“2,000 people on the streets”–Dr. Finlay McEwen of Carleton Place



Perth Courier, Jan. 29, 1892

McEwen—Died, at Carleton Place on the 22nd Jan., Finlay McEwen, M.D., aged 50 years and 9 months. We regret to learn of the death of Dr. Findlay McEwen of Carleton Place on Friday last from pneumonia and heart complications.  The deceased doctor was skillful, genial and popular and his death is universally lamented.  He was about 50 years of age and was married in 1883 to Ellen, daughter of the late John Gillies.  The Carleton Place papers had a lengthy obituary.

Dr. F. McEwen, of Carleton Place, one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of that town, passed away on Friday last, after a long struggle with inflammation of the lungs brought on by a severe attack of la grippe. The Doctor was greatly respected by a wide  circle of warm friends in Almonte, who deeply regret his being cut off at so early an age and in the midst of a life of so much usefulness. We clip the following sketch of his life from the C. P. Herald:

Finlay McEwen,’ M.D., was born in Beckwith township, on the homestead, April 6th, 1841. He was the eldest son of Alexander McEwen, who came out with his father, Finlay McEwen, from Perthshire, Scotland, m 1818. His brothers are Alexander, Peter and Hugh (M.D ), and his sisters are Mrs. Arch. Blair, Mrs. Geo. Blair and Misses Kate, Tena and Jessie. His father, who was one ot the pioneers of this part of Ontario, died in June, 1888, aged 75 years, and his mother, aged 77, is still living. After teaching school for some years, he studied medicine in McGill College, and graduated in 1870.

He first practised in Almonte, remaining here for five months, when he removed to Komoka, near London, Ontario. In 1872 he settled at Carleton Place, succeeding to the practice of Dr. McVean. Being of a cheerful and pleasant disposition, he speedily became a great favourite, and built up a large practice. In April, 1883, he was united in marriage to the was married in 1883 to Ellen Gillies, daughter of the late John Gillies, daughter of the late John Gillies. For Mrs. McEwen, who has been a congenial and untiring helpmate in all her lamented husband’s affair, and their only child, little Helen, four years of age, and all the sorrowing relatives, the sympathy of the community finds expression everywhere.

Dr. McEwen had withstood numerous severe attacks of illness. When a student pleurisy laid heavy siege to his constitution in 1874 the hemorrhage of the lungs threatened to carry him off, and his friends feared he could not survive. In 1876 typhoid fever, in a severe form, proved almost fatal; he was given up to die, but rallied his forces and recovered. In the fall of 1883 he battled with a fierce attack of rheumatic fever, this being, perhaps, the most life-sapping of all his physical trouble”. Again it seemed that he could not live, but under the arduous attention of his confrere, Dr. Preston, he again recovered, after a long prostration.

Through all these trials the man’s characteristics of coolness and tenaciousness were brought forth in bold relief. Five weeks ago his final physical troubles set in. A severe cold brought on double pneumonia and heart complications. Even after the most serious symptoms became manifest, although the patient himself believed he could hardly recover, and Drs. Church, of Ottawa, and Munro, of Perth, were in consultation with the local practitioners, there was a slight revival, and hope pervaded the community.

On Monday week, however, he began to sink gradually, and his immediate friends feared the worst, and on Friday morning, at 7:40, he passed peacefully away. ~ The funeral on Monday was one of the largest ever seen in Carleton Place, there being about 2,000 people on the streets.

The deceased was a Mason and an Oddfellow, but he requested that his funeral should be conducted without any ostentation and without any crape or other outward badge of mourning. Several friends from Almonte were present at the funeral, but a much larger number would have attended had it not been that the funeral of the late *Mrs. Fumerton was announced for the same hour.


*Fumerton—Died, at Carleton Place  Margaret Munro Fumerton, wife of Robert Fumerton, aged 60.

Carleton Place underground

In memory of Mary Henry

We had a great time today at the Old Dr. Mcewen house on Bell Street. The house will be demolished this upcoming week, we had a chance to go and grab a few things for the museum! The owner and his son helped us explore it was fun!

Sat., Sept. 29 / 18 @ 9am

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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