Historical Plaque Properties

 

Dr. Daisy Macklin - Physician
196 Ontario Street
1907

 

Daisy Mary Moore Macklin, born on May 8, 1873, was the seventh of the eight children of William Macklin and Hester Ann Godfrey.

 

Her father left Tyrone, Ireland, at nineteen (1853) to settle in Canada West, now Ontario. He was from a family of successful dry goods merchants and clothiers operating stores in Counties Longford and Down. In 1858, he married Hester Ann Godfrey (born 1839, Upper Canada). Leaving Warwick Township, Lambton County, they moved and settled in Stratford by the time of Daisy’s birth. Sadly, Daisy was only three years old when her mother died in 1876. Re-marrying in 1877, he and his second wife, Frances Franklin, went on to have seven children. Throughout her life, Daisy was part of a large and active family! 

 

 

The family apparently moved frequently. The 1881 Census finds them living in Toronto, in downtown St George’s ward. The Census describes Daisy as “going to school” at the time. By the 1891 Census, Daisy (now 18) and her family were living in Ellice Township. The family’s dry goods business operated out of the handsome Macklin Block (now Family & Co. toy store) across from the Perth County Court House.

Daisy attended public school and the Collegiate Institute in Stratford before following in the footsteps of her brothers William (1860-1947) and Alfred (1868-1948) to study medicine. Jenny Trout and Emily Howard Stowe were the first women admitted to study medicine in 1871 in Toronto and the first women to be licenced to practice medicine in Ontario. Daisy graduated from Medical School, the University of Toronto in 1895. With them, Daisy has the distinction of being one of Ontario’s early woman physicians.  

 

Following her graduation she conducted a practice in Stratford “but later relinquished that to take up medical missionary work in China” (Beacon Herald, March 2, 1925). After a few years, she returned to her practice and work in Stratford.
 
Her brother, Dr William Macklin and his wife Dr Dorothy DeLany went to China in 1886 to found a medical mission in Nanjing sponsored by the Disciples of Christ Church. In 1892, the Nanjing Christian Hospital was built. They served the hospital and the people of Nanjing for forty years, returning to North America in 1927. Shocked by the opium trade and addiction, William opened an opium clinic in the Hospital. He objected to Western economic imperialism in China and helped translate progressive books in an effort to help reform in China. Over 100 years later, the Hospital is still open and part of the Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, one of China’s important treatment and medical research facilities.

 

 

In 1925 Daisy went to Toronto for treatment, staying with her brother Frederick of downtown Huron Street. In reporting her death from complications after surgery, the Beacon Herald said she “had not been in the best of health for more than a year” and her death on March 2 “came as a distinct shock to a host of friends” in Stratford. Daisy was buried in St James Cemetery, Toronto.

 

Daisy Macklin and others of her large family remain an inspiration. The Christian (Anglican) faith and a commitment to care for others were central characteristics of their lives and professions. The 1911 Census has four people living at 196 Ontario Street: Daisy, Mina Purrell (“boarder”) and two teenagers (15 and 13) for who Daisy provided support and care. Daisy was clearly a woman of many gifts and talents. Had she lived past her fifty-second year, she would surely have continued to contribute much to other people and her community.