Charles Brenton Huggins, M.D. (1901–1997)

   Charles Brenton Huggins was Canadian born and raised in Halifax and Parrsboro in the Maritime province of Nova Scotia. He received his B.A. degree at Acadia University in Wolfville in the Annapolis Valley. After earning his M.D. degree from Harvard, he interned at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. Dr. Huggins pursued a career in physiology and cancer research at the University of Chicago, specializing in prostate cancer. He was awarded the 1966 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering in 1941 that hormones could be used to control the spread of some cancers. Dr. Huggins returned to Wolfville to serve as Chancellor of Acadia University from 1972–1979.

Please note that some of the links in this sketch open in new windows. The footnote references are hyperlinked to the Sources section at the bottom of this page.

Charles Brenton Huggins was born on the 22nd September 1901 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was the elder son of Charles Edward Huggins (1867–1912) and Bessie M. Spencer (1876–1919). [1] [2] He was the great grandson of William Huggins (c.1749–1802) and Sarah Kennedy of Coalisland, county Tyrone.

In 1911, the Spencer-Huggins household was enumerated as follows:

  • Charles Huggins, male, head, married, born in December 1868, age 42, born in Nova Scotia, race: Scotch, Canadian, Presbyterian, Druggist (22 years, on own account), life insurance $3000, reads and writes, speaks English
  • Bessie, female, wife, married, born in July 1881, age 30, born in Nova Scotia, race: English, Canadian, Baptist, reads and writes, speaks English
  • Brenton, male, son, single, born in Septmember 1901, age 9, born in Nova Scotia, race: Scotch, Canadian, Baptist
  • Victor, male, son, single, born in November 1908, age 4, born in Nova Scotia, race; Scotch, Canadian, Baptist
  • census place: 5 Brenton Place, Halifax, Nova Scotia [2] 

Charles’ father died in his forty-fifth year in 1912, having caught scarlet fever after nursing his young sons through the same malaise. [3] His mother remarried in 1916, but succumbed to encephalitis in 1919, aged forty-three years. [4] Charles was one month shy of his eighteenth birthday while Victor, his brother, was nearly thirteen.

After their mother’s death, Charles and his brother, Victor, boarded with Clinton Cook and Emily Cook née Spencer, their maternal aunt, in Parrsboro, as shown in the following enumeration from the 1921 census:

  • Clinton Cook, head, male, white, married, age 66, born in New Brunswick, both parents born in New Brunswick, nationality: Canada
  • Emily Cook, wife, female, married, age 50, born in Nova Scotia, father born in Nova Scotia, mother born in USA, nationality: Canadian
  • Victor Huggins, nephew, male, single, age 14, born in Nova Scotia, both parents born in Nova Scotia, nationality: Canada, speaks English, reads and writes, Baptist, Student
  • Olive Wickwire, boarder, female, ...
  • Carol D[-]nock, boarder, male, ...
  • Charles Huggins, boarder, male, single, age 19, born in Nova Scotia, both parents born in Nova Scotia, nationality: Canada, speaks English, reads and writes, Baptist, Student
  • Doris Starrett, lodger, ...
  • Daniel Beaton, boarder, ...
  • Victor Durric, boarder, ...
  • census place: Church Street, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia [5] 

From this date, the life and notable career of Charles Brenton Huggins are very well documented. A few biographical details, therefore, will conclude this sketch:

  • On the 29th July 1927, Charles married Miss Margaret Wellman of Jackson, Michigan, in Toledo, Ohio. [6] 
  • In 1933, while a resident of Chicago, Dr. Huggins applied for naturalization as a U.S. citizen. [7] 
  • Charles and Margaret raised two children, Charles Edward Huggins (1929–1990), and Emily Wellman Fine, née Huggins.
  • Margaret Huggins, née Wellman, died on the 20th March 1983 in Chicago. She was in her seventy-ninth year. [8] 
  • Charles Brenton Huggins, M.D., died in Chicago on the 12th January 1997, at the venerable age of ninety-five. [9] 

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Links:

Sources:

1.

Province of Nova Scotia (Canada). Application for Registration of a Birth. Charles Brenton Huggins, born 22 September 1901 at Halifax, son of Charles Edward Huggins and Bessie Spencer, no. 1, Poplar Grove, Halifax. Application made by Charles Brenton Huggins in August, 1966; submitted letters from the Board of School Commissioners of Halifax (stating that he had attended the Halifax Academy), Acadia University, the Public Archives (including a transcription of a birth notice, repeated below), and an affidavit from Martin Archibald of 6411 South Street (stating that his wife was a cousin of C.B. Huggins). The birth notice, published in the 25 Sept 1901 edition of The Acadia Reporter, stated, “Births: Huggins—At No. 1 Poplar Grove, Sept 22, the wife of C.E. Huggins, a son.” Original record held by Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. Archival ref. book 1901, pg. 99100677. Digital image online at novascotiagenealogy.com (accessed and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2008-08-30).

2.

