George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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held the office of president of this society: Drs. Durfee Chase, 1864- (55:
S. I). Sherman, 1866: M. F. Sweeting, 1867-73-76 ; A. G. Austin, 1868
-69; S. D. Sherman, 1870-71; W. B. Brown, 1872; G. C. Childs, is;;
?9; H. P. Van Deusen, L880-85; J. C. McPherson, 1881-84; D. Mc-
Pherson, L886-88; J. A. Reed, 1889.

Biographical memoranda of the early physicians of Wayne county is
very difficult to obtain, excepting in such instances as it has been con-
tributed by direct descendants. Even then it is often fragmentary and

In the original town of Wolcott Dr. Zenas Hyde was prominent as a
physician and useful as a citizen. His first settlement was made in
what is now the town of Huron, in January, L808. A child of his was
the second person born in the town. In the winter following he per-
formed the first surgical operation in that town by amputating the leg
of I laniel Grand)-, which had been badly crushed by a falling tree. It
is a tradition that the doctor had no regfular surgical instruments and


cut the off leg with a razor, a handsaw, and a darning needle, and that the
operation was successful. He was afterwards taken to task by his pro-
fessional brethren for working with such unorthodox instruments.

Artemas W. Hyde was a doctor who settled very early in the town
of Arcadia, but probably practiced very little, if at all. He built a tav-
ern at Hydeville, which he kept as a popular resort during his life.

The first physician in Lyons was Dr. Prescott, and came probably as
early as 1800. A Dr. Willis also settled there, but did not like the
prospect and went away. Dr. William Ambler located there a little
later and lived in a log house on the corner of Broad and Pearl streets.
He afterwards removed to Sodus.

Dr. Pierce was in practice about fifty years in Lyons, and died in the
village. Dr. E. Ware Sylvester located in Lyons as a dentist, though
he was educated as a regular physician. He practiced many years,
and finally established the Lyons nurseries, and was instrumental in
developing the fruit industry of the county.

Dr. Edward Wheeler Bottum was born in Red Hook, N. Y. , June
22, 1811. He graduated from the Castleton (Vt. ) Medical College,
began practice in Victory, N. Y., removed to Huron, and settled in
Lyons in 1856, where he was afterwards associated with Dr. William
G. David, and Drs. Chamberlain, Gillette and Veeder. He was a
member of the New York State and Wayne County Medical Societies,
and was member of Assembly in 1851. He died February 29, 1888.

Dr. Hiram D. Vosburg was born in Herkimer county in 1831, attend-
ed Fairfield Academy, moved to Macedon in 1849, and the next year
began the study of medicine in Palmyra with Dr. Hoyt. He gradu-
ated from the medical college at Pittsfield, Mass., in 1853. He also
studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1862 he went into the
army as surgeon of the 8th New York Cavalry, was disabled and assigned
to Columbia Hospital, Washington. In 1865 he settled in Monroe
county, and in 1870 removed to Lyons, where he died, March 25, 1870.

Dr. Fletcher J. Sherman practiced in Lyons from about 1881 to the
date of his death in October, 1887. He was born in 1852, graduated at
the Rochester University in 1876, and studied his profession in the
New York College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Richard P. Williams was an early physician in Newark, and built
the house afterwards occupied by Dr. Charles G. Pomeroy. Dr. Button
was also located early in Newark.


Dr. Charles G. Pomeroy was a native of Madison county, N. Y. , and
settled in Fairville in L838, where he practiced seven years, and then
located in Newark. He was for many years a leading- physician in this
county, was president of the Medical Society many times, and a mem-
ber of the State Medical Society,

Dr. William N. Lummis migrated from Philadelphia to Sodus Point
in 1804, and was among the very early and prominent physicians of
what is now Wayne county. He was born in Woodbury, N. J., April
15, 1755. He had previously explored more or less of the Genesee
country, and selected Sodus for his home. When the war of 1812
began he removed two miles west, where he built mills and a forge.
His former house at the Point was burned during the attack of the
British. He held various town offices, and was in all respects a public-
spirited and useful citizen. Turner's History says of Dr. Lummis:
"To indefatigable industry and perseverance he added extraordinary
business talent, and to a vigorous intellect he added a thorough edu-
cation, cultivated literary tastes and pursuits, which, in hours of relax-
ation from the sterner duties of life, made him an agreeable and in-
structive companion." He died April 1G, 1833.

Dr. Thomas G. Lawson, from England, was an early settler at Sodus
Point, where he purchased lands and spent money freely in their im-
provement. Pie returned to England after a few years.

