Dr. Ethelbert Reavley was born in Ontario in 1863. After that, he moved around a lot: to Colorado, to the South African War, to Saskatchewan, to Europe to serve with the Canadian Medical Corps and Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War, and finally to Alberta. He retired right here in Spirit River, where he lived for 15 years.
During his travels, he honed his professional skills and patented a few military and medical devices. A 1906 patent for his New and Improved semi-flexible uterine curette survives online. An odd thing to be famous for, but if it worked as he supposed it would, it saved patients significant discomfort.
Does the Spirit River Museum’s medical collection include instruments from Dr. Reavley’s black bag?
From the Canadian Medical Association Journal of June, 1940:
Dr. Ethelbert Reavley of Spirit River, Alta., died on April 28th, 1940 at the age of 79. He graduated from McGill University in 1887, and the following year registered in Ontario. The call of the West came to him and he registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the North-West Territories in 1905 and opened an office in Rosthern. After some years in what is now Saskatchewan he moved to Steveville, Alta., later to Bowden, and then to the Peace River District. Ever a pioneer, he continued as such to the end. The profession knew him as a self-effacing, painstaking, conscientious, general practitioner. He was one of nature’s gentlemen, and his record of service to the indigent needy would be an inspiration to all.