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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part V - Biographies
John A. McGill, M.D.


THE McGill family in America has left lasting memorials of their individual ability and public generosity. Dr. John A. McGill, for three successive terms President of the Illinois St. Andrew Society and one of the most respected and successful physicians of Chicago, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 18, 1S42. the eldest son of Robert Sinclair McGill and Emily Hastings. His grandfather, Samuel McGill, was connected with the Sinclairs of Caithness, and his father, Robert Sinclair McGill, was born in Glasgow and emigrated to Canada in 1815, settling in Muddy York, now Toronto. The Hon. James and Peter McGill, sons of his grandfatherís brother, settled in Montreal in the eighteenth century and endowed McGill University, Montreal, Canada, about 1800. Dr. McGill has three brothers:

Robert Sinclair McGill, ex-mayor of Simcoe, Ontario; Dr. William Webster McGill. Buffalo. N. Y.: and Dr. James Palmer McGill. Chicago; and two sisters: Mary Jane Morphy, Hamilton, Ontario, and Elizabeth Ann Bruce, Oakland, Cal.

Dr. McGill received his early education from private teachers, afterward attending Galt Collegiate Institute, Galt. Ontario, and was graduated at Cleveland (Ohio) University School of Medicine in 1874. He entered upon his successful career as a physician in the same year in Attica, N. Y., removing later to South Bend. Ind., and in 1889 to Chicago. His wonderful record of not having lost a day through illness in fifty years, Dr. McGill attributes to the fact that he is strictly temperate and a total abstainer from alcohol, never having drunk a mouthful of whisky, brandy. gin or rum in all his life, and in his practice as a physician never prescribing it. He maintains extensive offices and laboratories for the manufacture of proprietary medicines in his own large building at the corner of 20th Street and Indiana Avenue, Chicago.

Dr. McGill was three times unanimously elected President of the Illinois St. Andrew Society and filled the office with efficiency and ability. At the expiration of his term, March, 1916, he was given a testimonial dinner at which high tribute was paid to him for his loyalty and his deep and continued interest in all Scottish affairs in Chicago and vicinity. He is a man of fine address and personality and a pleasing speaker. He is President of the Canadian Veteransí Association, having served as a private during the Fenian Raid in 1866; a thirty-second degree Mason, and a Sir Noble of the Mystic Shrine. Like most of the McGills of his family, he is also a Scottish Rite Mason. He is also a member of the Hamilton Club and the Chicago Press Club. Dr. McGill has travelled extensively, having spent one winter in Rome, one summer in Scotland, one winter in Mexico City, and a number of winters in Florida and Pasadena, Cal. He is very fond of music, and at one time was quite a violinist. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Dr. McGill married, June 7, 1876, in Attica, N. Y., Caroline Coonley, niece of the late Judge Merrirnan, of Syracuse, N. Y., and daughter of Benjamin and Emily Coonley. They have one child, Harriet Mason, born August 1, 1887. The home-circle is still unbroken, the family dividing its time between the beautiful country home, "Seven Acres," at Sister Lakes, Van Buren County, Mich., and the city residence, 4938 Drexel Boulevard, Chicago. Dr. McGill is one of the most liberal Scots in Chicago, and no worthy cause for his countrymen is presented to him in vain. He presented the ground for the Scottish Old Peoplesí Home, Riverside, Ill., being the first large contributor; he is a member of the Board of Governors, and since the completion of the building, he and Mrs. McGill have made many generous donations. Dr. McGill combines in an unusual degree the fine qualities necessary to the successful career of a "beloved physician."


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