Dr. Alexander “Laird” Story was born on the 16th of April, 1900 in Blenheim, Ontario. He was the 2nd of 3 children born to Dr. Simeon G. Story and the former Margaret Gould. At the time of his birth, his father was a physician who lived and had his medical office at 15 George St. (in Blenheim). Dr. Story was raised in Blenheim with his brothers Ralph Gould Story (who was born in 1896) and Robert Menzies Story (who was born in 1906). Dr. Story’s father died in 1912.
After graduating from high school, Dr. Story found work at the Ford Plant in Detroit. He went on to study medicine at the University of Western Ontario graduating M.D. in 1927. According to the 1928 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Story joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 18th of June, 1927. He also completed post-graduate studies in New York, Toledo and the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Story started practicing family medicine in Blenheim at 15 George Street in 1928.
On the 15th of January, 1930, Dr. Story married Jean Laverne Underhill, in Toronto. She was born on the 14th of October, 1900 in Owen Sound, Ontario. She was the only daughter of Charles Wesley Underhill and the former Miriam Lozar. Her parents were married in Ridgetown on the 21st of December, 1886 and although Mrs. Story was born in Owen Sound, she was raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her parents managed the Flanagan Hotel and her father was also an appraiser at the Saskatoon customs office. Her father died in Saskatoon on the 5th of January, 1921. (According to the obituary of Mrs. Story that appeared in the Chatham Daily News on the 29th of August, 1968, it indicates that Mrs. Story had 2 brothers that predeceased her.).
Dr. and Mrs. Story had 2 children, Donald “Donn” Laird Story who was born in 1933 (and died in 2009) and Mary Margaret Story who was born in 1936 (and died in 2015).
Dr. Story was appointed a Coroner for the County of Kent in 1950 and he served in that position until 1970. Dr. Story had his own EKG and x-ray machines and a full pharmacy on site.
In 1966 and 1967 Dr. Story acted as the Centennial Chairman for the Town of Blenheim. Part of his duties included resurrecting the town bell, which had been put into storage after the old town hall had been demolished in 1951. The bell was re-located to the Main Street of Blenheim and a new support housing was made for the bell in front of the municipal building. The old bell was rung 100 times on New Years Day in 1967. At the unveiling of the bell Dr. Story gave a speech and in his remarks he commented that, “Blenheim was a thriving town with five saw mills, a cooper shop, basket work, bentwood factory and cabinet works when the town hall was constructed in 1896.” It was obvious that the Town of Blenheim was a source of great pride for Dr. Story.
He was a Past President of the Public General Hospital Medical Staff and in 1937 he served as the President of the Kent County Medical Society. Dr. Story was a member of the Blenheim Public School Board for many years. He was the President of the Blenheim Rotary Club, Worshipful Master of Kent Lodge No. 274 A.F. & A.M. in Blenheim, District Deputy Grand Master of the Chatham District Masonic Lodge and a member of both the Blenheim Shriner Club and the London Mocha Temple Shriner Club. Other interests of Dr. Story included traveling, photography, golf and curling.
Mrs. Story died at the Public General Hospital in Chatham on the 29th of August, 1968. She was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Blenheim.
Dr. Story retired from the practice of medicine in 1970.
Dr. Story died on the 26th of March 1971, at 15 George St in Blenheim….the same home that he was born in. Dr. Story was buried at Evergreen Cemetery. Story Street in Blenheim was named for Dr. Story.
At the time of Dr. Story’s death, he was married to Eleanor Louella Wood. Mrs. Story was born on the 24th of September, 1914 in Erie Beach. She was the 3rd of 9 children born to Ernest Aylmer Wood and the former Myrtle Spencer. Her father was a fisherman and her siblings were; Ernest Albert Wood (who died at age of 2 months and was buried in Chatham), Carl A. Wood, Claud Leo Wood, Paul Darl Wood, Emma Bernice Wood, Loyal Wood (who died at the age of 2 and was buried in Blenheim), Floyd Wood and Erma Eline Wood.
Mrs. Eleanor Story died on the 23rd of October, 1999 and she was buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
Dr. Story was also survived by 9 grandchildren: Jo-Anne Hendry, Stephen Laird Story, Brian Story, Alison Dambro, Michael Thain, Scott Thain, David Thain, Catherine Thain and Julianne (Thain) McNear.
*Dr. Story’s brother Ralph Gould Story served during WWI and he is featured on the ‘Gathering Our Heroes’ website.
**Dr. Story’s father Dr. Simeon G. Story also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.