James H. (James Hadden) Smith.

History of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

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Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 24 of 125)
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system, and when they returned to their country
residences in the summer, brought with them glow-
ing accounts of the beneficent works it had already
entered upon, and even sent for their city physi-
cians in many instances of sickness in their
families. * * * The easy administration of the
remedies and their prompt and efficient action
soon won adherents. Thus, little by Httle, was
homeopathy introduced to the attention, but not
yet commended to the confidence of a large pro-
portion of the inhabitants of Duchess county. * * *
" Followers of the new faith soon elevated our
standard at various points along the Hudson.
Early, if not the earliest, among those who were
instrumental in introducing homeopathy into this
county, was he who was the fearless defender of our
cause when most it needed such a defense as he
alone could give, and as his reward, he is now, in
his declining years, crowned with well-earned
honor— Dr. Federal Vanderburg, though past the
zenith of his life physically, yet in Ufe intellectually
he is still fresh and athletic— our own president
and^ father in medicine. * * * A resident practi-
tioner in New York City, he became an early
convert to the teachings of Gram, * * * [and]
was soon standing in the arena side by side with
Gram, Gray, Hering, Hull, Wesselhceft and others
like memorable. * * *

" One of the first recruits enlisted by him was Dr.
Hall, then of Fishkill, but for the past twenty years
or more a resident practitioner of Poughkeepsie.
This was in 1 83 7 or 1 83 8. Not far from this period
homeopathy was introduced into Poughkeepsie by
Dr. Formel, a German of considerable repute.
He remained only a short time and was succeeded
by Dr. Hall, first mentioned.



" Another of those who were induced by Dr.
Vanderburg to embrace the doctrines of Hahne-
mann, at an early period in our history, was the
Rev. James Lillie, at that time the pastor of the
Reformed Dutch Church of Rhinebeck. While
Dr. Vanderburg was negotiating for the purchase
of 'Linwood,' his [subsequent] residence on the
river, Rev. Mr. Lillie was accidentally thrown in
his way. A casual acquaintance ripened into
friendship until Mr. Lillie was induced to put him-
self under the doctor's treatment for taenia solium.
The result was so successful that Mr. Lillie was
favorably impressed with the new system. But he
was not the man to receive it as a demonstration
until he should have made a more thorough test.
Having spent four years in the University of Edin-
burgh, one of which was partially devoted to the
study of medicine, during which he had acquired a
taste for the profession, he was prompted to un-
dertake the task of investigating the system of
homeopathy. * * * in 1840, we find the pastor
and physician contributing to both the bodily and
spiritual comfort of his parishioners. * * * But it
was with reluctance that he consented in any case
to undertake the treatment of the sick. * * * in
1841 or '42, Mr. Lillie removed to New York City,
where, in due course of time, he graduated at the
College of Physicians and Surgeons, and, with the
assistance of his friend and preceptor^ Dr. Vander-
burg, commenced a practice at once remunerative
and successful. Thence he removed to Toronto,
some ten years since, and has since returned to
Scotland, the land of his birth. * * *

"In 1842, Dr. Vanderburg removed to Rhine-
beck, and first became a resident practitioner of
our county. * * *

"The next accession * * * was that of Dr.
Charles Haight, then of Hartsville. In the midst
of a large and lucrative practice overtasking his
physical strength, he was induced after repeated
tests to abandon the old in favor of the new system.
This was at a time when such a change was tanta-
mount to casting aside the means of comfortable
subsistence ; at least such was the prospect which
at that time and in that section opened before the
pioneer but * * * by steady, persevering effort, he
* * * re-established his originally extensive prac-
tice, which eventually became more incessant and
laborious than before. He subsequently removed
to Poughkeepsie, where he still continues to

"In 1843, we note the advent to our county,
and almost simultaneously to homeopathy, of Dr.

