180, 180, Duncan, Harry, 48, 7, 3, all in Royal, Head, M, M, 33, Man, Farmer. Duncan, Haddie, wife, F, M, 23, Ont. Duncan, Elizabeth, Daughter, F, S, 4, Sask, Duncan, Thomas Hector, Son, M, S, 4/12 Sask. Duncan, Euphemia, Sister, F, S, 38, Man. Boardman, Jessie, Sister, F, M, 34, Man. Boardman, Jean, niec, F, S, 7, Man. Boardman, Edwin, Nephew, M, S, 5, Man.

Line 26, 181, 182, uncan, Duncan, Alexander, Head, M, M, 31, Man, Presby, Druggist. Line 27, 182, 182, Duncan, Gertrude, wife, F, M, 30, Man, Presby.

Source:  1916 Canadian Census, Family of Jean Duncan, North Battleford, Saskatchewan, pg. 15, S District #24, ED #17, 48-7-3, F.J. [Workboyo] enumerator, Ancestry.com.

Someday maybe I will get to Winnipeg and you can bet I will check out the alumnae offices of these hospitals which are usually a great place to find yearbooks and more.


Edmund James Boardman: Doctor and Surgeon!

Edmund James as a young man?

The photo above was in the family collection but nothing was written on the front or the back.  I believe it is Edmund James when he was a young man?  It was taken in Winnipeg at the Bryant’s Studio.  The Manitoba Historical Society website has a Manitoba Photographer’s Index and Bryant Studio’s is featured.  They operated in Winnipeg from 1904 to 1911.  I think this is James!

As I have mentioned Edmund James Boardman became a doctor and surgeon.

The city directories for Winnipeg indicate that he was starting the journey about 1897.  He would have been 19 years old at that time.  The directories indicate that he was a student from 1897 to 1899.  About 1901 he took a job as a clerk for the Commercial Union Assurance Co.  and worked for them to about 1904.   He must have entered medical school in 1903 or 1904 for he is listed as a medical student to about 1908.  He continued to live at 573 Logan Ave. which was his parents home.   (Note:  city directories can be about a year off in their timing.)

Below is another photograph that I believe is Edmund James Boardman at graduation.  It has Bryant Studios stamped in the bottom right corner.  Unfortunately the photo is not identified.   At this time I have not had the time to investigate further if there are yearbooks for the students, a newsletter or more?

Graduation Photo of E. James Boardman?

Just recently I learned that Edmund James was in the Army Medical Services for Manitoba, perhaps that is what this uniform represents in the photograph below.   He is listed for several years and there is probably more.  When I am in Ontario in the Spring I will ask the Library and Archives if they recognize the uniform?  I have not found anything on him for WWI at this time, I did find his brother John and I have pictures of him in military uniform?   (Just click on the pictures and they will open in another window, then click the back button to return.)  It was taken at Bryant Studios.

Source:  Canadian Militia and Defence Forces Lists, 1832, 1863-1939, pg. 232, 238,245, 251 in Military District No. 10.  At Ancestry.com.

  • pg. 232 Military District No. 10, Boardman, E.J. April 2, 1907, Army Medical Services
  • pg. 239 Field Ambulances No. XVI Headquarters Winnipeg, Man. Boardman, E.J. (lt. ) May 11, 1907 and for  Jan, 1908, and April 1908.

James in Military Uniform?

According to the city directories he was house surgeon for the Winnipeg General Hospital in 1908 and by 1909 he was listed as a physician.  This means he probably graduated about 1908.  It also means that he was very busy and he  jumped right into his new profession with the hospital and the military service.

According to a newspaper article of 28 August 1908 in the Winnipeg Free Press, Dr. Boardman  conducted an autopsy and presented evidence.

The inquest into the death of John Joseph Nichols will be re-opened at the St. Boniface police court at 8 p.m. this evening when the evidence of Dr. E. J. Boardman, of Winnipeg, will be given with regard to the result of the autopsy conducted by him. Other evidence will also be presented. Dr. Boardman has made an examination of the brain of the deceased, which he found to be in a normal state, to-day he will examine the contents of the flask found in the dead man’s pocket.” Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg “City and General.”

From 1909 to 1930 he is listed as a physician in the city directories for Winnipeg.  In the Manitoba Free Press he has frequent and continuous advertisements for his medical business at Logan Avenue.

On January 12, 1909 the Winnipeg Free Press has a small article where Dr. E.J. Boardman appears. He is assisting a Mrs. Annie Lue after an accident.  Poor girl how did she survive after?

“Mrs. Annie Lue, of 439 Alfred Street, a starcher employed at the Winnipeg laundry, had her left hand severely crushed between two rollers yesterday afternoon. Dr. Boardman attended her and she was removed to the General hospital, where it was found necessary to amputate the hand at the middle…(apparently I missed the rest of the article which was a small amount).”

