Dr. J.B. Carruthers
Honoured by his grandnieces Beth Palmer Snyder and Carol Speers Ricci
Dr. James Benjamin Carruthers was born in 1851 in Dumfries, Scotland. His parents were Benjamin and Margaret. He was the youngest of seven children and came over to Ontario with the family about 1870. He married Mary Ann Thompson in 1880 in Georgetown, Ontario. They had eight children, two born in the Barrie area and the younger six in North Bay, Ontario.
In the 1870’s, James Benjamin taught at the Barrie Central School for a while then became principal of the West Ward School, also in Barrie. While there, he was the leader of the Presbyterian Church Choir and played in the Philharmonic Society. He left the teaching profession to go back to school in Toronto, and graduated as a medical doctor and afterward he and his family moved to North Bay. He was one of the pioneer doctors in North Bay and was a member of the 1st North Bay Medical Fraternity in 1886. In 1895 he was the Mayor of North Bay.
In 1898 he was a member of the first North Bay Presbytery and in 1899 was president of the Building Committee for the new Presbyterian Church, St. Andrews where he was in the choir. He was active in preparing and laying of the corner stone of the church, August 15, 1904. He was one of the first members of the organization, The Sons of Scotland. Dr. Carruthers founded the first ecumenical choir in North Bay which became known as the Choral Union in 1907 and eventually became known by its’ present name, the North Bay Choral Society. He served on the Public School Board for many years and the Dr. Carruthers Public School was named in his honour.
Dr. Carruthers died in 1904 while out on a call to a patient. He and his wife are buried in the Union Cemetery, North Bay.
Respectfully submitted by grandnieces, Beth Palmer Snyder and Carol Speers Ricci