Other early physicians of Sodus were: Drs. Coon, Gibbs, and Johnson.
After 1810 Dr. Elisha Mather practiced in the town. He was from
Saybrook, Conn., located first on a farm, and in 1821 settled in Sodus
Center, where his son afterwards resided. Dr. Levi Gaylord, who died
in 1852, practiced thirty years in the community, and left his son, Dr.
Levi M. Gaylord, to follow in his footsteps. He was born March \!T,
1823, and died in Sodus, January 20, 1890, where he had practiced
about forty-five years. Dr. H. H. Ostrom was the pioneer physician at
Alton, and father of Dr. H. Ostrom. Dr. P. S. Rose, a native of
( )neida county, settled at Sodus Center in 1847. Dr. John C. Lamont,
a native of Edinburgh, Scotland graduated from the College of
Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and settled in Sodus to begin
practice in 1871; he died December 13, 1887. He was a prominent

Dr. Darwin Colvin, of Clyde, comes of a family distinguished for
professional ability and honor. His father was Dr. Nathan P. Colvin,
formerly of- Washington county, N. Y., who was in practice more than


sixty years. The ancestors of the family came from Rhode Island. Dr.
Colvin was born on the Gth of July, 1822. When nine years of age his
father moved from Washington county to Wayne county. The son at-
tended the academy at Clyde. Then for three years he was under
special instruction in the classics with a view of preparing himself for
West Point United States Military Academy. He was, however, born
to be a physician. For awhile he was in a drug store, then he com-
menced studying medicine with his father, and later still with his uncle,
Dr. Robert T. Paine, who was associated with his father in the practice
of medicine. In January, 1844, he graduated from the Geneva Medical
College, and commenced practiced at Clyde. He was associated with
his father for about five years. Then he moved to the office he now
occupies on the corner of Sodus and Genesee streets. In this office he
has practiced for thirty-three continous years. In 1845 he was united
in marriage to a daughter of Dr. Linus Ely, of Seneca county. He has
one child, who is the wife of George J. Oaks, a merchant of Rochester.
Dr. Colvin 's devotion to the Democratic party has been very marked.
Many times has he gone to county and State conventions. In 1874 he
became a member of the State Democratic Committee and remained as
such until the close of 1876. This was, as will be remembered, the be-
ginning of the Tilden campaign. The doctor was an ardent supporter
of the governor throughout these years. Many years ago Dr. Colvin
was nominated by the Democrats to the office of county coroner. He
has spent three years as a member of the School Board, and recently
has received the appointment of Regents' examiner, and will assist the
principal in conducting all regent examinations. For many years he
was health officer of the village. Four times was he elected president
of the village, during the years of '65, '66, '67 and '77. In 1850 he be-
came connected with the Wayne County Medical Society, and served as
secretary and president. Now he is its treasurer. About 1850 the
society became considerably demoralized, and he was in conjunction
with Dr. Pomeroy of Newark principally instrumental in reorganizing
it. He was a member of the old New York State Medical Society, and
is now a retired permanent member of that society. He is at present
a member of the New York State Medical Association, having been at
its organization, seven years ago, one of its founders. He has been
vice-president of the Fourth District, and a delegate to the Pennsylvania
State Society. For many years he has been a member of the American
Medical Association, and in 1887 was by acclamation elected its second


vice-president. Frequently has Dr. Colvin been a contributor to med-
ical journals. In 1885 he was appointed by Governor Hill a member of
the Board of Trustees of the New York State Custodial Asylum for
feeble-minded women, at Newark, N. Y., and is still a member. Dr.
Colvin on many occasions has been called upon to testify as an expert
in insanity and other cases, and has now a large consultation practice.
He is a gentleman who is still in active practice, and though in some-
what advanced life, is both in professional and political circles a power
in the land.

Dr. William Greenwood settled in Ontario village in 181,1, as the pio-
neer physician of that town, and he continued in practice until his death
in 1829. He was much respected as a physician and as a citizen.

A Dr. Bigelow settled in Williamson before 1815, and was, perhaps,
the first physician in the town. After seven or eight years he sold out
to Dr. Josiah Bennett, who practiced there until his death, being the
second physician in the town. Dr. Bennett came in 1815. He was
the father of Hon. John P. and Charles Bennett, who reside in Will-
iamson village. John B. Bennett is the foremost citizen of the town;
he held the office of sheriff, member of assembly in 1890, and has been
supervisor since 1879.