Martin Freligh, of Saugerties. * * * i^
1836 or '37, a friend of the doctor's in Catskill,
having been cured by a few simple powders pre-
scribed by Dr. Vanderburg, then of New York
City, he was induced to visit the city for the pur-
pose of having a personal interview with Dr. Van-
derburg on the subject of homeopathy. Finding
the Doctor professionally engaged, he was directed
to call on Dr. Channing, then in Broadway, by whom
he was ' politely received andad vised to purchase the
Orgatwn, Ruoffs Repertory, Everefs, JDunsford's,
and /ahr's Manuals, and Henderson &= Forbes.'
But it was not until his removal to Rhinebeck,
at the period above named, and his subsequent ac-
quaintance with Dr. Vanderburg, that he was led
fully to adopt the new system of medicine. * * *
In 1850, Dr. Freligh removed to Ne^y York City,
where, in an enlarged sphere, he continued to prac-
tice until within two or three years, when he retired.
George Lorillard, John Augustine Kiersted and
Tabias S. Ring all studied medicine in his office.
Lorillard took his degree from the Albany Medical
College in 1847. Kiersted and Ring received
theirs from the University Medical College of New
York in 1848, ' all three confirmed homeopaths.'
In tracing the history of these young men allow me
to do it in the language of their preceptor.
He says, ' Dr. Lorillard's practice has been and is
at present purely philanthropic, complimentary to
himself — a charity to the poor, as I believe he has
never received a fee for his professional services.
Dr. Kiersted was a young man of brilliant intellect,
and had his life been spared, would have adorned
the profession of his choice, but he was compelled
to relinquish its practice in about two years after
his graduation, and died at the age of twenty-six
of consumption. Dr. Ring is in full practice at
Yorkville, and continues an unwavering homeo-

" In 1849, Dr. Freligh, removing to New York,
was succeeded at Rhinebeck by Dr. Rodman
Bartlett of Pine Plains, who at once commenced
the investigation of homeopathy and in due time
became a competent prescriber of homeopathic

" At a period perhaps a little anterior to this, in
1844 or '45, Dr. Calvin P. Guernsey, long a prac-
titioner of the old system in Chnton, being sur-
rounded in his practice by a great array of cures
effected by homeopathic treatment, was led to the
study and test of the new system. He soon gave

* He left the county before 1854.
t Removed to New York in 1855.



iQ his adhesion to the doctrines of similia, in which
he continued a consistent believer up to the period
of his death from phthisis-pulmonalis in 1856.
Associated with him for a short time preceding his
death was Dr. O. D. Cass, who, in like manner,
adopted the system of his senior partner. Dr. Cass
remained only a short tibe, as Dr. Guernsey's
business having been divided among former pupils
practicing in the vicinity, there was insufficient
ground remaining unoccupied to warrant him m

" Dr. Ephraim Case* of Clinton Corners, in the
township of Clinton, next joined himself to our
cause. * * * He was one of the earhest pupils
of Dr. Guernsey. * * * In 1852 or '.53 Dr.
Bartlett removed to New York, and was succeeded
in Rhinebeck by Dr. G. C. Lansing, a young prac-
titioner of the old system in Milan. * * *
Dr. Lansing, * * * for twelve years, has main-
tained untarnished the standard raised by the in-
domitable LilHe. * * *

"In the fall of 1854, homeopathy in Poughkeep-
sie received afresh impetus by the accession to the
profession in that place of Dr. John Hornby, of
Brooklyn. Like many others, becoming dissatis-
fied with the uncertainty of remedies administered
upon the principal of contraria, he was so far pre-
pared for the investigation of a system of medicine
that promised to give certainty for uncertainty and
to guide the way to uniform success.

" Dr. Hornby was for seventeen years Assistant
Surgeon in the British service in Bengal, and
brought us the fruits of his observation on the
diseases incident to the camp and climes of that
tropical region. Dr. Hornby has become favor-
ably known by his valuable contributions on various
medical topics, f

"Dr. Ernst F. Hoffman * * * marked his
advent to the doctorate in 1852, by his almost sim-
ultaneous adoption of homeopathy. Having pre-
pared himself by an attendance upon the Homeo-
pathic Dispensary in Bond street, under the in-
struction of Drs. Otto FulgrofiF and Ixonard Marcy,
he came to Poughkeepsie, and entered into co-
partnership with Dr. Hall for the general practice
of medicine and surgery.''

