Dr. James Wright Mustard was born in Ashworth, Ontario on the 31st of December, 1860. He was the 2nd of 5 children born to John Mustard and the former Mary Pirt. His father was a carpenter and his siblings were; Annie Jane Mustard, Wilfred Pirt Mustard, Ruth Mustard and Isabel Eva Mustard.
Dr. James Mustard attended Uxbridge Public School and the Uxbridge High School, before attending The University of Toronto. He received his B.A. degree in 1882 and returned to The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. His university education was interrupted in 1885, by the Riel Rebellion. During that time, Dr. Mustard served in the Red Cross Ambulance Corps. He completed his M.D. degree at The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1886.
In 1887 Dr. Mustard, was appointed the Medical Officer of Health (M.O.H.) in Franklin, Michigan. Later he practiced in Harper, Ohio. In 1895 he became the assistant professor of Medical Chemistry at Wooster University in Cleveland, Ohio. In the 1898 and 1899 Cleveland City Directory Dr. Mustard’s medical office was located at 959 Wilson Avenue. In the 1900 Cleveland City Directory, Dr. Mustard’s medical practice was located at 1151 Cedar Avenue.
Dr. Mustard married Louisa Harriett Charteris on December 28th of 1898 in Chatham-Kent. Mrs. Mustard was born in Chatham Township (Chatham-Kent) on the 28th of January, 1863. She was the 5th of 7 children born to Charles George Charteris and the former Elizabeth Baxter. Her father was the County Treasurer and her siblings were; Caroline Charteris (who died as a child), Diana Elizabeth Charteris, Charles George Charteris (who died as an infant) Francis Wemyss Charteris, Charles Richard Charteris and Frederick George Charteris.
At the time of their marriage Dr. Mustard was still living in Cleveland, Ohio. According to the 1900 U.S. Census, Dr. and Mrs. Mustard resided at 319 Wade Park Ave., in Cleveland. Dr. and Mrs. Mustard had 3 children. A daughter Elizabeth Mary Mustard was born in Ohio on August 26th, 1902 and Ruth Isabel Mustard was born in Ohio in 1905. Their third daughter, Caroline Mustard was born in Toledo on the 11th of September 1907 and died in Chatham in December of 1907.
An outbreak of smallpox in Chatham Township, brought Dr. Mustard to Chatham in 1907. Dr. Mustard became the M.O.H. and he supervised quarantines very effectively. Under his guidance, smallpox was eradicated in the area.
Dr. Mustard’s daughter Ruth died of diphtheria on the 26th of June, 1913 when she was only 8 years old.
In 1919 Dr. Mustard accepted the position of City Analyst for the Chatham water supply and continued in this capacity for approximately 25 years, until his retirement in 1943. In 1919 Dr. Mustard was the secretary of the Kent Historical Society. Dr. Mustard was elected Fellow in the Canadian Institute of Chemistry in 1920. According to the 1921 census, Dr. and Mrs. Mustard and their daughter Elizabeth, resided at 122 Emma Street. He was elected a member of the American Chemical Society in 1922.
Dr. Mustard belonged to the First Presbyterian Church of Chatham. He was a member of the Parthenon Lodge, No. 267 A.F. & A.M. He was a member of the Macaulay Club of Chatham and took over the presidency when J.H. Smith passed away. Dr. Mustard was a member of the Kent Historical Society and he was a sought after speaker on many topics but in particular the Riel Rebellion. Dr. Mustard contributed articles to the Chatham News under a column titled “Kentiana”. These articles were published again in a book, as part of a collection called Kentiana.
Dr. and Mrs. Mustard moved to 47 Victoria Ave., in July of 1925. According to the 1929 Vernon City of Chatham Business Directory, his medical office was located at the same address as his residence.
Mrs. Louisa Mustard, died on the 28th of July, 1926. His daughter, Elizabeth Mary Mustard died in Waterloo of liver disease on the 10th of March, 1927. At the time of her death, Elizabeth was at university studying to be a lawyer.
On Dr. Mustard’s 87th birthday a group of dignitaries joined Dr. Mustard at his residence and reminisced about his work as the City Analyst. An article published in the Chatham Daily News on the 2nd of January, 1948 paid tribute to Dr. Mustard’s contributions to the City of Chatham. Dr. Mustard died on the 1st of February, 1948. Dr. and Mrs. Mustard and their daughters are all buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.
*Mrs. Mustard’s brother, Dr. Charles Richard Charteris is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.
**Dr. Mustard’s brother Dr. Wilfred Pirt Mustard had a distinguished career at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.