Dr. John Phillips Sivewright was born on the 2nd of March, 1853. According to the 1871 census, Dr. Sivewright was born in Ontario, but according to his marriage record, he was born in Buffalo, New York. He was the 3rd of 4 children born to Dr. James Hay Sivewright and the former Margaret Phillips. His siblings were Mary, James (who also became a doctor) and Elinor. He received his medical education at Trinity College in Toronto graduating M.B. in the spring of 1876. According to the 1882 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Sivewright joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 24th of April, 1876. Dr. Sivewright began his medical practice that same year in Chatham, Ontario. His medical practice was listed in the 1876-1877 Chatham Business Directory. The directory lists his business on King Street near the “Gas Works”. His father appears in the same publication at the same address.
Dr. Sivewright married Ida Maria Earnest on the 29th of June, 1878 in Detroit, Michigan. Mrs. Sivewright was the daughter of George Earnest of Toronto. She was born on the 14th of February 1856, in Toronto. Dr. and Mrs. Sivewright had two children, Oscar James, who was born on the 22nd of March, 1879 in Chatham and Ida May who was born on the 8th of May, 1880 in Chatham. A daughter Lily Rosalind died in 1883.
When Dr. Sivewright’s father died in 1878 and he inherited his father’s medical practice in Chatham. The practice was located in the Glassford Hotel. He also inherited his father’s medical books, instruments, medicines and his horses and buggies. Dr. John P. Sivewright opened an office with Dr. William Robert Hall in 1885 in Wallaceburg, Ontario.
Dr. Sivewrights practice was listed in the 1886-1887 Ontario Business Directory and the 1896 Chatham City Directory. The medical office was located at 18 Wellington Street in Chatham. According to Farrell’s 1909 City of Chatham Directory, Dr. Sivewrights office was located at 160 1/2 King Street West and his phone number was 236.
Mrs. Sivewright died on October 1st, 1910 while visiting her sister in Keyport, New Jersey. Dr. Sivewright died in Chatham on the 21st of June, 1918. He was buried in Keyport, New Jersey.
*His son, Oscar moved to Alaska in 1899. He served during World War I and World War II for the United States Armed Services. Oscar Sivewright died in 1965 and he was buried at the Pioneers Home Cemetery in Sitka, Alaska.
**Dr. Sivewright’s father Dr. James Hay Sivewright and his brother Dr. James Alexander Sivewright and Dr. William Robert Hall are all featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.