Apparently, my great grandfather, Albert Munroe Wilkinson, made his last will about a week before gall bladder surgery in 1908. Thinking back to those days before antibiotics and reliable anesthesia, this might have been a common practice. I can't imagine facing surgery even today, but it might have been a hair raising event in 1908.
It doesn't mention if Albert was ill in this document. Sometimes there is line that reads something like "... being of sound mind but ill of body...". His gall bladder surgery must have been preceded by some illness or infection, and since he made his will it would be a great coincidence if he had to have an emergency surgery. This is also evident from the fact that he traveled all the way to Brookline, a suburb of Boston, for his surgery at the Corey Hill Hospital, instead of having his surgery in Salem, Massachusetts.
My grandfather, Donald Munroe Wilkinson (1895 - 1977) , was left orphaned when his father Albert died. Donald was only 12 years old, and his sister, Janet (1898 - 1981), was 9 years old. His mother, Isabella Lyons (Bill) (1863 - 1935) remained a widow and ran a boarding house in Salem on Loring Avenue. She lived, during her widowed years, with her sisters, Jennie and Mary Ann, who also signed this will. The Bill sisters ran a day school in Danvers called "The Speedwell School" named after the sister ship to the Mayflower.
|Corey Hill Hospital, Brookline, Massachusetts 1918 postcard|
Where Albert Munroe Wilkinson had his gallbladder surgery in 1908
Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Albert Munroe Wilkinson's Last Will and Testament, 1908", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 28, 2016, (http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2016/03/albert-munroe-wilkinsons-last-will-and.html: accessed [access date] ).