Name:
Morris Sharp 
Location served:
Tilbury  
Years in Practice:
1891 to 1927
Area of Specialization:
Family Medicine  

Biography:

Dr. Morris Sharp was born in Delaware Township, Middlesex County, on the 9th of February, 1859. His parents John Sharp and the former Anne Patterson were farmers.   He was the eldest of 8 children.  His siblings included; Alexander, Edward, Isaiah, John, Albert, Daniel and Mary.  He attended school in Delaware Township and St Thomas High School.  He continued his education at the Ottawa Normal School in Wentworth County.  He graduated in 1882 and taught school for eight years in Wentworth County.  He saved enough money teaching school to study medicine at the University of Western Ontario. He graduated in 1891.  Dr. Sharp first practiced medicine in Embro, Ontario.  Dr. Sharp moved to Tilbury in 1893 and took over the medical practice of Dr. John O’Keefe.

On the 2nd of January, 1895 Dr. Sharp married Elizabeth Stuart Cole in Chicago, Illinois. She was born in Ingersoll on the 10th of March, 1863. Her parents were Christopher Spencer Cole and the former Ellen Stuart. Her father was a blacksmith.  She had 2 younger brothers; John and Robert.  Mrs. Sharp graduated as a nurse from Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario in 1887.  She worked in Chicago until her marriage.  Dr. and Mrs. Sharp were the parents of two daughters. Margaret Stuart Sharp was born in November of 1896 and died on the 5th of March, 1900. She was buried at Rosedale Cemetery, Tilbury East Twp., Kent County.  Their daughter Helen Anna Sharp was born on the 26th of May, 1899.

Dr. Sharp was the Secretary/Treasurer  for the Tilbury Public School Board from 1891 to 1897.   In 1901, he was the Reeve of Tilbury.  Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who was the Prime Minister of Canada from the 11th of July, 1896 to the 6th of October, 1911, visited Tilbury in 1908.  A photograph was snapped of Sir Wilfrid Laurier walking down the Main Street of Tilbury with Dr. Sharp.  A copy of the photograph appears in “The Tilbury Story 1887-1987” on page 148.  Dr. Sharp served on Town Council for many years and he was elected Mayor of Tilbury in January of 1913.  Dr. Sharp was re-elected in 1914, but a groundswell of electors were upset that Dr. Sharp had entered bars in the Town of Tilbury and ordered alcohol, despite being banned from doing so.  According to an article that appeared in the Chatham Daily Planet on the 22nd of January, 1914, Dr. Sharp had an issue with alcohol “the habit that is his worst enemy”.  Rather than facing action to unseat him, Dr. Sharp resigned as Mayor on the 22nd of January, 1914. He was the M.O.H. for Tilbury East until May of 1926.

Dr. Sharp attended to his patients with horse and buggy in his early days in Tilbury. In his spare time, he enjoyed lawn bowling and curling.  Mrs. Sharp belonged to the I.O.D.E., the Tilbury Horticultural Society, the Public Library Board and the Memorial Park Board.

Dr. Sharp died on the 22nd of August, 1927 at his residence on Canal Street. He was buried at the Maple Leaf Cemetery in Tilbury.  Mrs. Sharp died in Chatham on August 13th, 1933 after a car accident.  She was also buried at the Maple Leaf Cemetery.

*His daughter Helen Anna Sharp became a teacher.  She married Dr. Donald Marshall MacPherson.  Dr. MacPherson joined the medical practice of Dr. Morris Sharp in August of 1926.  Dr. Donald Marshall MacPherson and Dr. John O’Keefe also appear on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.