Healing and Revival
"Pioneer in Medicine and Healing"
Dr. Jennett (Jenny) Kidd Trout was born Jennett Gowanlock (see note **) to Andrew and Elizabeth Gowanlock on April 21, 1841 at Kelso, Scotland. The family moved to Canada in 1847 where they purchased a small farm, in the Stratford, Ontario area. The Gowanlocks were members of the Knox Presbyterian Church. When Jenny was 19 she moved to Toronto, where she came into contact with the Shuter Street Church of Christ. This church was involved in the Canadian "Restoration Movement", a move designed to "restore New Testament Christianity". A young man, by the name of Edward Trout, was a member there. In 1861 she graduated from "Normal School" and returned home to teach. She taught at the school for four years until she married Edward in 1865.
The couple was married August 25, 1865 at Knox Presbyterian Church in Stratford. Two years later Edward and his brother John established the Monetary Times, a financial newspaper published in Toronto. The first six years of marriage for Jenny were marked by such poor health she often bedridden. She tried several medical cures but only found temporary relief. God developed a deep compassion in her for the sick and she decided to become a doctor. After Edward's brother John died in 1876 Edward took over all the paper's responsibilities.
In 1871 Jenny passed the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons exam. Later that year, Trout, along with Emily Stowe, who had a medical degree from the New York Medical College became the first women to enter the Toronto School of Medicine at the University of Toronto. They were harassed and constantly treated crudely. Still they persevered. Jenny completed the coursework in 1872. She wanted to specialize and so decided, with her husband's support, to continue her studies at the Womans Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for the next three years. This was a Christian organization with an emphasis on preparing for missions, which impacted her with a vision for missions that stayed with her for the rest of her life. She graduated in 1875 and returned to Ontario and passed the exam to become a physician in Canada. She was the first woman to ever receive that certification. (Canada created a stamp in her honor for this accomplishment.)
Trout with another Philadelphia graduate, Dr. E. Amelia Tifft, then opened the Therapeutic and Electrical Institute in Toronto, which specialized in treatments for women, involving "galvanic baths or electricity." She also opened a free dispensary for the poor in 1876. The entire expense for the endeavor came from her work and whatever donations she could raise. It only lasted six months, due to the expenses involved, but her heart was to do "much good work for the Master." Trout's practice was so successful that they eventually housed up to sixty patients at a time in six adjoining houses. Branches of the practice were established in Hamilton and Brantford. She also served as vice-president of the Association for the Advancement of Women and as President of the Christian Womans Temperance Union. This schedule became too much for her and she was forced to leave the Institute.
Somewhere along the line Trout had become aware of Carrie Judd's writings on healing. Between 1880 and 1882 Trout visited Buffalo, New York. While there, she contacted Carrie Judd and asked her to pray for her healing. Unfortunately she was not healed in this encounter. She and her husband moved in 1882 to Palma Sola, Florida to help Jenny recover. They frequently traveled back to Ontario in the summers, however, to support the works they had started. Trout evidently heard about John Salmon and his healing home in Toronto. In 1891 she wrote to him and asked about the doctrine of divine healing. While waiting for him to reply God quickened a scripture from Job 42. She believed that it meant that she would be healed when Salmon prayed for her. He and another worker came to her house and anointed her with oil. Although not completely healed she received significant improvement and could return to work at least part of the time. She and her husband became Christian and Missionary Alliance members (still a loose alliance of ministries not yet a denomination) and she became a speaker at conventions. In 1901 Trout lists her religious affiliation as Church of God, but it is not clear which denomination she is referring to. Trout increasingly focused on divine healing, missions, and eventually the Pentecostal experience. She and her husband also adopted two children, her grandnephew and grandniece Edward and Helen Huntsman. In 1904 the Trouts became United States citizens and in 1908 they move to Los Angeles, California permanently.
Once in Los Angeles Trout became attached to the Missionary Rest Home run by a Clara Miner (an associate of Carrie Judd Montgomery). She stopped practicing medicine altogether. She led all-day prayer meetings once a week and regularly prayed for the sick and saw many healings. She also spoke at healing meetings and conventions. She became very close to Carrie Judd and George Montgomery and spoke often at their camp meetings and church. Then in July 1919 she applied for, and received, ordination as a minister with the fledgling Assembly of God denomination. She died on November 11, 1921 at the age of 80. Her husband Edward died two years later in 1923.
Any people whose names are listed in blue have their own biographies on this site.
** The California death certificate shows her legal name as Jennett K. Trout, Jenny was simply a nickname.
A description of the founding of the Canadian Christian and Missionary Alliance, with information about Trout, is found in "Footprints" written by Lindsay Reynolds and published in 1981.
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