WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
DONALD A. McGREGOR, M.D.
(5th medical doctor in St. George)
BIOGRAPHYDonald A. McGregor was born April 9, 1876.
In 1899, Donald A. McGregor left his home in Beaver, Utah to pursue his dream of becoming a medical doctor. He began his studies at Baltimore Medical College, in Baltimore, Maryland, and in order to attend courses year-round, attended both Rusch Medical School in Chicago and Barnes Medical School in St. Louis, being joined by his wife Alma and their two small children for his final year of school. He received his M.D. degree in St. Louis and graduated top in his class.
He returned to Utah in 1902, returning to the east coast several times during the next 20 years for workshops in the country's best hospitals. His reputation as a top medical student as well as an accomplished surgeon over his first few years in practice brought him several offers from around the country, including the Mayo Brothers in Rochester, Minnesota. But his desire was to stay in Southern Utah, his home, where there were few physicians and no hospitals, and hundreds of people who needed both.
In 1906, shortly after graduating from medical school, Dr. Donald A. McGregor moved his family to Beaver, Utah, and purchased the home of a Dr. George Hoffman, who was moving away.
Dr. McGregor purchased one-half a city block in Beaver along with the house, and turned it into the "McGregor Hospital", the first hospital in Southern Utah. At that time, he was caring for citizens across several counties, traveling by horse and buggy. For those not able to come to the hospital for care, he performed procedures, surgeries and delivered babies in their homes.
In 1912, McGregor purchased his first car which made the many miles he traveled much easier for everyone.
As the years went on, St. George, in Washington County, was growing very rapidly and the need for health care and a hospital became more urgent there than in Beaver. At the invitation of his brother-in-law, Dr. Frank J. Woodbury, Dr. McGregor closed the hospital in Beaver and moved to St. George in 1913, opening the Washington County Hospital the first hospital in that area.
The American College of Surgeons made Dr. McGregor a Fellow in their organization in 1913. In their files in Chicago, Illinois, D. A .McGregor of St. George, Utah is credited with approximately 50 surgical procedures, which stood at the forefront of medicine at that time.
McGregor was a charter member to of the Rotary Club of St. George and served as its 2nd president during the 1932-1933 year. In 1931, Donald A. McGregor's two sons entered Baltimore Medical College, following in their father's footsteps. Alpine ("Dr. A.W.") and Lorenzo ("Dr. L.W.") McGregor graduated together with honors. These two brothers were just finishing their internships in Los Angeles in 1936 when their father suffered a heart attack. This left the people of Washington County without enough medical help, and after the California Medical Board granted the McGregor Brothers permission to leave their program a month early, they returned to St. George to take over their father's practice and the hospital there.
Dr. Donald A. McGregor died of complications related to this heart attack on October 11, 1938. He was buried on October 13, 1938 in the St. George City Cemetery.
WCHS-01537 Photo of Alpine W. McGregor MD, Lorenzo W. McGregor MD, and Donald A. McGregor MD
REFERENCESBiography of Donald A. McGregor
written by his daughter, Wanda McGregor Snow
Washington County Chapter, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers,
" Under Dixie Sun".
1950 with 1978 Supplement.
Douglas D. Alder and Karl F. Brooks,
" A History of Washington County From Isolation to Destination".
Notes on Dr. Donald A. McGregor
Leavitt Family Website entry for Donald Alpine McGregor
BillionGraves for Donald A. McGregor