Dr. James A. Sommerville was born in Kingston, Ontario in February of 1841. He was the 3rd of 7 children born to Alexander Sommerville and the former Jane Douglas. His father was an engineer and his siblings were; Eliza Jane Sommerville, William Sommerville, Sarah Annie Sommerville, Henry Douglas Sommerville, Joseph H. Sommerville and George Sommerville. In 1861, Dr. Sommerville was teaching school in Kingston, prior to attending medical school.
Dr. Sommerville married Maria Louisa Cooke on the 16th of July, 1862 in Strathroy, Ontario. Mrs. Sommerville born around 1836 in Niagara Twp, Ontario. She was the eldest of 7 children born to Timothy Cooke and the former Harriett Terry. Her father owned the mill in Strathroy and her siblings were; Susan Eliza Cooke, Gertrude Niles Cooke, Mary Agnes Cooke, Amelia Margaret Ellen Cooke, William George Cooke and Hannah Terry Cooke.
Dr. Sommerville graduated M.D. from Queen’s University in 1866. According to the 1871 census, Dr. Sommerville was practicing medicine in Warwick, (Lambton County).
Dr. and Mrs. Sommerville had 4 children; Esca “Alexandria” Sommerville was born on the 7th of May, 1867 in Strathroy, Helen Douglass Sommerville was born in Watford on the 6th of October, 1871. Gertrude Sommerville was born in Watford in October of 1875. The Sommerville family was living in Mooretown (Lambton County) when a son was born to them on the 4th of September, 1877 but the baby was stillborn.
According to the 1880 Kent County Directory, Dr. Sommerville was listed as having a medical office and residence on Nelson Street in Wallaceburg.
The family moved to Marinette, Wisconsin around 1890. Mrs. Sommerville died on the 1st of June, 1894. She was buried at the Forest Home Cemetery in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Dr. Sommerville advertised his medical practice in the 1899 Menominee Michigan Business Directory under Marinette, Wisconsin. In the advertisement, it identifies Dr. Sommerville’s business and residence at 630 Marinette Ave, Marinette, Wisconsin. According to the 1900 U.S. Census, Dr. Sommerville was living with his daughter Gertrude.
Dr. Sommerville’s daughter Gertrude, married James H. McGillan on the 26th of April, 1901. Incidentally, Dr. Sommerville died the same day. He was buried next to his wife at Forest Home Cemetery in Marinette, Wisconsin.
*Dr. Sommerville’s son-in-law, James H. McGillan was a respected lawyer and the Mayor of Green Bay Wisconsin from 1927-1929. Mr. and Mrs. McGillan had no children.