Warburton Hospital

Photo courtesy of Adventist Heritage Centre.

James, William Howard (1864–1941)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: November 20, 2021

Dr. Howard James pioneered the establishment of the Adelaide Sanitarium in South Australia in 1908 and then the Warburton Sanitarium in Victoria in 1914.

William Howard James was born in 1864 in Ballarat, Victoria,1 the eldest child of Joseph and Betsey (Turner) James. He was always known as Howard. His siblings were George Garsed (b.1866), Thomas Herbert (b.1867), Elizabeth Fisher (b.1869), Ethel Hermione (b.1871) and Garset (b.1878).2

Howard studied at the University of Melbourne, Victoria, graduating in 1888 with a Bachelor of Medicine degree.3 The following year he married Annie Louisa Treloar who was born in Clunes, near Ballarat, in 1865.4 He learned of Seventh-day Adventism from his mother and made his decision to unite with her in the same faith while at Bendigo.5 Apparently he took this step at the camp meeting held in Bendigo, December 13, 1900 through January 3, 1901, at which Drs. Daniel and Lauretta Kress attended.6 Later that same year, 1901, he assisted the local Bendigo members by conducting some of the Week of Prayer meetings.7 At the 1903 Australasian Union Conference Council, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Howard represented the Victorian Conference as one of their delegates.8

Church career

In 1905 Howard transitioned from being an active layman to one engaged in the medical ministry of the church, a career that would extend for more than twenty-five years. He began as part of the medical team at the Sydney Sanitarium, Wahroonga, New South Wales, and as a member of its board of directors.9

In 1907 Howard transferred under appointment to Adelaide, South Australia, to establish a small-scale sanitarium for the church. The denomination already had a health facility functioning, titled the Electro-hydropathic Institute, within the city precincts. Howard selected a property at Nailsworth, an outer suburb, and had two cottages built as a sanitarium to care for approximately five in-patients. It opened officially as the Adelaide Sanitarium in September 1908. He divided his time between the Institute, the Sanitarium and some private consultations. He also conducted a small class for trainee nurses and gave some public health lectures at the Sanitarium Health Food Cafe.10 The Institute sank into debt and was closed in 1909, all church conferences helping to pay the arrears.11 Howard remained with the Sanitarium for a further twelve months until it was making a profit. There was, however, no need for a resident medical doctor with so many medics in the local area. He responded to an appointment back in Victoria, leaving the Sanitarium in the charge of a senior nurse.12

In Victoria Howard pioneered the establishment of a larger institution, the Warburton Sanitarium, in the hills district to the east of Melbourne. The church printing press, Signs Publishing Company, was already functioning in the same township. He served as medical superintendent in charge of a team of male and female nurses.13 The two-story building was erected in the southern winter of 1910 and began accepting patients in August.14 By 1914 building extensions enabled the installation of extra beds, bringing the total to thirty.15

Sadly, Annie James passed away in 1914. She was only forty-nine years of age, leaving a son, Howard Maxwell (b.1892) and a daughter, Dorothy Enid Annie (b.1905).16 The following year Howard married Maggie May Anderson, a local woman twenty-five years younger than himself.17

In addition to Howard’s responsibilities at the Warburton Sanitarium he was nominated to the board of directors of the Signs Publishing Company in 1914 and became a contributing editor of the periodical,18 religious and medical articles occasionally appearing under his name.19 He carried the role of sole medical officer of the Warburton Sanitarium and manager of its nursing staff and finances until he retired in 1932.20

Retirement

Howard and Maggie retired to Armadale, an inner suburb of Melbourne.21 He collapsed and died at his home on the evening of June 30, 1941. He was buried in the Upper Yarra Cemetery, Wesburn, near Warburton, where his mother and Annie were buried.22 Maggie did not enjoy good health. After Howard’s death she was cared for by her only daughter, Verna (b.1915). Maggie died on October 21, 1951 and was also interred in the Upper Yarra Cemetery.23

Sources

“Actions Taken by the Union Conference Council.” Union Conference Record, October 4, 1909.

Anderson, A[lbert] W. “Warburton Sanitarium.” Australasian Record, September 28, 1914.

Cole, J[ohn] M. “South Australian Conference.” Union Conference Record, October 24, 1910.

District of Ballarat. Birth Certificates. Government of Victoria Office of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria.

