Newspapers tell the storyPublished 8:31pm Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Recently a folder of pictures and newspaper clippings was sent to the museum.
Newspaper clippings provide a wealth of information about families as do family pictures.
Unfortunately, whoever carefully cut the items from the newspapers neglected to date them. If the folio is not on the clipping, there is no way to know the date of the article. The same goes for the pictures with faces that have not been identified. Many times, I have emphasized in this column the importance that collectibles need to be dated and identified.
However, one article in group did have the date at the top. On Monday March 29, 1937, a picture and an obituary of a prominent Edwardsburg physician appeared.
Dr. Earnest Walter Tonkin, 64, lived in the home where the Mayhew Funeral Home is now located. His eye, ear, nose and throat practice was conducted in the little house on Lake Street just off Main Street. The property connects with the funeral home, which made it easy for him to get to the office.
Dr. Tonkin was born in Exeter, Devonshire, England, in 1870. At age 3, Tonkin moved with his family to Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, and as a young man he studied at the Toronto University, finishing his education at the Detroit College of Medicine, from which he was graduated in 1895.
Soon after graduation, he moved to Edwardsburg to set up his practice. He married Ada Louise Osborne in 1892 and they had two children, W. Roscoe Tonkin and Mrs. Palmer Potter, and two grandchildren, Suzanne Tonkin and Mary Louise Potter
Later, in 1921, he moved to Niles and continued his practice there.
Dr. Tonkin married Miss Ada Louise Osborne in Lakeview, Ontario, and she died in 1912. In 1920, he married Florence Hicks of Edwardsburg.
Dr. Tonkin was a member of the First Methodist Church, St., Joseph Valley Lodge No. 4, Modern Woodmen of America, Maccabees, American Medical Association, American Medical Association of Vienna, Austria, Michigan State Medical Society, Michigan Eye Ear and Nose and Throat Society.
Dr. Tonkin is buried in the Edwardsburg Cemetery; he died on Easter morning in March 1937.
A pair of glasses with a case belonging to his practice is in the Edwardsburg Museum. A sign that hung on his office is also in the museum.
Look for the little house on Lake Street. It is still there but the funeral home has changed. There is a picture on the wall in the museum of the Tonkin home as it was in those days.