Dr. Alfred Ernest Northwood was born in Chatham on the 14th of July, 1873. He was the 3rd of 8 children born to John Northwood and the former Mary Smyth. His father was a successful entrepreneur who owned flour mills in Oshawa, Elora (Ontario) and another one in Manitoba. His land acquisitions were purchased with an eye to be used for the future development for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Dr. Northwoods father travel extensively but his parents maintained a home in Chatham where Dr. Northwood and his siblings were raised. His siblings were; Harry Northwood, Edgar Burton Northwood, Bertha Northwood, Harriett “Hattie” Northwood, Mary E. Northwood, Sidney Russell Northwood and Dorothy Mildred Northwood.
Dr. Northwood was educated in Chatham and graduated M.B. from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1895. He achieved honors in every subject. According to the 1928 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Northwood joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 29th of May, 1895.
After graduation he practiced medicine in Florence (Lambton County), Ontario until 1899. In 1895 a fire destroyed Dr. Northwoods office as well as a number of other businesses on the Main Street. Dr. Northwood re-established his practice in Florence after the fire. He was listed in Florence, in the 1897 Farmers and Business Directory for Elgin, Essex, Kent and Lambton County. Around 1899-1900 he moved to Wagon Mound, New Mexico and he practiced medicine there for 20 years. Dr. Northwood’s brother Sidney Russell Northwood moved to Wagon Mound in 1904 an stayed for a number of years.
On May 22nd, 1901, he married Monica Hinde in Wagon Mound, New Mexico. Mrs. Northwood was born in England in 1877. She had two sisters; Beatrice and Gertrude. Dr. Northwood belonged to the Masons.
Dr. Northwood’s sister Dorothy Mildred Northwood became a nurse and she immigrated to Wagon Mound, New Mexico on the 5th of January, 1904.
In 1915, Dr. and Mrs. Northwood moved back to Chatham and they resided in the family home where he was raised at 11 Victoria Avenue.
After the death of Dr. Thomas McRitchie in 1932, Dr. Northwood was appointed as the Medical Officer of Health for Chatham. According to the 1941 Shepherds City of Chatham Business Directory, Dr. Northwood listed his office location as 11 Victoria Ave., the same address as his residence. Dr. Northwood was especially concerned about the less fortunate. Dr. Northwood was a life member of the Kent Club and a 32nd degree Mason. He was also a Canadian Club member and he worshipped at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church.
Dr. Northwood died in his sleep at his residence on December 10th, 1943 after suffering a heart attack. He was survived by his wife, Monica, his three brothers and four sisters. Mrs. Northwood died at the Public General Hospital on September 15th, 1965. Dr. and Mrs. Northwood were buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.
*Dr. Northwood’s sister Mary E. Northwood, worked as a public health nurse in Chatham for 15 years.
*Dr. Thomas McRitchie also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.