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Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Duncan P. McPhail

DUNCAN P. McPHAIL, M.D., physician and druggist of Highgate, Orford township, County of Kent, came to that place in 1887 from his birthplace, Iona Station, Dunwich township, County of Elgin, Ontario.  He is a son of Hugh and Mary (Paterson) McPhail, of the County of Elgin the father, now (1904) eighty-one years of age, living retired on the homestead.  The mother died April 1st, 1902, aged seventy-five years.  Hugh McPhail has been a justice of the peace many years, and was also township councillor for several years.  In religious belief he is an adherent of the Baptist Church, to which his wife also belonged.  They were the parents of the following named children:  Alexander, who is postmaster at Alvinston, Ontario; John, a farmer of the County of Elgin; Hugh, a farmer on the old homestead; Daniel, who died after growing to manhood; Arthur, who died at the age of seventeen years Sarah, wife of Duncan McCallum, a retired farmer of Glencoe, Ontario; Eiza, who married John Mitchell, of Iona, Ontario; Duncan P.; Christina, unmarried, at home; and Minnie, unmarried and at home.

Duncan McPhail remained at home on the farm with his parents until he was seventeen, rounding out his literary education with a course at the st Thomas and St Catharine's Collegiate Institutes.  He then took up teaching, following that calling in the Counties of Elgin, Middlesex and Lambton, and meantime began reading medicine with Dr. Marlatt, of Alvinston, now of St Thomas.  He was successful in that calling, having been principal of the Alvinston public schools, when he left to give all his attention to medicine.  He entered Trinity Medical College, Toronto, from which he graduated in 187, and he was one of the few to receive first honours from that college.  After practicing in Highgate for seven years he took a post graduate-course in the Post Graduate school at New York, and has ever since devoted himself to his calling; since 1890 he has been coroner of the County of Kent.  His standing is among the most successful medical men of the county, for he enjoys a large practice, and in addition he has a lucrative drug business, which he has carried on since 1897.  In that year he built his fine brick store in Highgate, where his office is established.  He is progressive and up-to-date in all that relates to his profession, as well as in all that concerns the public welfare, and is regarded in the community as a man worthy of the respect he receives.

Dr. McPhail is a member of the Masonic Fraaternity, in which he has advanced to the Knight Templar degree; he is also a member of the A.O.U.W., the I.O.F. and the C.O.F.  In politics he is a Liberal, taking an active part in local affairs, and he has served upon the school board for the past three years.  In religious matters he subscribes to and attends all the churches. 

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