William graduated from medical school (probably Victoria College) in Cobourg ON about 1889. He was a doctor at Frankford ON for several years before his death. (You can find out more about William in our family tree for the McKagues of County Cavan.)
During an influenza epidemic shortly before his planned marriage, William was urged by his landlady not to go to a sick patient's home since he was so unwell himself. He insisted on going, contracted pneumonia and died after a week's illness.
One of his Masonic brethren immortalized him in the following poem, printed in the local newspaper.
In Memoriam. OF WH. McKAGUE, M.D., C.M. L.R.C.P., LONDON.--DIED DEC. 22ND, 1893. AT FRANKFORD.
Doctor rest! Thy work is o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking;
Dream not of thy patients more,
Days of labor, nights of waking.
In our trouble strickened town,
Tears of friends thy couch bedew;
Never, never will be found
One so greatly loved as you.
Christian prayers shall reach thine ear,
Songs of praise and mournful knells.
Trump nor prayers can summon here,
Thee, who with thy Father dwells.
Doctor! Doctor! thou hast left us,
All thy toils and cares are o'er,
In heaven we hope at last to meet thee,
But on earth, alas! no more.
Yes the Lord's shrill trump shall call
All his children to his side,
Still bright music from his throne,
Shall ever-more with thee abide.
Ruder sounds shall not be heard,
Pains and aches are now unknown,
Since the good Lord's voice you heard,
Calling to his Eternal Throne.
Doctor dear, to mortal man
Thou wast sent to be a friend.
Little thought we, so near at hand,
Thy earthly work should find an end.
Thy death has caused sorrow great,
But still one joy, with us, remaineth
To know that at the heavenly gate,
Thou couldst give the Shibboleth.
Yes, dear Dr., you have left us,
From this world of grief and pain.
This may all our life bereave us,
But our loss has been your gain.
Yes, the Lord, He called you hither,
We have seen you leave our side;
But in heaven we'll meet each other
When we, too have crossed the tide.
Our brother gone! Of course we feel
It is a sad and heavy stroke;
Why should we morn? our grief conceal,
Our brother's left the brightest hope.
Now brothers, sisters, one and all,
To your brother's death lend an ear;
Make haste, be ready at God's call,
Before His Throne we must appear.
Soon will our earthly course be run,
Our mortal frames they must decay;
Brothers and sisters, one by one
We'll fade like he and pass away.
God knows best. He took him home
To share the joys of heaven there;
Bravely we'll fight till the victory's won
And meet our loved brother there.