Dr. James Martin Smith was born in Brockville, Ontario in 1830. Dr. Smith’s parents were Rev. Philander and Mary Smith and he had a younger brother also named Philander. Dr. Smith’s father was born in Blenheim (Schoharie County), New York and at the time of his death on the 28th of March, 1870 he was the Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada. Rev Smith was buried in Brooklyn, Ontario.
Dr. Smith’s education is not documented with certainty. According to the 1872 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Smith was practicing medicine prior to January 1st, 1850. He settled in Morpeth, Ontario in 1858 and Dr. Smith joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 25th of September, 1869.
Dr. Smith married Mary Ellen Scott in Chatham-Kent on the 10th of January, 1860. Mrs. Smith was born in Quebec on the 1st of December, 1833. She was the eldest of 10 children born to Robert Scott and the former Anne Carroll. By 1851 the Scott family was living in Norwich Township (Oxford County), Ontario. Her parents were farmers and her were siblings were; Lucy Scott, Matthew William Scott, Gideon Ousley Scott, John W. Scott, Elizabeth Jane Scott, George Fletcher Scott, Robert Courson Scott, Joseph Lonsbury Scott and Isabella Scott. Mrs. Smith’s parents were born in Mayo, Leitrim County, Ireland. Mrs. Smith and her siblings Lucy and Matthew were born in Quebec but her brother Gideon was born in Norwich Township, Ontario which means that Robert and Anne Scott moved to Norwich between 1838 and 1840. According to the 1881 census Mr. and Mrs. Scott resided in Chatham.
Mrs Smith’s father died in Chatham on the 9th of January, 1893 and he was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery (in Chatham). After the death of her father, Mrs. Smith’s mother went to live with her youngest daughter Isabella and her family in Chicago, Illinois. Mrs. Anne Scott died in Brandon, Manitoba on the 1st of January, 1916. She was buried beside her husband at Maple Leaf Cemetery.
Dr. and Mrs. Smith had 3 children, all born in Morpeth. Frederick Smith was born in 1860, Ann Lucinda Smith was born in 1862 and Robert Scott Smith was born in 1863. Dr. Smith had a busy medical practice in Morpeth and he was a coroner. He also issued marriage licences. Dr. Smith is listed in the 1867, 1869 and the 1875 Kent County Business Directories.
By 1881, Dr. and Mrs. Smith had moved to London, Ontario.
Dr. Smith died in London on the 8th of February, 1892. He was buried at Woodland Cemetery in London in Section U, Lot 92 NE. The 1893 London City Directory lists Mrs. Smith living at 547 Talbot Street. Eventually Mrs. Smith went to live with her son Dr. Robert Scott Smith at 151 John Street. Dr. Robert Smith was a medical physician who practiced in London.
*In 1865, Dr. J. M. Smith of Morpeth appeared on University of Michigan Medical School documents as a preceptor for Dr. Hugh Edwin Winter. Dr. Winter practiced medicine in Dresden and he is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.
**An ad that appears in the 1864-65 County of Kent Gazetteer and General Business Directory on page 100 is featured below.