William Henry Magie, M. D.

Dr. W. H. Magie. (Image: Duluth Public Library)

Duluth had a population of about ten thousand when Doctor Magie joined the community as a young physician and surgeon something over thirty-five years ago. He was well fitted in every way to become a forceful factor in the life and progress of the city. For years he has been one of the recognized authorities in surgery in the northwest. He is a man of action, with broad views and liberal sympathies, actuated by motives of deep-seated patriotism and civic loyalty, and with admiration for all the wonderful resources and possibilities of the northwest country. Doctor Magie is a lover of the open woods, the hills, the waters, is fond of hunting and fishing, has taken part in expeditions for big game, and has killed deer and bear within what is now the corporate limits of Duluth.

William Henry Magie was born at Madison, New Jersey, September 30, 1854, a son of William Harvey and Eunice (Shawger) Magie. When he was three years of age his parents moved to Henderson County, Illinois, and from the time he was about seven until fifteen he lived with the family in Chicago. They then returned to Henderson County. Doctor Magie acquired his early education in the public schools of Chicago, Illinois, and Abingdon College at Abingdon, that state. In the fall of 1873, when he was nineteen, the father returned to New Jersey, but the next year went to southeastern Kansas, then recently freed from Indian occupation. The family settled on a ranch, and the father became an extensive rancher and a man of prominence in Kansas affairs during the seventies and eighties, being elected to the State Legislature.

Doctor Magie had the experience of a Kansas farm and ranch for several years. Preparatory to his medical training he spent a year in a drug store at Pittsburg, Kansas, and in 1882 entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at St. Louis. He was graduated in 1884, and after a brief practice at Pittsburg, Kansas, arrived in Duluth September 10, 1884. In the comparatively small city of that time there was little opportunity afforded for specialization, and for fifteen years or more he devoted himself to the arduous work of the general practitioner. However, for the past twenty-two years his work has been confined exclusively to surgery, in which his talents have been widely praised by other members of the profession and the general public. Doctor Magie was for twenty-eight years official surgeon of St. Mary’s Hospital. He is surgeon for the Morgan Hospital, the welfare institution maintained by the Minnesota Steel Company.

His professional rank is indicated by his former service as president of the Minnesota State Medical Association. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Medical Association, and Fellow of the Western Surgical Association. Doctor Magie is a convert to the Catholic religion.

If what has been said is in any way suggestive of his character and activities it would seem the most natural thing in the world that Doctor Magie should have been an ardent admirer of that strenuous and virile American Theodore Roosevelt. He was a follower of Roosevelt in politics as well as in other departments of his strenuous life. In the campaign of 1912 he had a place on the Minnesota Progressive ticket as presidential elector. In the regular Republican party he has been a delegate to state and other conventions, but has never sought any office for himself. Doctor Magie in many ways has worked for the improvement of schools and good government in Duluth and improved hospital standards.

In 1876 he married Josephine Shawger. She died in 1898, the mother of two children, Woodbury and Ida. The daughter is the wife of Frank Stauduhar, and has five children. In 1899 Doctor Magie married Anna Isabel Henry. Three children were born to their union: William Henry, John Corbett and Elizabeth Eunice. The daughter died in 1914, at the age of eight years.


William Henry Magie, M. D.

William Henry Magie, M. D., is one of the older physicians and surgeons of St. Louis county, having practiced in Duluth since 1884. He obtained his medical education in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of St. Louis, Mo., where he graduated with the degree of M. D. in 1884. His early education was acquired in the graded schools of Chicago, Ill., and afterward in the Abingdon College, of Abingdon, Ill., where he pursued a classical course and fitted himself for the study of medicine, and immediately after his graduation he moved to Duluth, Minn., where he has since enjoyed a steadily increasing practice, and now ranks as one of the leading surgeons here, and the only one who limits his practice to surgery alone.

Dr. Magie is chief surgeon for the Duluth, Missabe & Northern Railway Company, and surgeon to the St. Mary’s Hospital of Duluth. He is ex-president of Minnesota State Medical Association, a member of the St. Louis County Medical Association, the Minnesota State Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the Western Surgical Association. Fraternally he is a Mason and a member of the Blue Lodge, the Royal Arch, the Commandery and the Shrine. Dr. Magie has always favored the Republican party in politics, and is always ready with his support in any movement for the best interests of all. In 1899 he was united in marriage with Miss Anna Isabelle Henry, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Henry, of Duluth.

Dr. Magie is not only one of the best physicians and surgeons of the city, but in all respects a most worthy and estimable citizen. He is a member of the Kitchi Gammi, the Country, and the Commercial clubs of Duluth, while his chief recreation is fishing and hunting.

The doctor was born of New England parents in Madison, N. J., on September 30, 1854, the son of William Harvey and Eunice (Shawger) Magie, who were both born in New Jersey.


  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.
  • Woodbridge, Dwight and John Pardee, eds. History of Duluth and St. Louis County Past and Present Vols. 1 – 2. C. F. Cooper & Company, Chicago: 1922.
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