Jul. 22, 1836 Lowell Middlesex County Massachusetts, USA
Feb. 27, 1900, England
LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
London Throat Hospital
204 Great Portland Street, W1
Medical character: 1887 - 1918
The London Throat Hospital was founded in 1887 by Dr. William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), an American surgeon who had settled in London in 1868, and Dr. Edward Woakes (1837-1912), a distinguished otologist, George Stoker (who would later establish the Oxygen Hospital) and others. The Hospital had four beds and also had premises at 72 Bolsover Street, almost adjacent to the building in Great Portland Street.
In 1904, the King's Fund proposed that the five ENT hospitals in London (the Central London Throat and Ear Hospital, the Hospital for Diseases of the Throat, the Royal Ear Hospital, the London Throat Hospital and the Metropolitan Ear Nose and Throat Hospital) should amalgamate. Negotiations began between the Royal Ear Hospital and the London Throat Hospital, but by 1913 these had broken down.
In 1918 the London Throat Hospital merged with the Throat Hospital in Golden Square.
WILLIAM MCNEILL WHISTLER, b. July 22, 1836, Lowell, Massachusetts; d. February 27, 1900, England.; m. (1) FLORIDA KING, WFT Est. 1852-1862; m. (2) HELEN IONIDES, April 17, 1877, St. George's, Hanover Square and at the Greek Church, London Wall.. Notes for WILLIAM MCNEILL WHISTLER: William McNeill Whistler was born 22 July 1836 in Lowell, Massachusetts. .He married. 2) 17 April 1877, Helen "Nellie" Ionides, the daughter of Alexander Ionides. William Whistler trained as a physician and graduated from the University of Philadelphia in 1860. He married Florida King of Virginia in 1860. She encouraged him to join the Confederacy as a medical army officer. She died childless in 1863. He joined the Confederacy and was attached to Orr's Rifles, a South Carolina regiment. After slipping through enemy lines, he arrived in England in 1865 delivering dispatches from the Confederacy. After the War he decided to stay in London. In April 1877 William married Helen Ionides. He became senior physician at the London Throat Hospital and was president of the British Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Association. He had no children and died 27 February 1900.
Source: Whistlers and Further Family, p. 12-13.
George Washington Whistler became involved with the construction of railroads through a connection with a fellow West Point graduate, Captain William Gibbs McNeill. In the late 1820's, the army was authorized to aid private companies in the building of railroads. The Baltimore & Ohio was the first to be chartered in the United States. In 1828, the B. & O. sent McNeill, Whistler and a civilian locomotive builder, Ross Winans to England to study the latest developments in railroad construction. Upon his return to America, William was promoted to First Lieutenant. George Whistler married his second wife, Anna McNeill, on 3 November 1831. She was the sister of George's partner, William McNeill, and the daughter of Dr. Daniel McNeill and Martha (Kingsley) McNeill of Wilmington, North Carolina. Anna (McNeill) Whistler has been described as "a plain-featured, austere, humorless religious fanatic." On 31 December 1833, George Whistler resigned his commission in the army to pursue a more lucrative career as a civilian engineer. He worked for the Boston and Lowell Railroad as supervisor machine shop, where locomotives were assembled. The family moved to Lowell, Massachusetts in 1834, where their son, James Abbott Whistler, was born on July 11th. James Abbott McNeill Whistler (he appended the name "McNeill" later in life) became a famous painter and etcher in the last quarter of the 19th century. On 22 July 1836, a second son, William Gibbs Whistler was born. In 1837, George Whistler accepted a position with the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad, and the family moved to Stonington, Connecticut. At Stonington, George and Anna's son Kirk Boott Whistler was born 16 July 1838. George's son by his first marriage, Joseph Swift Whistler, died of typhoid at Stonington on 1 January 1840. The family moved again in 1841, to Springfield, Massachusetts, when George Whistler became chief engineer with the Boston and Albany Railroad. In Springfield, son Charles Donald was born on 27 August 1841. On 10 July 1842, the Whistlers' son, Kirk, died. It was at Springfield that George Washington hosted a visit from some Russian engineers, who were touring America on behalf of Tsar Nicholas I, who wished to build a railway to connect St. Petersburg and Moscow. In January of 1842, Whistler was hired by the Russians to act as foreign consultant on the railway project. He traveled alone to St. Petersburg, where he oversaw the manufacturing and construction of the 420-mile track for the Russian National Railroad, as well as the locomotives and cars. Whistler's family joined him in Russia in 1843, after a short visit with Anna's stepsisters in England. While en route to Russia, son Charles Donald Whistler died on 24 September 1843, aboard ship on the Baltic Sea. The Whistler's resided in St. Petersburg in the English Quay. George and Anna's youngest child, John Bouttatz Whistler was born there 29 August 1845 but died the following year, 14 October 1846. In 1848, Russia experienced influenza and cholera epidemics and Whistler decided to send his family to England. George Whistler stayed in St. Petersburg to continue his work on the railroad. He contracted cholera in September 1848. After many months of illness, he died of heart failure on 7 April 1849. His body was shipped to America and buried at Stonington, Connecticut. Anna Whistler returned to America to raise her two remaining sons, James and William. She died in England, age seventy-five, on 31 January 1881 and is buried at Hastings, England. George Washington Whistler's biographer, George L. Vose, described him as a man with "a keen sense of humor and unfailing tact, fond of personal anecdote, and a mind stored with recollections from association with every grade of society, he was a most engaging companion."
Sources: Fleming, James Abbott McNeill Whistler: A Life; Wood, p. 7-8,22-23; Vose, p. 40-41; Whistlers and Further Family, p. 7.
Notes for HELEN IONIDES: She was a member of the Ionides family, wealthy Greek merchants of Tulse Hill. "Helen's friendship (with the artist) was a source of comfort to Whistler that lasted until his death; during his last illness she was a daily visitor to 74 Cheyne Walk."