Dr. James Colville was born on the 11th of November, 1872 in Clarke Twp, South of Bowmanville, Ontario. He was the 4th of 6 children born to James Colville and the former Janet Smith. His parents were farmers and his siblings were; William, Neil, Robert, Colin and Mary. His brother Robert died at the age of 6.
Dr. Colville’s brother Neil had been teaching school near Orono, Ontario for about 3 years when Dr. Colville talked him into entering medical school with him. Dr. Colville and his brother Neil, attended Trinity Medical College and they both graduated M.C., M.D. in 1900. Dr. James Colville interned in London, England. Dr. James Colville returned to Canada in 1905 and situated himself in Bowmanville, Ontario. (His brother Dr. Neil Colville practiced medicine in Orono).
In his obituary in the Canadian Statesman, published in Bowmanville (Jul 22nd, 1961 edition) it is reported that Dr. James Colville moved to Tupperville in 1907 as ‘business was a bit slack’ with 5 established doctors already practicing in Bowmanville.
The article in the Canadian Statesman also reported that Dr. Colville tended to his patients with horse and buggy or on horseback when the conditions were too wet for the buggy.
In 1910 he purchased the medical practice of Dr. Thomas L. McRithie in McKay’s Corners. That same year on the 9th of November, he married Margaret “Gretta” McCorkell, daughter of James McCorkell and the former Isabell Finley. She was born in 1884, the 8th of 9 children and her parents were farmers. Her siblings were; Agnes, Victoria, Phoebe, Robert, Florence, Isabelle, Fanny and James. The McCorkell family were raised primarily in Russell Twp, Ontario, which is south east of Ottawa. Sometime between 1901 and 1910, the family moved to the community of Mull (Chatham-Kent).
Dr. Colville was listed in the 1913 Bell Telephone Directory at McKays Corners. His telephone number was 944r2.
Dr. and Mrs. Colville had a daughter, also named Margaret born to them on the 23rd of May, 1914. Sadly Mrs. Colville died a short time later on the 5th of June, 1914 and the little girl died on the 2nd of August, 1914. They are buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham, Ontario.
Dr. Colville married Ida Tupholme on the 8th of June, 1918. She was born on the 15th of May, 1885 in Middlesex County, the daughter of George Morris Tupholme and the former Emily Sarah Rippon. Her parents immigrated to Canada in 1883 and brought with them, 2 of her older siblings, Harold George (who died in Ridgetown on the 25th of June, 1911 of Tuberculosis) and Nellie. Once in Canada, Mrs. Colville was born as was her younger brother Allen John and her younger sister Rose. At the time of her birth, the family lived at Lot 1, Concession 3 in Caradoc Twp, Middlesex County. Her father’s occupation was listed as a painter on Mrs. Colville’s birth record. According to the 1891 census, her father’s profession was a miller, but he later moved to Ridgetown where he became a bookkeeper.
Dr. and Mrs. Colville did not have any children.
Dr. and Mrs. Colville resided in Ridgetown and he was known to have an extensive library in his home. It was large enough to need a rolling ladder to access material on the top shelves. Dr. Colville was a member of the Kent County Medical Society and he served as the President in 1943.
Dr. Colville retired in 1960 and at the time of his retirement, he was the oldest practicing physician in Chatham-Kent, having devoted himself to his patients for 60 years. He died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham on the 22nd of May 1961. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Ridgetown. His wife Ida died on the 21st of May, 1975 in Ridgetown and she was buried next to Dr. Colville.
*Dr. Thomas L. McRitchie also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.
**A great nephew of Dr. Colville’s, William S. Colville served during WWII with the 48th Highlander Regiment. He was wounded at Ortona, Italy. Mrs. Colville’s brother, Allen John Tupholme served with the United States Military in WWI and WWII.
***The webmaster is grateful to Mr. Brian James Colville for clarifying facts and information.