R.M. (Robert Mercer) Mason [ 1859 - 1920 ]

Before the arrival of Robert Mason in the spring of 1889 there was no regular veterinary service in the village. Sick animals were tended by the local blacksmith, were treated by vets passing through the area, or taken to Lindsay. Saw mills or factories using horses often had a resident vet, but they did not stay long and may not have been available to the community. R.M. Mason (originally from Mono Mills, Ontario) must have come to the village on a trial basis, for the Gazette implies that he “has done so well since he came to the Falls that he has decided to stay” [FFG 15 March 1889; 4]. He soon took up residence at the corner of Colborne and Louisa Streets. By 1891 his practice had grown so large that “our genial and popular veterinary surgeon … has been compelled to secure the assistance of an assistant, Mr. J.W. Smelser” [FFG 3 April 1891; 4]. Mason spent the rest of his life here although there was the occasional rumour that he was selling the practice1 [FFG 6 Jan 1893; 5]. The 1904 Souvenir describes him as follows:

“R.M. Mason, V.S., is one of the busiest men in Fenelon Falls, and is considered one of the best Veterinary Surgeons in the Midland District of Ontario. His business extends over the counties of Victoria and Haliburton. He was born in South Simcoe, and after graduating form the Ontario Veterinary College in 1884, he practiced in Mono Mills for 5 years. He came to Fenelon Falls in 1889 and has since identified himself with the Village in many ways. He was in the Council several terms, and was Reeve for 2 years. He is a member of the present School Board, which position he has filled several times as also that of the President of the Fenelon Falls Agricultural Society.” [Souvenir of Fenelon Falls].

He died in 1920 (Monday July 5th) and was buried in the Fenelon Falls Cemetery.

475 In 1892 it was suggested that Mason considered forming a syndicate with James Arnold and Henry Austin to operate a creamery [FFG 19 Aug 1892; 4] but nothing appears to have come of the venture.

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