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Charlotte Reminiscences: Dr. John Peter Munroe
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 Orange County.

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. Luke’s 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 America."
            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 him.