In the death, Saturday, of Dr. David Croal McKenzie, 69, local pioneer physician, Fort Frances and the Rainy River District mourned the loss of one of its most public spirited citizens and one who played a leading role in the progress of this north country.
Funeral rites were held Monday afternoon from the family residence on 3rd. St., where his host of friends from all walks of life gathered to pay their last respects. Rev. J.N. Hepburn conducted the service. Soloist was Miss Ruth MacKenzie. Internment was made in the family plot in the local cemetery.
Honorary pallbearers were: J.A. Mathieu, F.C. Dickson, Dr. R.E. Hartry, O.B. Flinders, B.V.> Holmes, Norman L. Croome, of Fort Frances; Louis Hamel, J. Hoskins, of Mine Centre; Thomas Rawn, of Atikokan; Dr.M.E. Withrow, Joseph Lloyd, of Int’l Falls. Messrs., H.L. Cruso, Geo.H. Gledhill, G.A. Stethem, A.M. Struve, A.J. Mathieu, Joseph Graham, Dr. John Leishman and Ray S. Holmes were active pallbearers.
Born in Durham, Ont., the late Dr. McKenzie received his medical degree from Toronto University. Coming to the Rainy River District in 1897, he opened a medical practice at Mine Centre, then one of the leading mining towns in the northwest. In the early 1900’s he moved to Fort Frances and shortly afterward built the McKenzie Hospital here, the first private hospital in the district.
In municipal affairs he played an active role and for six years served the Town of Fort Frances as mayor. First elected in 1906 he served part of that year, later again becoming head of the town’s governing body from 1911 to 1913 and again in 1915. His last term was in 1919, following his return from overseas.
During the World War, Dr. McKenzie who was a Colonel of the old 98th. regiment, organized the 141st. Bull Moose Battalion in this district. In 1916 as Colonel and Officer Commanding he took his battalion overseas.
Often referred to as the ‘father’ of the Canadian Legion here, Dr. McKenzie was one of the first officers of the local branch and with other associates was responsible for arrangements which have made available for the present clubrooms.
To him must also go the credit for organizing the Town Band for it was due to his promotional efforts that the local musical organization was formed.
Close friend and college classmate of Prime Minister Mackenzie King, Dr. McKenzie was one of the leading Liberals in this district and served on the executives of both local and district organizations at various times during his lifetime.
An ardent enthusiast in local athletic circles, he was always willing to lend a hand to various sporting organizations, such as football, hockey, and baseball. One of the greatest curlers in the early days, he held an honorary life membership in the Fort Frances Curling Club.
Prominent in Masonic and Shrine circles, he was a member of Granite Lodge and Khartum Temple, Winnipeg.
In all community and district enterprises Dr. McKenzie took a great interest and was one of the greatest boosters for the Rainy River District.
Survivors include a sister, Margaret, and her adopted daughter, Margaret.