District of Ballarat. Marriage Certificates. Government of Victoria Office of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria.

District of Casey. Marriage Certificates. Government of Victoria Office of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria.

“First Meeting of the Conference.” Union Conference Record, September 11, 1903.

James, W. Howard. “The Adelaide Sanitarium.” Union Conference Record, September 21, 1908.

James, W. Howard. “The Soul Life.” Signs of the Times, January 4, 1915.

“Nominations.” Australasian Record, October 12, 1914.

Olsen, O[le] A. “Sydney Sanitarium and Benevolent Association, Limited.” Union Conference Record, October 1, 1905.

Pascoe, J[ames]. “W[illiam] Howard James.” Australasian Record, August 11, 1941.

Richards, F[ranklin] C. “Medical Missionary Department.” Australasian Record, March 25, 1912.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbooks. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1906-1933.

Starr, G[eorge] B. “Victoria.” Union Conference Record, July 1, 1901.

Streeter, H[arry] S. “Maggie May James.” Australasian Record, January 7, 1952.

Tenney, G[eorge] C. “Camp Meeting at Bendigo.” Union Conference Record, February 1, 1901.

The Melbourne University Calendar, 1896. Carlton, [Melbourne]: Ford and Son Printers, 1895.

“William Howard James.” FamilySearch.org. Intellectual Reserve, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/LZPF-KH8.

Notes

  1. District of Ballarat, Birth certificate no. 6800 (1864), Government of Victoria Office of Birth, Deaths, and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria.

  2. “William Howard James,” FamilySearch.org. Intellectual Reserve, 2020, accessed May 25, 2020, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/LZPF-KH8.

  3. The Melbourne University Calendar, 1896 (Carlton, [Melbourne]: Ford and Son Printers, 1895), 301.

  4. District of Ballarat, Marriage certificate no. 5073 (1889), Government of Victoria Office of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria.

  5. J[ames] Pascoe, “W[illiam] Howard James,” Australasian Record, August 11, 1941, 7.

  6. G[eorge] C. Tenney, “Camp Meeting at Bendigo,” Union Conference Record, February 1, 1901, 13-14.

  7. G[eorge] B. Starr, “Victoria,” Union Conference Record, July 1, 1901, 12.

  8. “First Meeting of the Conference,” Union Conference Record, 1903, [1].

  9. O[le] A. Olsen, “Sydney Sanitarium and Benevolent Association, Limited,” Union Conference Record, October 1, 1905, 7.

  10. W. Howard James, “The Adelaide Sanitarium,” Union Conference Record, September 21, 1908, 31-32.

  11. “Actions Taken by the Union Conference Council,” Union Conference Record, October 4, 1909, 2-5.

  12. J[ohn] M. Cole, “South Australian Conference,” Union Conference Record, October 24, 1910, 12-14.

  13. E.g., “Warburton Sanitarium,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1911), 185.

  14. F[ranklin] C. Richards, “Medical Missionary Department,” Australasian Record, March 25, 1912, 6-7.

  15. A[lbert] W. Anderson, “Warburton Sanitarium,” Australasian Record, September 28, 1914, 27-28.

  16. “William Howard James,” FamilySearch.org. Intellectual Reserve, 2020, accessed May 25, 2020, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/LZPF-KH8.

  17. District of Casey, Marriage certificate no. 12707 (1915), Government of Victoria Office of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria.

  18. “Nominations,” Australasian Record, October 12, 1914, 17-18.

  19. E.g., W. Howard James, “The Soul Life,” Signs of the Times, January 4, 1915, 10-12.

  20. “Warburton Sanitarium,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1932), 362.

  21. “William Howard James,” FamilySearch.org. Intellectual Reserve, 2020, accessed May 25, 2020, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/LZPF-KH8.

  22. J[ames] Pascoe, “W[illiam] Howard James,” Australasian Record, August 11, 1941, 7.

  23. H[arry] S. Streeter, “Maggie May James,” Australasian Record, January 7, 1952, 7.

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Hook, Milton. "James, William Howard (1864–1941)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 20, 2021. Accessed June 19, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6IF2.

Hook, Milton. "James, William Howard (1864–1941)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 20, 2021. Date of access June 19, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6IF2.

Hook, Milton (2021, November 20). James, William Howard (1864–1941). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 19, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6IF2.