John Samuel Agar 
Location served:
Chatham, Dover Centre  
Years in Practice:
1890 to 1937
Area of Specialization:
Family Medicine  


Dr. John Samuel Agar was born on September 16th, 1864 in Port Hope, Ontario. His parents, Thomas Agar and the former Abigail Weary, were immigrants from England and were considered farming pioneers in Canada.  According to the census’s of 1851 through 1871, the Agar family was living in Durham County.  By the time the 1881 census was taken Dr. Agar and his family had settled on the Caledonia Road in Chatham Township (Chatham-Kent). Dr. Agar was the 10th of 11 children.  His siblings were; Sarah Ann Agar, William Agar, Elizabeth Agar, Thomas Sanderson Agar, Catherine Jane Agar, Charles Benjamin Agar, Mary Louisa Agar, Jabez Agar, Emmiline Harriett Agar and Lois Blanche Agar.

Mr. and Mrs. Agar felt so strongly about their children’s education that they moved to Toronto in 1883, so that the children could benefit from a university education.  Mr and Mrs Agar would not live to see their daughter or son graduate from medical school.  Mrs. Agar died in Toronto on the 2nd of December, 1884.  Mr. Agar died in Toronto on the 10th of September, 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Agar were buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.

Dr. John Samuel Agar and his sister Dr. Mary Louisa Agar, graduated from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1890. According to the 1928 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. John Samuel Agar graduated M.B. and Dr. Mary Louisa Agar graduated M.D.,C.M.  Both doctors joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 22 of May, 1890.  They appeared in the 1891 census as living in Dover Twp (Chatham-Kent).

Dr. John Agar married Ella Violet Blackburn on the 19th of November, 1891 in Chatham Township. She was born on the 18th of October, 1865 in Chatham Township.  She was the eldest of 6 children born to Abraham Blackburn and the former Mary Hannah Merritt.  Her parents were farmers and her siblings were; Ida Charlotte Blackburn, Frances Edith Blackburn, Jessie May Blackburn, Clara Etta Blackburn and Harry Russell Blackburn.  Mrs. Ella Agar died on the 11th of June, 1903, just 3 months after her own mother died.  Mrs. Agar (and her parents) were buried at the Arnold Cemetery in Louisville.

In October of 1904, Dr. Agar and his sister purchased the medical practice of Dr. William Henry Tye in Dover Centre, Ontario.  (Dr Tye and his family moved to Kansas City, Missouri in January of 1905).

By 1913 Dr. and Dr. Agar had their medical offices in Chatham.  They were listed in the 1913 Bell Telephone Directory.   Their office was located at 247 King Street West and their telephone number was 86.  Their medical office was listed in the 1920 Vernon City of Chatham Business Directory at 247 King Street West.  According to the 1921 census, Dr. Agar lived at 245 King Street West in Chatham with his sisters Dr. Mary Louise Agar and Lois Blanche Agar.  According to that same census, Lois Agar’s occupation was listed as a nurse.  Dr. and Dr. Agar now practiced medicine in Chatham.

On the 20th of June 1925, Dr. Agar married Berta Elma Kennedy in Windsor, Ontario. She was born in Burlington, Ontario on the 4th of August, 1878, the daughter of John Byron Kennedy and the former Eliza Brown.  Mrs. Agar was a nurse who was the Superintendent of Nursing at the Public General Hospital from 1902 to 1908.  According to the 1920 U.S. Census, Miss Kennedy was a nurse at the hospital in Seattle, Washington and she resided in a lodging facility on 5th Avenue.  Further it lists her year of immigration to the United States as 1907.

Dr. Agar’s sister, Dr. Mary Louisa Agar died on the 6th of March, 1931.  Dr. Agar’s wife Berta, died on the 9th of October, 1931 just 6 years after she married Dr. Agar.  At the time of her death Dr. and Mrs. Agar resided at 245 King Street West in Chatham.  Mrs. Berta Agar was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.

Dr. Agar retired in 1937.  He died on the 14th August  of 1940 at the Public General Hospital in Chatham and he was buried in the mausoleum at Maple Leaf Cemetery (Chatham). There is a memorial tombstone at the Arnold Cemetery in Louisville, Ontario in his honour.  (Other members of the Agar family, including his sister Dr. Mary Louisa Agar, are buried at the Arnold Cemetery.)

At the time of his death he was married to Louise Darville and they resided at 200 Grand Ave., West in Chatham.  Louise Darville was born in Glencoe, Ontario on the 1st of March, 1882, the 4th of 5 children born to William Albert Darville and the former Mary Ann Pope.  At the time of her birth, her father was a machinist and her siblings were; William (died on the 17th of November, 1895 of tuberculosis at the age of 18), Daisy, Annie and Florence.  Her sister Florence was born on the 4th of August, 1883 and their father died on the 6th of October, 1883.  Louise was just 19 months old when her father died.   According to the 1901 census, Mrs. Louise Agar was a dressmaker and she lived in the city of London, Ontario.  By 1911 she was a lodger with the Joseph Martin family at 59 Stanley Avenue in Chatham and her occupation was listed as a nurse.  Mrs. Louise Agar died in 1965 and she was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in London with her parents and siblings.

*Dr. William Henry Tye and Dr. Agar’s sister, Dr. Mary Louisa Agar are also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.

Tombstone Photo Credit: Anne F.