Ontario Veterinary College: A Chronology, 1862-2012

During the Ontario Veterinary College Sesquicentennial, June 15, 2012, eight speakers, including veterinarians, laboratory scientists, and historians, focused on the theme, “Cross-Border Connections in Canadian & U. S. Veterinary History.” Along with the program, the following timeline of OVC’s history was presented.


Andrew Smith begins lecturing on veterinary medicine in Toronto.


First class graduated, Robert Robinson, William Elliot, and George Kempchell.


Smith’s lecture notes are published as the first Canadian veterinary medical textbook.


John Gunion Rutherford (OVC ‘1879) named Veterinary Director General of Canada becoming instrumental in creating federal meat inspection laws.


Francis Schofield graduates and goes to Korea as a medical missionary, coming into conflict with Japanese occupiers. From 1921-55, he taught pathology at OVC, becoming renowned for linking a bleeding disease in sheep and cattle to moldy sweet clover. That research led to development of vitamin K inhibitors now used worldwide to control blood- clotting.


Canadian Army Veterinary Corps is established with several OVC students and graduates serving in its ranks during the first World War.


Omega Tau Sigma fraternity established at OVC.


C. D. McGilvray appointed OVC Principal, playing a key role in OVC’s accreditation by the U. S. Bureau of Animal Industry and the American Veterinary Medical Association.


OVC moves from Toronto to Guelph, Ontario.


OVC graduates its first woman, Elizabeth Barrie.


Carpenter. Frank Côté (OVC ’26) begins teaching small-animal

medicine at OVC.


Inter-class hockey (Challenge Cup) formalized with C. D. McGilvray gift.


OVC Student Wives Auxiliary forms.


OVC Alumni Association formed.


Jack Côté (OVC ’51) begins farm service service at OVC.


Donald Barnum and F. H. S. Newbould publish research on the use of antibiotics for treating bovine mastitis.


James Archibald becomes head of the Small Animal Clinic and introduces aseptic conditions for all OVC surgeries.


OVC becomes part of the newly-formed University of Guelph.


OVC Pet Trust Fund is established to support applied clinical research, its first major achievement being the funding of the College’s first cobalt radiation unit.


Patricia Shewen and Bruce Wilkie develop a vaccine for shipping fever, which became the most commercially successful patented veterinary medicine.


Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses opens, providing research into diseases transmissible between animals and humans.


Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation (ICCI) opens.


Hill’s Pet Nutrition Primary Healthcare Centre Opens.


Sesquicentennial of the Ontario Veterinary College

On Friday June 15, about forty-five people gathered at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in Guelph, Ontario, for a day-long historical program marking the 150th anniversary of the College’s founding.

Brian Derbyshire organized the day’s events, sponsored jointly by the OVC and the American Veterinary Medical History Society. ” Eight speakers, including veterinarians, laboratory scientists, and historians, focused on the theme, “Cross-Border Connections in Canadian & U. S. Veterinary History.”

Brian Derbyshire introduced the theme; Terry Crowley described 19th-century student life through the eyes of an American student; Dean Percy examined connections in pathology; Lisa Cox assayed bovine tuberculosis in Ontario and neighboring New York state; Elizabeth Stone examined the history of OVC women; John Prescott provided a biography of pathologist Frank Schofield; Phil Teigen examined the lives of two veterinarians trained in Canada who then established careers in Washington, DC; and Ian Barker concluded the day’s program with an account of the past present and future of the C. A. V. Barker Museum of Canadian Veterinary History. Helen and Zbigniew Wojcinski, graduates of OVC and now veterinary scientists in Michigan, ably moderated the entire program.