Dr. E. J. Boardman seemed to be involved with some interesting cases because on August 1, 1918 he is again in the newspaper regarding a death:

“Given Proper Care – That general peritonitis was the cause of the death of Mrs. Victoria Doty, Suite 2, Johnson Court, Sargent Avenue, was the conclusion reached by Dr. E. J. Boardman, who made the post-mortem. The inquest was held Tuesday night, and the evidence of two medical men and three nurses showed that everything possible had been done for Mrs. Doty under the circumstances. Evidence of the relatives suggested that there had been neglect on the part of the doctors and nurses, but it was shown that the doctor had attended the patient five times in one day.”

I wonder if he was involved with a great many more of these types of cases from 1908 to 1918?

After that date, he took postgraduate studies specializing in urology.  He would have been 40 years old.

When I first started researching my great-uncle Edmund James Boardman, I struck out on compendiums for doctors both Canadian and US; however, time and the internet has opened many doors and just recently I started finding articles online at the Canadian Medical Association Journal written by Dr. E.J. Boardman and read by him. I took the chance and just put his name into the Google search engine and found several articles.

The first to appear was an article dated 22 June 1922:  “When to Operate on Renal Calculus.”  This article is online at the UK PubMedCentral, CMAJ JAMC 1922 October 12 (10) pg. 733-736 PMCID:PMC1706812.  I am sure there are more for my hubby is a doctor and he has written and presented papers and lectures at conferences and medical organizations.

I have discovered that Edmund James Boardman was President of the Manitoba Medical Association in Winnipeg from 1928 to 1929.

Source:  Manitoba Medicine (A Journal):  President of the Manitoba Medical Association 1928-1929, E.J. Boardman, Appendix 2 pg. 231.  pg. 485, Provincial Assoc. Notes Canadian Medical Journal 1928.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1709983/pdf/canmedaj00481-0008.pdf

“At the Annual Meeting of the Manitoba Medical Association: Dr. E. J. Boardman, of Winnipeg, was elected president. Dr. Boardman has had considerable experience in the work of the Manitoba Medical Association and will prove a most able presiding officer. The other officers for the coming year are: First vice-president, Dr. D. J. Fraser, Souris; second vice-president, Dr. W. L. Mann, Winnipeg; secretary, Dr. Bruce Chown; treasurer, Dr. D. C. Aikenhead. The last two were re-elected. Dr. J. S. Poole, Neepawa, and Dr. C. R. Rice, Winnipeg, were elected to the executive for the three-year term.

On February 17, 1928 he  read another paper he wrote before the Winnipeg Medical Society titled:

 “An Address on Diverticulosis of the Urinary Bladder,”  by E.J. Boardman, M.D.

Source:  “An Address on Diverticulosis of the Urinary Bladder,” E.J. Boardman, February 17, 1928, Journal List, Canadian Medical Association. J.V. 18 (6); June 1928, pg. 661-665 (PMCID: PMC1709679).  Downloaded Dec. 26, 2011 from the PubMedCentral, CMAJ, JAMC.

In 1930 at the Luncheon for the Manitoba Medical Association Meeting on September 12th he gave a speech titled “The Municipal Doctor.”

“At the luncheon on September 12th, Dr.Boardman delivered the presidential address, taking as his subject, “The municipal doctor”. This was an able bit of constructive criticism, and is of such importance that it is hoped to publish it in full shortly. Dr. Boardman made some suggestions, which he amplified upon, as a basis for discussion at the proposed conference. They are as follows:

1. That a minimum salary be set. In the matter of salary, he declared that setting a maximum salary, such as has been done in Saskatchewan, “would be pernicious “.

2. That the doctor be free to make the best ethical contract above the minimum for himself that is possible from year to year.

3. That the minimum salary be $3,000 annually, provided the municipality supply livery both winter and summer; without this that the minimum salary be $4,000.

4. That the municipal doctor, in every case and under all circumstances, be relieved from the collection of fees.

5. That the contract should provide for a minimum of two weeks’ holidays annually, with pay.

6. That a post-graduate course of a minimum of two weeks every four years be imperative, in addition to the two weeks’ holiday and also with pay.

Dr. Boardman’s suggestions will be handed to the new executive committee of the Medical Association for its consideration.”


Some how I feel I have only scratched the surface of the medical career of my great-uncle!

My Aunt Aileen was correct in her knowledge of her uncle.  I wonder if James and his wife Jesse, who was a nurse, influenced my mother Marjorie’s decision to become a nurse?  I do not know if my mother ever met them? The family had moved to Vancouver, B.C. by 1909 and she was born in 1911.  They left by 1917 for the U.S. while Edmund James stayed in Winnipeg.  I never thought to ask her! Sigh…!