Dr. Charles James Stuart Askin was born in London, Ontario in 1828. He was the 6th of 7 children born to Colonel John Baptiste Askin and the former Eliza Van Allen. His father was a Colonel in the Militia and a Justice of the Peace. Dr. Askin’s siblings were; John Hamilton Askin, Anna Maria Askin, Henry James Askin, Cynthia Winnifred Askin, Catherine Teresa Askin and Duncan McGregor Askin. Dr. Askin was raised in London, Ontario.
Dr. Askin graduated from King’s College (Toronto). Before his medical career in Chatham, Dr. Askin served as a Military Surgeon with the British Armed Forces at the Royal Naval Base in Gibraltar. After he left the military, Dr. Askin moved to Chatham in 1848 and joined the medical practice of Dr. Alexander Robertson. He was one of Chatham’s twelve ‘pioneer doctors’. According to the 1867 Medical Register, Dr. Askin received a provincial licence in 1849.
Dr. Askin was very involved in public life in Chatham. He served multiple terms as an elected town councillor, and he was also elected Mayor of Chatham in 1858 and again in 1860.
Dr. Askin married Inez Maria Taylor. She was born in Cadiz, Spain and she had a niece, Inez Catherine Taylor, that lived with her when she married Dr. Askin.
In February of 1866 Dr. Askin was elected to the General Council of Medical Education and Registration of Upper Canada. On the 14th of September, 1866, the 24th Kent Battalion of Infantry came into existence. The surgeon on record was Dr. Askin and he continued to act in that capacity for many years. He accompanied the 24th Kent Battalion to the frontier during the Fenian Raid in 1866. Dr. Askin was the first representative from the Western and St. Clair Division of the Medical Council.
Dr. Askin advertised his medical practice in the 1851 Chatham Directory, the 1864-65 Kent County Directory and Gazetteer, the 1866-67 Kent, Lambton and Essex Counties Directory and Gazetteer, the 1869 Ontario Gazetteer and Directory and the 1870-1871 Sutherlands Gazetteer Business Directory under Chatham.
Dr. Askin sat on the Board of School Trustee’s and he was a member of the Masonic Lodge according to the 1864 -1865 Kent County Directory and Gazetteer.
Dr. Askin carried on his medical practice as a physician and surgeon until he passed away on October 13, 1872 at the age of 44. Dr. Askin was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham. According to the 1876-1877 Chatham City Directory, Mrs. Askin was living at 104 Victoria Ave., in Chatham, but by 1882 she had moved to King Street West.
Dr. Askin’s mother Eliza Askin, died in Chatham shortly after her son on the 24th of November, 1872.
Mrs. Inez Askin died on the 2nd of May, 1899. At the time of her death, she was still living on King Street in Chatham.
Photo: Courtesy of the Chatham-Kent Museum.
*Dr. Alexander Robertson also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.