Canada 1911 Census. Charles Huggins, age 42, with wife, Bessie (30), and children: Brenton (9) and Victor (4); in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Original record: Library and Archives Canada, series RG31-C-1, Statistics Canada fonds, microfilm reels T-20326 to T-20460. Archival ref. district no. 45, sub-district: section B, enumeration district: ward 2, pg. 16. Digital image online at ancestry.ca (accessed by subscription, and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2017-08-22).

3.

(a) Province of Nova Scotia (Canada). Civil Registration of a Death. Charles Edward Huggins, male, died 14 April 1912, age 48 years, residence: 5 Brenton Place, Halifax; Druggist; married; born in Halifax, N.S.; cause of death: scarlet fever; Presbyterian, white; name of physician in attendance: William D. Finn, M.D.; undertaker: Nova Scotia Undertaking Co.; buried in Camp Hill cemetery, Halifax; registered 16 April 1912. Original record held by Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. Archival ref. book 3, pg. 565, no. 3387. Digital image online at novascotiagenealogy.com (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2008-08-30).
(b) The Gazette (Montréal), 15 April 1912 (pg. 8). Death notice for Charles E. Huggins, pharmacist, Halifax, brother to William H. Huggins of Ottawa. Digital image online at newspapers.com (accessed by subscription, and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2019-06-21).

4.

Province of Nova Scotia (Canada). Civil Registration of a Death. Bessie Trefry otherwise Huggins née Spencer, died 9 August 1919, aged 47 years, residence: 5 Brenton Place, Halifax; housewife, married, husband: Albert N Trefry; born in Parrsboro, N.S.; cause of death: encephalitis, paralysis of respiratory centre, 1 week; Baptist, white; physician in attendance: C.S. Morton, M.D.; undertaker: Snow & Co Ltd; buried in Camp Hill cemetery; registered 9 August 1919. Original record held by Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. Archival ref. book 24, pg 162, no. 972. Digital image online at novascotiagenealogy.com (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2008-08-30).

5.

Canada 1921 Census. Clinton Cook, age 66, with wife, Emily (50), and Emily Cook’s nephews: Victor Huggins (14) and Charles Huggins (19); in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. Original record held by Library and Archives Canada, Sixth Census of Canada, 1921 (Ottawa); series RG31, Statistics Canada fonds. Archival ref. district no. 55, enumeration district no. 34, pg. 14. Digital image online at ancestry.ca (accessed by subscription, and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2017-08-22).

6.

State of Ohio (USA). County Marriages, 1774–1993. Charles Huggins, male, age 23 (born c.1904), son of Charles Huggins and Bessie Spencer. Margaret Wellman, female, age 23 (born c.1904), daughter of Frank Wellman and Carrie Hogle. Marriage solemnized in Lucas County, Ohio. Original record; Marriage Records for Ohio, on familysearch.org. Index online at ancestry.ca (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick by subscription, 2017-08-22).

7.

State of Illinois (USA). Federal Naturalization Records, 1856–1991. United States of America: Petition for Citizenship. Charles Brenton Huggins of 5740 Kenwood Ave., Chicago, Illinois; Assistant Professor of Surgery; born 22 September 1901 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; race: Scotch; declared his intention to become a citizen of the U.S. on 29 February 1928 in the U.S. District Court of Northern District of Illinois at Chicago; wife is Margaret; married on 29 July 1927 at Toledo, Ohio; Margaret born 11 July 1904 at Jackson, Michigan, resides at Chicago; one child: Charles Edward, born 9 May 1929 at Chicago and resides in Chicago; last foreign residence: Wolfville, N.S., Canada; emigrated to the U.S. from Montreal, Canada; lawful entry for permanent residence in the U.S. was at Detroit, Michigan under the name of Charles B. Huggins on 30 July 1924, on the vessel C.N. #115; has resided in Cook County since 30 July 1924; (signed:) Charles Brenton Huggins. Witnesses: Leo S. Hrdina of 5524A Ellis Ave., Chicago, Research Assistant; Hilger P. Jenkins of 620 Woodland Pk., Chicago, Surgeon. (Signed): Charles W. Bates, Clerk. Original record: District Court, Northern District, Illinois; Petitions, v. 546–547, nos. 117651–118076 (1933). Petition ref. no. 118012. Digital image online at ancestry.ca (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick by subscription, 2017-08-22).

8.

(a) U.S. Social Security Death Index. Margaret Huggins, SSN 352-38-4016; last residence: Chicago, Cook County, Illinois 60637; born 10 July 1904, died in March 1983; SSN issued in Illinois in 1963. Original record: Social Security Administration. Index online at ancestry.ca (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick by subscription, 2017-08-22).
(b)
 Chicago Tribune, 22 March 1983. Death notice for Margaret Wellman Huggins (1904–1983). Record no. 19830322ob004. Transcribed by Bonnie Dagen and posted to “Huggins Obits – Chicago Area,” www.genealogy.com, 2 September 2013 (accessed 2017-08-22).

9.

Chicago Tribune, 15 January 1997. Obituary for Dr. Charles B. Huggins (1901–1997). Record no. 19970115OB9701150174. Transcribed by Bonnie Dagen and posted to “Huggins Obits – Chicago Area,” www.genealogy.com, 2 September 2013 (accessed 2017-08-22).

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