Mark Sweeten Wade

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Mark Sweeten Wade

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  • Wade, M.S.
  • Wade, Mark Sweeten

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Mark Sweeten Wade was born November 23, 1858 at Sunderland, County Durham, England, the son of John Wade and Mary Sweeten. He studied medicine at Durham University and Anderson’s College, Glasgow. Wade moved to the United States in 1881 and enrolled at the Medical College of Fort Wayne, Indiana, earning his MD a year later. After graduating, he found work with the Canadian Pacific Survey, joining a survey party crossing several prairie towns from Fort Garry to Moose Jaw. In 1883 Wade moved to British Columbia and practiced medicine in New Westminster. The following year he was hired by Andrew Onderdonk as an assistant surgeon with the Canadian Pacific Railway. While working at Savona’s Ferry he met Emma Malvina Uren, daughter of the local hotel and ferry operator, James Bottrell Uren. They married in 1885 and within a year moved to Clinton where Wade established a private medical practice. After four years in Clinton, Wade decided to continue his medical education, enrolling at the University of California, San Francisco, where he specialized in ear, nose, and throat medicine. Following his studies Wade returned to British Columbia and opened medical practices in Victoria (1889-1895) and Kamloops (1895-1904). During an outbreak of smallpox that hit Victoria in 1892 Wade played an instrumental role combating the epidemic and was subsequently appointed provincial Medical Health Officer.

After moving to Kamloops in 1895, Wade’s interest in writing and editing started to form a larger part of his professional activities. He produced numerous articles for The Inland Sentinel and was eventually appointed editor of the newspaper in 1898. In 1904 Wade purchased the newspaper from then owner F.J. Deane. Under Wade’s management The Inland Sentinel expanded its coverage of world news and increased its weekly edition to eight pages. In 1907 he authored his first book, The Thompson Country, which was published through the Inland Sentinel Press. He worked for a period as a physician at the Provincial Home for Men and the Kamloops jail, and was appointed Indian medical officer and city coroner for Kamloops. In addition, Wade was also elected president of the Inland Board of Trade, the Kamloops District Liberal Association, and the local historical association. He eventually sold The Inland Sentinel in 1912 and the following year entered municipal politics, serving a term as city alderman. Just before the outbreak of the First World War, Wade and his wife toured Europe and North Africa. During WWI he served on the medical board for the examination of recruits and spent time working at the Tranquille Sanatorium providing medical assistance to soldiers returning home with shellshock and various effects of the war. The patients he saw at Tranquille led him to conduct further studies into the permanent effects of shellshock on the auditory and optic nerves. This research was later submitted to the University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine which resulted in Wade being granted a doctor of medicine degree (1922).

In his later years Wade served as the Kamloops police magistrate (1917-1929) while also devoting more of his time to writing and lecturing. Throughout the 1920s he published numerous articles in newspapers and periodicals and was a much sought after public speaker by groups in Kamloops and across the province. In his final years, Wade authored Mackenzie of Canada (1927), an acclaimed biography of explorer Alexander Mackenzie, which was published by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh. He also authored The Overlanders of ‘62 (1932) and The Cariboo Road (1979), two works published posthumously that are devoted to British Columbia’s provincial history. Wade and his wife Emma raised two children, Mark Leighton (1889-1991) and Daryl Fred (1892-1920). Mark Sweeten Wade died on April 19, 1929 at Kamloops.


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