Dr. J. F. Merritt " graduated from the College of
Physicians and Surgeons in 1852, practiced allop-
athy three years, and in 1855 investigated home-
opathy, at the instance of4wo gentlemen, old school
practitioners, between whom and [himself] a

» He practiced at Clinton Comers, till his death in 1876,
t He continues his practice here to the present time.

business co-partnership existed at the time. The
result was the adoption of the practice of home-
opathy. This was continued until the dissolution
of the co-partnership, by mutual consent, in the
fall of 1855, on account of the ill health of" Dr.

" In 1857, Dr. Kornbach, formerly a Surgeon in
the Prussian army, opened an office in Pough-
keepsie. His slight acquaintance with the language
and customs of this country rendered his inter-
course with Americans a source of but little satis-
faction to himself. He left for London in t86o.
Dr. S. G. Cooke, a graduate of the University
Medical College of New York, first engaged in the
practice of medicine in Verbank in this county,
whence he removed to Stanfordville about four or
five years ago, at which time he embraced homeop-
athy. He was one of the first to take an active
part in the formation of the Duchess County
Homeopathic Medical Society. * * * in
1862, he took the position of Assistant Surgeon in
the isoth New York Infantry." He never re-
turned to Duchess county. Dr. Laurie succeeded
Dr. Cooke at Stanfordville. He adopted homeop-
athy in 1855 or '56, in Rhinebeck, where, for a
short time, he took the business of Dr. G. C. Lan-
sing. He removed to Pleasant Valley about 1858
or '59, and thence to Stanfordville in 1862. He
removed to New York, about 1867. "Recently
Dr. B. Lansing has reared the standard of home-
opathy in Hyde Park, one of the few towns in
this county in which our system had not yet been
introduced. Dr. Walter R. Case, [son of Dr.
Ephraim Case, of Clinton Comers,] a graduate of
the New York Homeopathic Medical College at
the late commencement, has just entered upon the
work in Clinton, [where he is still practicing.]
Dr. Burroughs, of Brooklyn, has recently taken up
his residence at Poughkeepsie as a practitioner of
our system." He left very shortly after he came

" I reserve for the last the notice of two pio-
neers of homeopathy. Dr. Davis, deceased, of Pine
Plains, and Dr. DeLaMontagnie, of Fishkill. The
first for many years toiled on single-handed and
alone and by unaided effort, without a single
neighboring practitioner of his faith to cheer him
by word of encouragement, to build upon the foun-
dation of similia the superstructure of a practice
that will stand both as a monument of his assiduity
and ability, and an honor to the name of Hahne-
mann. Dr. Davis died several years since. Dr.
DeLaMontagnie is also entitled to a rank among



the pioneers. But insufficient data as to dates and
circumstances renders it impossible to accord to
either of these gentlemen that place in this sketch
to which their respective talents and acquirements
indisputably entitle them.

" By way of an addendum, I would subjoin the
additional names of Dr. Baxter, of Wappingers
Falls, and Dr. Scofield, who practiced home-
opathy for a short time in Poughkeepsie about ten
years ago, but whose career was cut short by
phthisis while he was comparatively young." Dr.
William Baxter died in practice at Wappingers
Falls about 1876 or '77, and is succeeded there
by his son.

Dr. Asa Hall continued his practice in Pough-
keepsie till his death in 1873. He was at his
death a very old man.

