Dr. Andrew McDermid was born on the 17th of July, 1854 in Southwold Twp near Fingal (Elgin County), Ontario. He was the 5th of 10 children born to Andrew McDermid and the former Ann Smith. An older brother named Andrew McDermid died on the 13th of May, 1854, just 2 months prior to Dr. McDermid’s birth. His parents were farmers and his siblings were; John L. McDermid, Alexander McDermid, Elizabeth Ann McDermid, Andrew McDermid (born April, 29, 1852 and died on the 13th of May, 1854), Janet Isabel McDermid, James William McDermid (who died of “congestion of lungs” at the age of 17), Violet Jane McDermid, Albert Edward McDermid and Marion Matilda McDermid.
Dr. McDermid was educated in local schools in Southwold Twp as well as at the Normal School in Toronto, where he received a certificate to teach public school in 1871. Dr. McDermid prepared for medical school by participating in preceptorships with Dr. J. M. Penwarden, with his brother Dr. John McDermid and with his future brother-in-law Dr. Robert George Brett. After teaching school for 5 years, he entered The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1876. Dr. McDermid graduated M.D. in 1879. He was awarded the gold medal upon his graduation. Dr. McDermid became a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 17th of May 1879.
Upon his graduation, Dr. McDermid set up his medical practice in Florence, Ontario. Florence is located in Lambton County, which is in close proximity to Chatham-Kent. Dr. McDermid advertised his medical practice in the Bothwell Times (August 1879). He attended to patients in Bothwell, Thamesville, and Zone Twp, (all located in Chatham-Kent) as evidenced by his name on birth and death records. Dr. McDermid served as the president of the Florence Cricket Club.
Dr. McDermid married Emmaretta “Emma” Levina Brett on the 23rd of June, 1880 in Arkona, Lambton County. Mrs. McDermid was born on the 16th of November, 1859 in Strathroy, Ontario. She was the youngest of 4 children born to James Brett and the former Catherine Wilson. Her parents were born and raised in Ireland and immigrated to Canada in 1848. Her father was a merchant in Strathroy and her siblings were; Robert George Brett, William Brett and Leticia Elena Brett.
Dr. and Mrs. McDermid moved to Winnipeg in 1882. Dr. McDermid graduated M.D. from the University of Manitoba in 1883. He was one of the founders of the Manitoba Medical College. Dr. McDermid was a professor of gynaecology and obstetrics at the college beginning in 1890 and he was a professor of chemistry from 1886 until 1892.
Dr. and Mrs McDermid had 2 children, both born in Winnipeg. Their son William Albert McDermid was born on the 25th of October, 1886 and their daughter Emma Alida Winona McDermid was born on the 14th of October, 1888. In November of 1891 Dr. McDermid published a paper in the Northwest Lancet titled, “Separation of Lower Epiphysis of Femur, Amputation, Recovery.”
Dr. McDermid belonged to the Masonic fraternity, the Royal Templars of Temperance, Sons of Scotland, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Canadian Order of Foresters.
The McDermid family moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1892. Dr. McDermid served as the President of the Canadian Medical Association from 1893 – 1894. In 1900 Dr. and Mrs. McDermid resided at 6328 Greenwood Ave. in Chicago. In the 1902 University of Illinois Report, Dr. McDermid was an Associate Professor of Obstetrics. He received that appointment in 1894.
By 1922, Dr. and Mrs. McDermid were living in New Jersey. According to a U.S. passport application made in 1922, Dr. and Mrs. McDermid were travelling to Egypt and India and Dr. McDermid would be acting as the ship surgeon.
Dr. McDermid died on the 10th of March, 1926 in Pocohontas, Alberta.
*Dr. McDermid’s son William Albert McDermid served during World War I and World War II with the United States Military.
**Dr. McDermid’s brother Dr. John McDermid was known to have practiced medicine in Middlesex County.
***Dr. McDermid’s sister Janet Isabella (McDermid) McLachlan was married to a physician, Dr. James McLachlan.
****Mrs. McDermid’s brother Dr. Robert George Brett served as the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta from 1915 until 1925.
Editor’s Note: Various documents spell the doctor’s surname McDermid and McDiarmid. Dr. Andrew McDermid spelled his name McDermid and signed his signature as such on his U.S. Passport application.