Tuesday, 23 August 2016

James T. Munro, MD

                                                     James T. Munro, MD

                One of Maxville’s first doctors was Dr. James T. Munro, a man known for exceptional medical and surgical skill, who, at one point served the five counties of Eastern Ontario.

                Dr. Munro was born in Nairn, Scotland on July 5th, 1843. At the age of ten he accompanied his father, a Mission preacher with the Church of Scotland to Canada. Soon after, his mother and four sisters followed and the family settled in Moose Creek, Roxbourgh Township. As a youth, he attended Hawkesbury Grammar School. Once he finished that he taught at a school between Vankleek Hill and Hawkesbury. Though a long and treacherous thirty mile hike back home to Moose Creek, it was not uncommon for Munro to make the journey on weekends in order to see his family.

After deciding that education was perhaps not for him, Munro enrolled into McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. In 1872, he graduated in Medicine and returned back home to Glengarry. His first practice was located in Dominionville until 1888, when he moved his already successful office north to the larger town of Maxville, where it thrived. Dr. Munro was soon serving the five counties of Eastern Ontario, an extremely large area for only one man. During his time, Dr. Munro served countless residents of Maxville and the surrounding communities, soon being recognized as a gifted physician with a charismatic and sympathetic bedside manner. Dr. Munro retired from medicine in 1910.
As well as being a physician and surgeon, Dr. Munro was a Fenian raid veteran from his younger days. He was interested in the Pacific coast, making no less then twenty-eight trips to California and other Western states. At one point, in California he owned a large orange grove. Dr. Munro was also a deeply religious man and an original member of the United Church of Maxville.

On December 9th, 1928 Dr. Munro passed away, leaving his Maxville practice to his son, Dr. J. Howard Munro. On July 23rd, 1934, his wife of fifty-four years, Christina Robertson followed. Munro was known as a kind and just doctor, a pioneer in rural Glengarry medicine. He was one of the first doctors to begin practicing in the area and stayed in the village of Maxville for his entire life. As Maxville wraps up their 125th birthday celebrations, the villagers can only express gratitude for these early people who helped to build Maxville into what it is today.

Photo from GPM collection, artifact 2013-005-001

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