Dr. George Thomas McKeough was born on the 23rd of October, 1855 in Chatham. His parents were William McKeough and the former Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Ann Stone. He was the eldest of 4 children. His siblings were; William, Frank and Alice. His ancestors were originally from Ballymackeough in Tipperary, Ireland. Dr. McKeoughs’ father was a Chatham business man, who was active in municipal affairs.
Dr. McKeough was educated in Chatham and attended Chatham Collegiate Institute. He began studying medicine in 1873 with Dr. Tecumseh K. Holmes. In 1874 he attended Trinity College in Toronto and graduated as a gold medalist in 1877 and that same year he received his M.B. from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. According to the 1882 Ontario Medical Registry, Dr. McKeough joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 8th of May, 1877.
Dr. McKeough travelled to England to further his studies and received his M.R.C.S. He moved on to Edinburgh, Scotland for his L.R.C.P. credentials. For one year he was the House Surgeon in the Royal Free Hospital in London, England, before returning to Chatham in 1880. He joined Dr. Tecumseh K. Holmes in his medical practice.
On the 12th of October, 1881, Dr. McKeough married Catherine Morris. She was born in Quebec on the 11th of March, 1857. She was the 5th of 9 children born to David Morris, the seigneur of Ste. Therese de Blainville and the former Mary Galloway Leney. Her siblings were; Helen, Charlotte, Mary, Amelia, John, Margaret, William, Sarah and Lenora.
Dr. and Mrs. McKeough, had two daughters, Mary Blanche Franklin McKeough who was born on the 1st of December, 1884 and Bessie Honora McKeough who was born on the 11th of May, 1889.
Dr. McKeough and Dr. Tecumseh K. Holmes are listed in the 1885, 1896 and 1900 Ontario Business Directories as being in practice together in Chatham. Their office was located at 165 King Street. Dr. McKeough enjoyed reading and playing Whist. He would occasionally travel and his favourite destinations were Switzerland, Italy and France.
After Dr. McKeough’s father passed away, he took his fathers position as a Trustee on the Chatham Public School Board. Dr. McKeough held this position until 1909. Dr. McKeough was also a member of the Ontario Medical Association (O.M.A.). He was appointed Vice-President of the O.M.A. in 1891. Dr. McKeough was appointed as a Coroner for Kent County in 1896. He was a member of the Canadian Medical Association and acted as Secretary. He contributed many papers on medical and surgical topics. Dr. McKeough was a member of Park Street United Church and the Independent Order Of Foresters (I.O.O.F.).
During World War I, Dr. McKeough served in England. He was commissioned as a Major with the Canadian Army in 1916. Dr. McKeough, was now approximately 60 years old. Dr. McKeough retired in December of 1920. In his retirement he enjoyed and studied the flowers and birds on his beautiful lakefront property.
Dr. McKeough died on the 1st of October, 1931 at his residence, which was known as Erie Manor in Cedar Springs. Mrs. McKeough died in September of 1953. Dr. and Mrs. McKeough are buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.
*Dr. McKeough is also featured on the Gathering Our Heroes website.
**Dr. Tecumseh Kingsley Holmes is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.