Dr. William Morris was born on the 15th of July, 1820 in Limerick Ireland. Dr. Morris’s parents were Harvey Morris and the former Anna Kidd. He was educated at Ennis College before going to Trinity College and Royal College of Surgeons in 1839 in Ireland. In June of 1843, he received the degree of M.D. and L.R.C.S.I. after completing a work period at the Dublin Lying-In Hospital. From 1843 to 1844 he was the Resident-Surgeon at the City of Dublin Hospital.
Dr. Morris married Henrietta King in Ireland. Mrs. Morris was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1819.
They had 2 children children, Harvey and Richard before immigrating to Toronto, Ontario in 1845. They were known to have lived in Bolton, Ontario and Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York before returning to Canada around 1854. Dr. Morris and his family lived in Port Robinson and Delaware before settling in Florence (Lambton County) Ontario. His daughter Catherine Elizabeth Morris was born in Florence on the 27th of May, 1857. Although he lived in Florence, he was known to see patients in Chatham-Kent, due to the close proximity to communities like Thamesville, Dresden and Duart. He passed the Upper Canada Medical Board exams in 1865. Dr. Morris joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 26th of December, 1866.
Dr. Morris wrote about the difficulties of practicing medicine in Canada and the comments were published in The Medical Profession in Upper Canada 1783-1850 published in 1889. He wrote, “when first in Canada, riding through woods sometimes fifty miles….(and) had to perform some of the most difficult operations, often without assistance, such as amputations of hip, resection of elbow, operation of strangulated hernia, caesarean section etc.”
Dr. and Mrs. Morris had a total of 6 children; Harvey, Richard, William, Margaret, Catherine and Mary Sophia.
Dr. Morris eventually moved to Caro, Michigan and he continued to practice medicine. He was appointed as the Secretary of the United States Examining Board of Surgeons.
Dr. Morris’s son Harvey Morris remained in Chatham-Kent and married Mary Teeple Wallen. She was the daughter of Dr. James Smith Wallen of Wallaceburg. Harvey and Mary Morris had 6 children and one of their son’s was named William, who became a physician.
Mrs. Henrietta Morris died of typhoid fever on the 3rd of June, 1879. According to the 1880 U.S. Census, his daughter Margaret and her husband Dr. Timothy Lothian and their 3 daughters were living with Dr. Morris. By 1889, Dr. Morris had retired and he was still living in Caro.
Dr. Morris died in Caro on the 27th of March, 1900. Dr. and Mrs. Morris were buried at the Indianfields Township Cemetery in Caro.
*Dr. Morris’s sons William and Richard both became physicians. His daughter Mary Sophia married Dr. Richard King who practiced medicine in Peterborough.
**Dr. James Smith Wallen is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.