Dr. Gain Robinson was practicing in Palmyra in 1812, and was prob-
ably preceded a few years by Dr. Reuben Town. Dr. Robinson was
from Massachusetts and continued in practice until his death in 1830.
He also conducted the first drug store in the village. Dr. L. Cowen
also practiced early in that village and carried on a drug store.

Dr. Peter Valentine settled in what is now the town of Rose about
!Sli). He was the first postmaster, appointed in 1827, the office being
named "Valentine's," afterwards "Albion," and finally " Rose." Dr.
Valentine was the first physician in the town and the first supervisor.

Dr. John J. Dickson, born in 1807, practiced medicine in Rose forty-
five years. He was justice of the peace twenty years, and was a mem-
ber of the Legislature in 1845. He settled in the town about 1829, and
died in 1874.

Hon. Allen S. Russell was educated as a physician in the College of
Physicians and Surgeons, New York, graduating with honor in 1864.
He served as assistant surgeon and brigade surgeon in the Civil War.
Returning to Marion he engaged in practice and has carried on a drug
business. He was elected to the Assembly in L875 and again in the fol-
lowing year.


Dr. James M. Wilson, of Wolcott, was born in Washington county in
L807. He graduated from the Vermont Medical College in 1829, and
soon afterward settled in Huron. Three years later he located in Wol-
cott, where he was very successful in his practice. He was supervisor
ten years; was elected to the assembly in 1842 and in 1850. In 184(3 he
was the candidate of the Democratic party for member of Congress, but
was defeated by a small majority. He died August 17, 1881. His son,
Benjamin Wilson, is also a successful physician.

Dr. Alfred P. Crafts was born in Cherry Valley, N. Y., in 1826; grad-
uated from Union College in 1851, and from the Buff alo Medical College
in 1855, He was appointed assistant surgeon at Washington in 1862,
and after the close of the war settled in Wolcott. He had previously
practiced in Sodus and Huron. He was elected to the Assembly in 1879.
He died in Wolcott, December 18, 1880.

Dr. S. Hiram Plumb was born in Greenfield, N. Y. , February 19,
1819. He attended lectures in the medical department of the Univer-
sity of New York, and began practice in 1846. He enlisted from Vic-
tor, N. Y., in the 24th N. Y. Volunteers, and later was made surgeon
of the 82d Regiment, still later was brigade surgeon of the 1st Brigade,
2d Corps, and chief of the operating staff of the division. During the
last year of the war he was surgeon-in-chief of the 2d Division, 2d Corps,
with rank of colonel. Mustered out in June, 1865, he returned to Red
Creek, where he died full of professional honor August 13, 1880.

Dr. David Arne went to Wolcott village in early years. He was act-
ive, capable, and very ambitious, soon acquiring a large practice. He
also was active in public affairs, held the office of justice of the peace,
and subsequently was side judge of the County Court. He was the first
supervisor of the present town of Wolcott in 1826, and was member of
assembly one term. He finally removed to Auburn, N. Y., and died
there. His son, George H. Arne, resided in Wolcott, and built a fine
residence on New Hartford street.

Dr. RomainC. Barless, twin brother of Rollin C, was born in Hoosick,
N. Y., October 19, 1833, studied medicine with his father-in-law, Dr.
Thompson, of Sandy Creek, and began practice in Rose Valley in 1858.
He served as a musician three years in the 9th N. Y. Heavy Artillery,
and has since resided in Rose. His son, Clayton J., is owner and edi-
tor of the Farmer's Counsel and Times at Rose.

Dr. Robert Ashley, a native of Massachusetts, came to Lyons about
1805. He owned a lot on the corner of Broad and Queen streets, and



built a frame house there, which was afterwards sold to Lyman Sher-
wood. He was a man of fine personal appearance, and a good physi-
cian and citizen.

Dr. Charles Culver, who died in Lyons, October 18, 1854, was one of
the older and more prominent physicians of that village.

Dr. Linus Ely, of Clyde, died in that village April 30, 1864, at the
age of seventy-nine years. His professional career was long and honor-

Dr. Jeremiah B. Pierce, a man of prominence both in and outside of
his profession, died in Lyons on the 10th of April, 1862, at the age of
seventy-two years.

John Knowles, sr. , practiced long in Lyons, and died there Novem-
ber 19, 1864, aged sixty-nine years.

Dr. Nelson Peck settled in Lyons about 1827. He was a public spir-
ited man and mingled considerably in political affairs, and held the of-
fice of inspector of schools many years. Kindhearted and benevolent,
he lived a long and upright life, and died much respected May 28, 1866.

