Dr. Donald “Marshall” MacPherson was born in London, Ontario on the 18th of March, 1897. His parents were John MacPherson and the former Martha McBride. He and his younger brother Alexander “Stuart” MacPherson (who was born on the 3rd of November, 1900) grew up living at 72 Elmwood Ave., in London. His father was a lawyer. Dr. MacPherson was educated at Victoria Public School and London Collegiate Institute.
He enlisted in the Canadian Armed Services on the 4th of January, 1916 during WWI and served in the 135th Infantry Battalion from January 1916 until December of 1917. Dr. MacPherson joined the Royal Naval Air Service in December 1917 and served until May of 1919. He also served with the English Channel Submarine Patrol as a pilot.
According to the 1921 census, the MacPherson family had moved down the street to 106 Elmwood Ave. in London. According to that same census, Dr. Donald Marshall MacPherson and his brother Stuart were both students, pursuing medical degrees.
Dr. MacPherson graduated M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1926. According to the Ontario Medical Register, Dr. MacPherson joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 12th of June, 1926.
He married Annie “Helen” Sharp on the 17th of July, 1926, in Tilbury, Ontario. At the time of their marriage, Mrs. MacPherson was a school teacher. Mrs. MacPherson was born on the 26th of May, 1899, the daughter of Dr. Morris Sharp and the former Elizabeth Stuart Cole. She also had a sister, Margaret Stuart Sharp who was born in November of 1896 but died on the 4th of March 1900. Dr. MacPherson joined his wife’s father, Dr. Morris Sharp in his medical practice in Tilbury in August of 1926.
Dr. and Mrs. MacPherson had one son, Robert Morris MacPherson who was born on the 21st of January, 1931. Dr. MacPherson was a Kent County Coroner for 20 years and he also served as Tilbury’s Medical Officer of Health.
Dr. MacPherson was instrumental in starting the Tilbury Legion and he was the Treasurer of the Legion from 1936-1946. He was presented with numerous accolades from the Legion including the Meritorious Medal of Honor. Dr. MacPherson sat on the Tilbury District School Board for over 30 years. Dr. MacPherson was the first president of the Tilbury Lion’s Club in 1934. He served as President of the Lions Club again in 1935 and 1937. He was also a member of the Rotary Club.
Mrs. MacPherson followed in her mother’s footsteps and she was a member of the I.O.D.E. She was a member of the Tilbury Public Library Board from 1934 to 1968. Mrs. MacPherson also served on the Maple Leaf Cemetery Board for a time.
Mrs. MacPherson died at the Public General Hospital in Chatham on the 9th of March 1970. Dr. MacPherson retired from his medical practice in 1971. He died on the 8th of February 1979 at his residence located at 8 Canal Street in Tilbury. Dr. and Mrs. MacPherson are buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery, (near Tilbury) in Essex County.
*His father-in-law Dr. Morris Sharp also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.