Federal Vanderburg, M. D., was born in the
town of Beekman, May 11, 1788. At the age of
seventeen he entered upon the study of medicine
with Dr. Wright, a physician of celebrity, at New
Milford, Conn., whence he removed to New York
City, to avail himself of the advantages of its
hospitals and colleges. In that city he entered the
office of Dr. Smith, a leading physician of that
day, and after completing his curriculum, graduated
before twenty-one years old. He married a lady
of New Milford, Conn., and in 1812-13 removed
to Geneva, N. Y., where he remained till 1830,
when, having restored his previously delicate
health, he returned to New York City and there be-
came acquainted with the celebrated Dr. Gram,
from whom he acquired a knowledge of the new
method of treatment discovered by Hahnemann.
In 1834, he was associated with the pioneers of
homeopathy in the establishment of the American
Journal of Homeopathy. In New York he estab-
lished a lucrative practice among the wealthy por-
tion of its inhabitants. In 1840, he removed to a
farm on the banks of the Hudson, where he re-
sided and practiced till his death. He introduced
and promulgated homeopathy in Duchess county,
and made many valuable contributions to its litera-
ture. He was enthusiastic in the practice of his
profession, and benevolent in disposition. He
died Jan. 23, 1868, in the 80th year of his age,
from a severe attack of pleuro-pneumonia, brought
on by exposure to inclement weather while visiting
a patient.

Dr. Lorillard is now living in Rhinebeck, but
not in active practice, except that he gives gratui-
tous advice. Gratuitous services have always
characterized his practice, his abundant wealth

making it unnecessary for him to pursue his pro-
fession for profit, or as a means of gaining a liveli-
hood. He belongs to the well-known Lorillard
family of New York.

Dr. Freligh was the first convert to homeopathy
in Ulster county. He is now in New York City.

Dr. G. C. Lansing retnoved to New York City
about 1869 or '70, and is still in practice there.

Dr. Ernst F. Hoffman removed to New York
about 1870, and is still in practice there.

Jesse F. Merritt, M. D., was born in Hyde Park,
Jan. 22, 1831, and acquired his education in the
schools of his native place. He commenced the
study of medicine in 1848, with Drs. Piatt and
Nelson, of Rhinebeck. At the recommendation
of Dr. Vanderburg he subsequently removed to
New York City, and graduated in the College of
Physicians and Surgeons in 1852. He married
and established himself in practice at Hyde Park,
but in 1854 removed to Rhinebeck, at the solicita-
tion of his preceptors, Drs. Piatt and Nelson,
with whom he entered into professional co-partner-
ship. In 1855, he was compelled to leave practice,
and travel in the Southern States for his health
which became impaired by an attack of hemorrhage
from the lungs. In 1856, he returned to Albany,
N. Y., and resided there with his family till the
following winter, when, his health being much im-
proved, he returned to this county and located at
Pleasant Plains, where he established an extensive
and lucrative practice, and remained till his death,
which occurred March 30, 1868, though failing
health had compelled him to abandon practice in
August, 1866. He was chiefly instrumental in the
organization of the Homeopathic Medical Society
of Duchess county.

Dr. Benjamin Lansing practiced in Rhinebeck
till his death in 1880.

In i860, the subject of the organization of a
County Medical Society was pressed upon the at-
tention of the homeopathic physicians of Duchess
county by the efficient Secretary of the State
Homeopathic Medical Society, Horace M. Paine,
M. D. His efforts were for a time unavailing, but
never intermitted. At length, receiving a second
and very urgent appeal from him. Dr. J. F. Merritt
caused to be published in the two weekly papers
in Poughkeepsie, a card to homeopathic physi-
cians, naming a time and place of meeting of those
favoring an immediate organization. Personal in-
terviews were had with several, and others were
reached by written communications. Accordingly
a meeting was held at the Gregory House in



