Peter Rolph Shaver, one of the leading physicians in the county of Perth, and a county coroner, was born near Hamilton, Ontario, July 27, 1829. His grandfather, a United Empire Loyalist, from Pennsylvania, was in the war of the colonies, and his father, John Shaver, a native of the county of Wentworth, was in the war of 1812-14, and the rebellion of 1837-38. The mother of Peter was Catharine Hess. He received most of his literary education at Victoria College, Cobourg, where he spent three years in study in the department of arts; and subsequently gave four years to medical studies at McGill University, Montreal, being graduated May 9, 1854, with the degrees of doctor of medicine and master in surgery.
Dr. Shaver came directly to Stratford, and has been in steady practice here for a quarter of a century, being, with one exception, the oldest practitioner in the town. He has always had a good reputation both for skill and care of his patients, and has made his profession his exclusive study, and a success.
A year or two after settling in Stratford, Dr. Shaver was appointed a coroner of the county, and still holds that office. He has also been surgeon to the county jail nearly as long. The Doctor was in the municipal council of the town a short time, but has avoided civil offices as much as he could, consistently with his duties as a citizen, on account of the press of professional business, and his desire to keep read up in medical science as well as in the news of the day.
He is an adherent of the Methodist church of Canada, a man of noble impulses, and kindly and humane feelings, carrying to the sick chamber a cheerful disposition, which has healing power next to medicine.
He is one of the oldest Free Masons in Stratford, being a member of Tecumseh lodge, No. 144, A. F. and A. M., G. R. C.
The wife of Dr. Shaver, is Eliza Jane, eldest daughter of James Sheppard Ryan, hardware merchant, Toronto, and a native of Dublin, Ireland, married June, 1856. They have six children, all sons. William John, the eldest, is at the Pharmaceutical College, Toronto; Charles Beaumont, is at the Agricultural College, Guelph, and the other four, Arthur Rolph, Horace Gregg, Sydney George and Harry Ernest, are pursuing their studies in the local schools of different grades. If they live, all are destined to have a good literary outfit. Mrs. Shaver is a grand niece of the Rt. Rev. Lord Bishop Gregg, of Cork, Ireland.