Charlotte Reminiscences: Dr. John Peter
by Mrs. Sam Presson
(Reprinted from The Charlotte Observer, Feb. 2, 1936)
Dr. John Peter
Munroe, whose fame as a specialist in internal medicine and as an eminent teach of medical
science is secure, was the guiding head of the North Carolina College of Medicine
throughout its existence, both at Davidson and at its later location in Charlotte.
By his attainments he
ranks among the formost medical men of the South.
Dr. Munroe was born in
a log cabin on a farm in Cumberland County on March 29, 1857. His father, Peter Munroe,
was born in Moore County and died January 17, 1888, after reaching the age of 76. He was
widely known as an architect and contractor, and many noted churches and school buildings
were erected by him. He also designed and built the courthouse and jail in Montgomery
County, as early as 1845. Some of his other buildings included the Pee Dee Presbyterian
Church, 1850; Spring Hill Baptist Church; Montpellier Presbyterian Church, 1852; Bethel
Church at Laurinburg Academy, 1854; and the Sandy Grove Presbyterian Church. The last
church building of any special note constructed by him was the Golatia Church in
Cumberland County in 1862. In the Sandy Grove Church, which is now in the military
reservation of Fort Bragg, he was ordained an elder in 1855, and held that post in his
church until his death. Near the Sandy Grove church, he built his own home and lived there
on a farm.
Peter Munroe married
Isabella Jane Cameron of Cameron Hill, who died at the age of 71. They were parents of six
sons and one daughter. All of the sons made records of distinction. The eldest, Evander,
lost his life in February, 1865, while a soldier of the Confederacy. The next three sons,
who also served the Confederacy, were able ministers of the Presbyterian church, graduates
of Davidson college, and of the Union Theological Seminary. They were Rev. Colin A.
Munroe, Rev. Dugald Munroe, and Rev. E.M. Monroe. The fifth son was A.C. Munroe, who was a
teacher and a farmer in Cumberland County, and died July 15, 1920. Of the six sons, Dr.
John Peter Munroe is the youngest. The only daughter was Mrs. Margaret Munroe Blue of
Was A Teacher
Dr. John Peter
Munroe was educated in the public schools, attended Raeford Institute, and graduated A.B.
from Davidson College in 1882. He was a member is the Sigma Alpha Epsilon social
fraternity, and on his scholarship record was elected a Phi Beta Kappa. Davidson College
conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1919. For two years he taught
school in Fayetteville and one year in the Raeford Institute. After leaving Davidson
College, he entered the University of Virginia, was graduated M.D. in 1885 and served his
internship in St. Lukes Hospital, Richmond, Va.
For three years he
practised in Durham, N.C. and in 1890 became principal of the Medical Department of
Davidson College, and later organized the North Carolina Medical College as a department
of Davidson. He also held the chair of teacher of nervous diseases. He continued as
president of the Medical College after its removal to Charlotte until 1915 when through
lack of endowment and facilities the college was merged with and transferred to the
Richmond Medical College of Virginia.
Since 1915 Dr. Munroe
has engaged in practise in Charlotte making a specialty of neurology and internal
medicine. In 1925 he established the Munroe Clinic of Internal Medicine, Neurology and
Cardiology, his associates in this clinic being Dr. E.J. Wannamaker, and his nephew, Dr.
H. Stokes Munroe.
For years he has been
know all over North Carolina for his eminent work as a teacher and as a practicing
neurologist. His paper on "Heart Block of the Case Characterized by Epileptiform
Convulsions," read before the Seventh District Medical Society, October 9, 1923, and
another, "Disorders of the Heart Mechanism," read before the North Carolina
Medical Society, April 22, 1925, has been president of the sanitorium. (sic). In 1920 he
acted as contributing editor to the Southern edition of "Medical Clinics of North
He has held the office
of president of the Mecklenburg county, Tri-State and North Carolina Medical societies, is
a member of the Southern and American medical associations and a Fellow of the American
College of Physicians. He is a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner.
He was also one of the
pioneer good roads enthusiasts of Mecklenburg county.
He is an elder in the
First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte.
Dr. Munroe is still
practising his profession in Charlotte and doing the kindly deeds so characteristic of