Poughkeepsie, Nov. 27, 1861, at which the Home-
opathic Medical Society of Duchess County was
formed, and the following officers chosen : Fed-
eral Vanderburg, Rhinebeck, President ; Ephraim
Case, Clinton Corners, Vice-President ; Ernst F.
Hoffman, of Poughkeepsie, Secretary and Treas-
urer; John Hornby, Poughkeepsie, Stephen G.
Cook, Stanfordville, and Jesse F. Merritt, Pleas-
ant Plains, Censors. A constitution and by-laws
were then adopted. Article 5 of the constitution
makes " any regularly licensed physician who has
complied with the requisitions of the laws of the
State and who shall avow his belief in the home-
opathic maxim, similia similibus curantur, eligible
to membership on a majority vote of the members
present at a regular meeting." Article 6 provides
that a regular annual meeting of the Society shall
be held on the fourth Wednesday of November,
in the city of Poughkeepsie, and a semi-annual
meeting, on the fourth Wednesday of May of each
year, at the same place. Section 8 of the by-laws
makes it " the duty of every member to make a
written communication at every regular meeting
upon some matter pertaining to the general interests
of medical science." Section 1 1 says, " the initia-
tion fee shall be two dollars," and "at every
annual meeting a tax not exceeding in amount one
dollar may be assessed upon each member of the
Society, by a vote of two-thirds of the members

Previousto 1857, homeopathic societies existed as '
informal associations only, having no legal status.
April 13, 1857, the Legislature authorized the forma-
tion of homeopathic county medical societies, with
equal privileges and immunities enjoyed by so-
called allopathic medical associations. April 17
1862, the Legislature passed an act to incorporate
the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of
New York. Under that act a re-organization was
effected whereby county societies then existing be-
came auxiliary to the State society, and the
following year it was formally inaugurated.

At the second meeting of the society in Febru-
ary, 1862, Dr. Vanderburg read a paper on the
" Problem of Life," which was deposited in the
archives of the society for future discussion. Ac-
counts of interesting cases in practice were given
verbally by Drs. Cook, Merritt and Hornby. The
following standing committees were appointed : F.
Vanderburg, Theory and Practice of Medicine ; S.
G. Cook, Special Pathology and Therapeutics \ J
F^ Merritt, Prevailing Epidemics; J. Hornby
Homeopathic Treatment of Surgical Cases ; E f'

Hoffman, Diseases of Females and Children. At
this meeting it was resolved to meet quarterly.
At the third meeting, in May, 1862, Dr. Hornby
read a report on the homeopathic treatment of
surgical cases, which was continued at the meeting
of May, 1863, and published in the Transactions
of the State Medical Society, Vol. II., 1864. In No-
vember, 1863, Dr. J. F. Merritt made a very able
report of cases of diphtheria, epidemics, etc.,
which was published in the volume just alluded to.
Nov. 30, 1864, the time of annual meeting was
changed to the first Tuesday in October, and the
semi-annual meeting to the first Tuesday in April
of each year.

April 2, 1867, communications from Dr. Jones,
of Albany, and the Secretary of the State Society,
were read, " and it was resolved that members of
the society be requested to use their personal in-
fluence with their patrons, and endeavor to procure
homeopathic treatment to be adopted by the
authorities in the new insane asylum to be erected
near this city."

Oct. 6, 1868, it was resolved : " That the code
of medical ethics adopted by the American Insti-
tute of Homeopathy, at their 21st annual session
held at St. Louis in June, 1868, be the standard
of professional behavior among the members of
this society."

No meetings are recorded between Oct. 10, 187 1,
and April 7, 1874; nor between Oct. 5, 1875, and
Oct. 4, 1880.

The following named gentlemen have served the
society in the capacity of president : —
Federal Vanderburg,* i86i-i866.t

L S. P. Lord, 1867-1871.1

Ephraim Case, 1874.

John Hornby, 1875-1881!

The following have been the members of the so-
ciety ffom its organization to the present time, with
the date of admission : —

Avery Edward W.,§ Poughkeepsie, Oct. 6, 1868.
Avery Henry N.,|| " Qct. i, 1867.

Baxter Wilham,1[ Wappingers Falls, Oct. 6, 1868.
Baxter William, Jr., " « Oct. 6, 1874.

Belden Charles D.,** Fishkill, Oct. 6, 1868.