Dr. William May died in Palmyra, September 10, 1865, at the age of
fifty-seven years. He was a successful physician and respected as a

Dr. S. Olin was one of the older physicians of Sodus, to which town
he went in early years and died at South Sodus, April 5, 1865, aged
sixty-seven years.

Dr. Ryland J. Rogers was born in Palmyra, May 14, 1819, and be-
came a prominent practitioner. He removed to Suspension Bridge in

Dr. Hiram Mann, who died in Lyons, October 2, 1865, at the age of
seventy-seven, was not only a leading physician, but was conspicuous
in public affairs. He held the office of sheriff in 1837-40.

Dr. William G. David, of Lyons, died August 17, 1877. He was a
native of New Hampshire, a graduate of Williams College, and of the
Harvard Medical College in 1855. He settled in Lyons about 1859, was
surgeon of the 98th Regiment in the Rebellion, and was universally es-
teemed as a physician and a citizen.

Dr. Lawrence Johnson was born in Savannah in L845; left Falley
Seminary early in the late war, enlisted in the 9th Heavy Artillery, and
served to L865. Returning home he studied medicine with Dr. C. M.
Lee, of Fulton, N. Y., and at Bellevue, graduating in L868. He be-
came a leading physician, removed to New York, and died there March
is, is-.):;.


Dr. William Vosburg died in Lyons, June 15, 1870, aged forty-four
years. He was prominent in his profession and an excellent citizen.

Dr. George P. Livingston was born in Amsterdam, N. Y., in 1826,
and settled in Clyde in 1850, coming here from Brockport, where he had
practiced medicine and dentistry. He graduated from the Albany Medi-
cal College in 1847 ; served in the navy in the war with Mexico, stationed
at the Brooklyn navy yard; held the office of coroner nine years; and
was a prominent Mason and Odd Fellow. He died in Clyde, Decem-
ber 22, 1888.

Dr. Charles M. Kingman, who died at Centralia, Va., in April, 1886,
at the age of sixty-five years, practiced medicine in Palmyra more than
twenty years with success. He was a graduate of Hamilton College.

Dr. Hurlburt Crittenden was the first physician in Walworth in 1810.
Dr. Seth Tucker was the pioneer of his profession in Marion, and prac-
ticed there many years.

Dr. Mortimer Franklin Sweeting was born in Marcellus, Onondaga
county, N. Y., in August, 1817. He graduated as a physician from the
Geneva Medical College in 1850, and settled in South Butler in 1852,
where he succeeded Dr. Clarendon Campbell. Dr. Sweeting had a long
and successful career. He was the father of A^olney H. Sweeting, of
Lyons, and of Dr. Sweeting, of Savannah.

The reader will find in Part II. of this work personal notes of many
other physicians of the county.


The inhabitunts of Wayne county, as it is now constituted, were fa-
vored with local newspapers before the organization of the county, not
only those published in Cananclaigua and Geneva, but others in the vil-
lages of Palmyra and Lyons. While the newspaper death-roll in this
county is as long as usual in similar communities, it is true that public
journals have been founded here and are still in existence that give
their readers the world's news, and wield a powerful influence on the
politics, morals and general public affairs of this section of the State.


The first newspaper published in what is now Wayne county, was the
Palmyra Register, the first number of which appeared November 26,
1817. It was founded by Timothy C. Strong, who continued, with sev-
eral changes of title to October, 1823, when the business passed to
Pomeroy Tucker and E. P. Grandin ; they changed the name of the pa-
per from the Western Farmer and Canal Advocate, to the less cumber-
some title of Wayne Sentinel. Mr. Grandin soon retired from the firm,
and for nearly forty years thereafter the Sentinel enjoyed a prosperous
career, under Mr. Tucker's direction. Mr. Tucker was a native of Pal-
myra, and a man of exceptional qualifications as a politician and writer.
A firm and consistent Democrat, he gave his journal a reputation and
prestige gained by few other country newspapers, in the western part
of the State. The managers of the old Whig party in this vicinity met
in the Sentinel and its editors, foes that were valiant in the field. John
M. Francis, who became one of the leading editors of Troy, and a fore-
most journalist of the State, was with Mr. Tucker twenty-eight years,
and there learned well the details of newspaper management. Mr.
Tucker died in Palmyra, in July, 1870. Upon the organization of the
Free Soil party in 1848, the Sentinel espoused its principles and sup-
ported Van Buren. In 1852 Henry Harrington purchased the estab-
lishment, and sold it to A. J. Mathewson in 1855 and in 1857 it was
bought by W. N. Cole, who continued- the publication to 1860, when it
was discontinued.

