Born in 1837 in Halton, Ontario, he entered dentistry at the age of 21, apprenticing with W. Case Adams of Toronto. A year later, he opened a practice in Milton.
He was one of the signatories of the petition to the provincial legislature in support of the dental act creating the RCDSO. A year after the Act was passed in 1868, he registered as a dentist, receiving licence number 42.
His colleagues quickly noticed his abilities, and at an open meeting of members of the College, he was elected to the RCDSO Board of Directors in June 1870. Within a month, he became Secretary of the College. He served in that role until June 1915.
He was selected by the RCDSO Board of Directors to open Canada’s first permanent dental school in November 1875. Over the following years, his commitment to dental education never wavered. He served as dean of the dental faculty at the University of Toronto. For his efforts, he is known as the father of dental education in Canada.