Dr. James Colville was born on the 11th of November, 1872 in Clarke Twp, South of Bowmanville, Ontario. His parents James Colville and the former Janet Smith, were farmers. Dr. Colville had 3 older brothers, William, Neil, and Robert, a younger brother named Colin and a little sister named Mary. His brother Robert died at the age of 6.
Dr. Colville attended Trinity Medical College and graduated M.C., M.D. in 1898 from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. He interned in London, England. He returned to Canada in 1905 and situated himself in Bowmanville, Ontario. In his obituary in the Canadian Statesman, published in Bowmanville, Ontario (June 7th, 1961 edition) it is reported that Dr. 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. Between 1901 and 1910, the family moved to the community of Mull (Kent County).
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 and Nellie. Once in Canada, Mrs. Colville was born as was her younger brother Allen John and her younger sister Rose. According to the 1891 census, her father was a miller, but he later moved to Ridgetown where he became a bookkeeper.
Dr. and Mrs. Colville did not have any children.
Dr. Colville, devoted himself to his medical practice for over 50 years. He 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 Kent County. 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.
**Mrs. Colville’s brother, Allen John Tupholme served with the United States Military in WWI and WWII.