Dr. William Morris was born on the 15th of July, 1820 in Limerick Ireland. His parents were Harvey Morris and the former Anna Kidd. He was educated at Ennis College before going to Trinity College and Royal College of Surgeons in 1839 in Ireland. In June of 1843, he received the degree of M.D. and L.R.C.S.I. after completing a work period at the Dublin Lying-In Hospital. From 1843 to 1844 he was the Resident-Surgeon at the City of Dublin Hospital.
He married Henrietta King in Ireland and they had at least one child, Harvey before immigrating to Toronto, Ontario in 1845. They were known to have lived in Bolton, Ontario and Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York before returning to Canada around 1854. Dr. Morris and his family lived in Port Robinson and Delaware before settling in Florence, (Lambton County) Ontario. Although he lived in Florence, he was known to see patients Kent County, due to the close proximity to communities like Dresden and Duart. He passed the Upper Canada Medical Board exams in 1865.
Dr. Morris wrote about the difficulties of practicing medicine in Canada and the comments were published in The Medical Profession in Upper Canada 1783-1850 published in 1889. He wrote, “when first in Canada, riding through woods sometimes fifty miles….(and) had to perform some of the most difficult operations, often without assistance, such as amputations of hip, resection of elbow, operation of strangulated hernia, caesarean section etc.”
Dr. and Mrs. Morris had a total of 7 children, including Harvey, William, Margaret, Catherine and Mary Sophia.
Dr. Morris eventually moved to Caro, Michigan and continued to practice medicine. He was appointed as the Secretary of the United States Examining Board of Surgeons. By 1889, he was retired and still living in Caro.
His son Harvey Morris stayed in Kent County and married Mary Teeple Wallen. She was the daughter of Dr. James Smith Wallen of Wallaceburg. Harvey and Mary Morris had 6 children and one of their son’s was named William, who became a physician.
Mrs. Morris died on the 3rd of June, 1879. Dr. Morris died on the 27th of March, 1900. They are buried at the Indian Fields Township Cemetery in Caro.
Dr. Morris’ son William also became a physician.
*Dr. James Smith Wallen is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.