Buckingham W. E., Milton, Ulster
^^°u°ty, April— ,1870.

Case Ephraim, Clinton Corners, Nov. 27, 1861.

• Dr. Vanderburg resigned the office in 1867 by reason of age and in-

t There was no election in 1865, because there was no quorum present.

t No election is recorded in 1870, '72 and '7J.

§ Dr. E. W. Avery removed to Utica in 1869, to undertake , the study
oflaw with his father in Clinton, Oneida county.

II Dr. H. N.Avery removed in 1869.

H Deceased.

** Removed.



Case Walter R., Harts Village, April 2, 1867.

Cook Stephen G.,* Stanfordville, Nov. 27, 1861.

Gidley Wm. H., Moore's Mills, Oct. 5, 1875.

Haight Alonzo, Oct. 5, 1875.

Haight Charles, Poughkeepsie, Oct. 6, 1874.

Hall A, "

Hartley John Fletcher, " Oct. 5, 1875.

Hoffman Ernst F.,* " Nov. 27, 1861.

Hornby John, " Nov. 27, 1861.

Howland Anne C, " Oct. 5, 1875.

Hubbard Levi,t " Oct. — , 1866.

Lansing Benjatnin,1[,§ Hyde Park,-

Lansing G. C.,* Rhinebeck, May 25, 1864.

Lansing Taylor, Poughkeepsie, Oct. 6, 1874.

Lord L S. P.,t " Oct. I, 1867.

Lorillard George, Rhinebeck, Nov. 30, 1864.

Merritt Jesse P., § Pleasant Plains, Nov. 27, 1861.

Mitchell Geo. B. I., Fishkill Ldg., Oct. 5, 1875.

Otis John C, Poughkeepsie, April 6, 1869.
Paine Horace M., Oneida Co.,

(honorary,) April 4, 1865.

Throop A. P.,* Poughkeepsie, Oct. 19, 1880.

Vanderburgh D. W.,|j Rhinebeck, April 2, 1867.

Vanderburg Federal,§ " Nov. 27, 1861.

Whiton Milo James, Fishkill, Oct. — , 1866.

Dr. Milo James Whiton was born at Lee, Mass.,
March 27, 1805, and studied medicine with his
brother. Dr. Lyman Whiton ; also at the Berkshire
Medical College, and with Dr. L. Hubbard, of
Poughkeepsie. He practiced medicine twenty-five
years — seventeen as a homeopath. He possessed
a delicate constitution, and though never enjoying
health himself, was always ready to reUeve the suf-
ferings of others. He was successful in the treat-
ment of chronic diseases, to which he paid most
attention, and particularly to the use of the galvanic
battery in combination with his prescriptions of
medicine. He had formerly practiced in Saratoga
county and removed thence to Brooklyn. He
practiced there four years when his preference for
country life induced him to remove to Fishkill vil-
lage. He died of disease of the heart, Dec. 15,

The Duchess County Mutual Insurance Com-
pany was chartered April 12, 1836, on application
of James E. Mott, Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, James
Mabbett, Alexander Forbus, Henry ConkUn, Abra-
ham Bockee, Thomas Taber, Daniel D. Akin,
Homer Wheaton** John M. Ketcham, Wm. H.
Bostwick, Daniel H. Shultz, Theodore V. W. An-
thony, Henry Staats, Stephen Thorn, Taber Beld-

♦ Removed to New York. '

+ Removed to DeKalb, 111.
t Removed to Brooklyn, L. I.
§ Deceased.
II Removed to Ilion.
T Removed to Rhinebeck.

** Only the three incorporators whose names are italicized survive, and
they have ceased to be members of the company.

ing, Uriah Gregory, John T. Schryver, Silas Ger-
mond, Obadiah Titus, George H. Tompkins, Wal-
ter Sherman, Daniel Sands, Isaac Haight and
James Vincent, " for the purpose of insuring their
respective dwelling houses, stores, shops, and other
buildings, household furniture, merchandise, and

Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 24 of 125)