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Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Charteris Family


CHARTERIS.  The Charteris family stands among the early representatives of the County of Kent.  The first of the family concerning whom there is any definite record is Charles Charteris, the grandfather of Dr. C. R. Charteris, of Chatham.  He was born in Dumfrieshire, Scotland, and married Miss Diana Reed, daughter of John Reed, of Northumberland, England.  Three children were born of this union:  John, deceased; Diana Elizabeth, of Australia; and Charles George.  The father was a captain in the 28th Light Dragoons of Scotland, and on the disbanding of the regiment became a member of the Yeomanry Cavalry.

Charles George Charteris was born July 25th, 1828, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and came to Canada in 1846, settling in Chatham, Ontario, where he was employed by Witherspoon & Charteris, general merchants and agrents for the Gore Bank, of which Alexander Charteris was one of the partners.  At the expiration of five or six years, Charles George Charteris engaged in the lumber business with William Baxter, continuing therein until 1857, when he was appointed treasurer of the County of Kent, which position he held until the time of his lamented death, February 27th, 1887.   He was one of the most popular of the county officials, being held in high esteem by the best people of the county.  In local politics, also, he was a prominent figure, and for two terms was a member of the town council.  He was the second mayor of Chatham, holding that office in 1857.  Always interested in the welfare of his adopted city, he was decidedly a public-spirited man.  At one time he was agent for the Bank of Upper Canada at Chatham, and worked for the settlement of their real estate interests in the County of Kent.  In political affiliation he was a Reformer, and in religious connection a Presbyterian.

On December 25th, 1849, Charles George Charteris married Miss Elizabeth Baxter, daughter of William Baxter, of Chatham, and to this union were born eight children:  F.W. a farmer of Chatham township; Mrs. Colles, of Chicago; Mrs. Dr. Mustard, of Ohio; Dr. C. R., of Chatham; F.G.Y., a farmer of Chatham township; Charles George; Caroline; and Harriett Louisa, deceased.

The Charteris family is a very ancient one in the annals of Dumfriesshire, Scotland.  They are supposed to have been ofiginally of French origin, settling in Scotland in the reign of George II.   A large tract of land was granted to the family for important services to the king, and a portion of this property is still in the possession of some of the descendants of the family.  The following may prove of interest in connection with the ancient history of the family:  On the night of April 4th, 1608, James VI slept at Amisfield Castle, on his way to England, and the bed he occupied that night is now preserved in the museum of antiquities at Edinburgh.  There is also preserved in the same museum a door on which a hero of the Charteris family is represented in the act of tearing asunder the jaws of a lion the same being a true representation of an incident in the history of the family.

Dr. C.R. CHARTERIS was born in Chatham township, County of Kent, July 22nd, 1865, and was educated in the central and high schools of Chatham.  His medical course was taken in the Toronto School of Medicine and Victoria University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Toronto, from which institutuion he was graduated in 1887, receiving the degree of M.D.C.M.  The same year he began practicing in Chatham, becoming a member of the board of health of the city during that year.  In 1888 he continued his medical studies in the hospitals of London and Edinburgh.  Upon his return in 1889, the Doctor settled at Florence, County of Lambton, Ontario, where he built up an extensive practice.  At the end of four years of hard work, much of his practice being in the surrounding country, the continuous driving made itself felt in a breaking down of his physical strength, and the Doctor moved to Chatham, where he is relieved of much of the out-of-town work, and in his eight years of practice in that city he has met with his former success.  He is a member of the Ontario Medical Association.  In January, 1900, he was appointed physician to the County House of Refuge, and also to the county jail.  Dr. Charteris was appointed in 1896 a member of the Library Board, being chairman thereof in 1897 and 1903.  This year (1904) he is chairman o f the board of health. 

On November 19th, 1890, Dr. Charteris was married to Miss Margaretta Webster, daughter of John Webster, postmaster at Florence, and they have three children:  Gwendoline Isabella, Charles Maxwell and Walter Francis.  The Doctor and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and in his political faith he is a Reformer.  Socially he belongs to the Sons of Scotland and to the I.O.O.F.


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