The next paper started in Palmyra was the Palmyra Freeman, first
issued March 11, 1828, by P. D. Stephenson. Shortly afterwards it was
sold to J. A. Hadley, who removed the business to Lyons.

A monthly publication called the Reflector had an existence in Pal-
myra from 1828 to 1830. It was started by O. Dogberry, and on Jan-
uary 9, 1830, Luther Howard and Erastus Shepard began publishing
the Western Spectator and Anti-Masonic Star. It was soon afterwards
merged with the Anti-Masonic Inquirer at Rochester. The Paln^ra
Whig was begun in February, 1 838, by William A. Cole and Samuel Cole,
and in the fall of the same year was removed to Lyons.

The Palmyra Courier was established in 1838, by Frederick Morley,
who continued it to 1852, when it was sold to J. C. Benedict. In Jan-
uary, L853, B. C. Beebe bought the establishment, changed the name
of the paper to the Palmyra Democrat and in the fall of the same year
again changed it to the Palmyra American. In August, 1856, E. S.
Averill purchased the business. The Republican party was then just


organized and Mr. Averill restored the journal to its former name —
Palmyra Courier — and turned its support to the new party. Up to that
time little attention had been given in the local press to home news,
a condition which Mr. Averill at once corrected, enlarging his paper for
the purpose. He was promply rewarded with an increased circulation,
which encouraged him to make a second enlargement. In April, 1857,
he purchased an entire new dress for the paper and otherwise improved
it, and in the next year enlarged it, making it one of the largest as well
as one of the ablest journals in Western New York. In 1865 another
enlargement was made, and the Courier, now about forty years under
Mr. Averill's control, is still a power in the Republican party and a
source of honor and profit to its owner.

E. S. Averill, the oldest newspaper man in service in Wayne county,
was born in Albany in 1835. He was collector of canal tolls at Pal-
myra from 1863 to 1868; was postmaster in 1871-72, and has been a
member of the Palmyra Board of Education. He is married and has
four children.

The Wayne County Journal was established in Palmyra on the first
Thursday in July, 1871, by Anson B. Clemons and his son, Fred. W.
Clemons. This was the first printing office in Wayne county to intro-
duce steam power. The Journal was successful from the beginning
and earnestly and ably supported the Republican party. A. B. Clem-
ons was a writer of ability and especially well informed in political his-
tory. His death took place on May 27, 1873, the business being there-
after conducted by his son. A building, a part of which was designed
for the printing business, was erected in 1875. A fire on September 17,
1876, almost wholly destroyed the printing plant and building, but both
were promptly replaced. On the 14th of November following the front
of this structure was partially burned. During about one year the
establishment was in control of Miles Davis, but Mr. Clemons practically
owned it until about 1883, when an incendiary fire destroyed the prop-
erty and the paper was discontinued.

The Wayne County Dispatch was founded in Palmyra September 21,
1892, by F. G. Crandall, proprietor, and A. F. Du Bois, editor. The
Dispatch is Republican in politics, four pages with eight columns to
the page, and a handsome and able example of modern country jour-
nalism. It has steadily increased in circulation since its first number.
On September 1, 1893, Mr. Du Bois was succeeded in the editorial
chair by R. N. Backus, but it is now edited and published by Mr. Cran-


dall. Mr. Crandall conducted a job printing business in Palmyra since
January, 1885.

The Palmyra Democrat was founded in August, 1885, by Cole & Os-
goodby. It was a four-page, eight-column paper and supported the
Democratic party. Mr. Cole went out of the firm at the end of about
two years, but soon returned and Osgoodby retired. F. W. Cole then
continued the publication until April, 1894, when it suspended, except-
ing brief periods when he leased the office to other persons, while he
filled the position of traveling correspondent of the Buffalo Horse

A Baptist journal, named The Record, was started in Palmyra by
Rev. J. R. Henderson in October, 1891, and discontinued September
12, 1893.

Purdy's Fruit Recorder and Evaporator, a quarterly, the character of
which is indicated by its title, was started in Palmyra by A. M. Purdy
several years ago, and a new series commenced in 1890. During about
a year past it has been issued monthly, with eight pages of four columns

The Worker and Shareholder was started in Palmyra in May, 1889,
by F. G. Crandall, as a four-page monthly, in the interest of building
and loan associations, and kindred organizations. It is still continued

Online LibraryGeorge Washington CowlesLandmarks of Wayne County, New York → online text (page 14 of 107)