Seymour, Maurice Macdonald (1857– 1929)

Maurice MacDonald Seymour.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A5569

Born July 7, 1857, in Goderich, Ontario, Seymour obtained his medical degree from McGill University in 1879, then moved west. He was a member of the North-West Territories Medical Council from 1885 to 1905, served twice as president, and organized the Saskatchewan Medical Association in 1906. From 1905, he was in charge of public health in the new province, first as a branch within Department of Agriculture, then within Municipal Affairs, and finally as a separate department. He reacted quickly to local and provincial needs by drafting ground-breaking legislation for municipal doctors, municipal hospitals and free tuberculin testing of cattle. He organized the Saskatchewan Anti-tuberculosis League, hired its first physician and director, R.G. Ferguson, and chose the site for the first sanatorium.

Under the “Seymour Plan,” doctors immunized against diphtheria in September and October, smallpox during November and December, and typhoid during January and February. He made public health simple and easy to understand, with such slogans as “Do not spit” and “Swat the fly.” A great organizer, a man of varied gifts and charming personality, he died in Regina on January 6, 1929.

C. Stuart Houston