Richard Mather Bayles.

History of Richmond County (Staten Island), New York from its discovery to the present time online

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tion received the special attention of his father, and at the age
of fifteen he entered the " Seaman's Retreat Hospital," where
he remained for eight years. After a preparatory course un-
der Dr. T. C. Moffat, he attended the " University of the City
of New York, Medical Department," from which he graduated
among the highest in his class, in 1866. During his college
course he studied under the famous physicians, Valentine Mott,
Alfred C. Post, William H. Van Buren, Alfred Loomis and
John T. Metcalfe, also under Professors Budd, Paine and the
three Drapers. After leaving the university he supplemented
the instruction there received with a special and private course
under Professor Ayelette.

Almost immediately upon the completion of his student life
he received an appointment as house physician of the "Sea-
man's Retreat," which he resigned in 1869 to enter on private
practice in Stapleton. Here he still remains. In 1870 he was
appointed physician to the " Metropolitan Police," and detailed
to special duty. To obtain this position he was obliged to un-
dergo an examination before the eighteen physicians who, at,
that time, constituted the board. For the last four years he
has held the position of health officer of the town of Middle-
town and the village of Edgewater, is at present examining
physician of the "Mutual Reserve Fund," and has been since
its organization vice-president of the "Staten Island Academy."
He is also a member of the Richmond County Medical Society
and of the Presbyterian church. As a republican he has taken
a prominent part in the politics of the county.

Doctor Feeny has now been in active practice more than sixteen
years, during which time many remarkable cases have comeun
der his notice and have been treated by him. He adds to his
large experience an intense love not only of his profession but
of all scientific and artistic study. He is up in the classics, has
travelled considerably, and has taken a deep interest in historic
research. His cordial manners and general intelligence have
long been noticed by those who enjoy his acquaintance, and
have resulted in endearing him to them. This is shown in the



488 HISTORY OF RICHMOND COUNTY.

i'act that he has several times been tendered nominations to po-
litical office, which, however, private interests have necessitated
him to decline.

He was married June 9, 1870, to Miss Emma L. Bateman, of
Portland, Me.* They have had five children, one of whom is
dead. No physician has to any greater degree succeeded in
winning the confidence or affection of those around him than
has Doctor Feeny. The deep interest which he has taken in
the health of the community in which he lives, and the county
at large, and especially the freedom with which he responded
to calls made on him for lectures on hygienic subjects during
the recent cholera agitation will long be remembered with pleas-
ure by the people of Staten Island.

Dr. R. Henry Golder has been president of the county medi-
cal society since July, 1884. He was born in 1820, at Phila-
delphia, Pa., moved to New York city in 1839, received a
diploma of license from the New York Medical Society in
1846; received the degree of M. D. from the University Medi-
cal College of New York city in 1851. He practised in the
town of Westfield thirty-five years, and in New Jersey for
five years previous. He has held the following offices in this
county : superintendent of common schools, commissioner of
highways, associate judge for four years of the courts of oyer
and terminer and sessions, and is at present health officer of
the town of Westfield.

Edwin A. Hervey was born January 16. 1824, in South Dur-
ham, Greene county, New York. He received his early educa-
tion in the district schools of his native town, and from private
tutors. At the age of 17 years he was invited to teach the
school in Ills district which he accepted, and continued in that
vocation for five years in the different schools of his county.
He was then offered a situation near Ellenville, Ulster
county, as clerk and bookkeeper in a store, tannery and saw-
mill, where he remained two years. He then engaged as
teacher in Westfield, Richmond county, New York, where he
continued about ten years, during the last six of which he re-
sided with Dr. E. W. Hubbard, and received his preparatory
course of medical instruction. He then entered the University

*She was a daughter of John F. Bateman, who distinguished himself, together
with De Lesseps, in the Panama Construction Company, of which he was chief
engineer.



HISTORY OF RICHMOND COUNTY. 489

Medical College of the city of New York, whence he graduated
in March, 1859, and has since practiced in Rossville.

George C. Hubbard, M. D., is a grandson of Fail-child Hub-
bard, who resided in Jefferson county, IS". Y. By his marriage
to Miss Ward were born four sons and four daughters, the eldest,
Heber W. Hubbard, also a native of the same county, having
removed to Ohio, where he engaged in the practice of medicine.
He was united in marriage to Honor Martha Kingsbury, of
Massachusetts, and had children, George C., Delia D., wife of D.
C. Clapp, Van Buren, William W., Edwin K., and Alice S., wife
of David Pepper. The birth of George C., the eldest, occurred
on the 8th of June, 1831, in La Grange, Ohio, from whence he
removed with his parents to Elyria in the same state. Here he
pursued his academic studies, and subsequently entered Dela-
ware College, located at Delaware, Ohio. Soon after he
entered mercantile life and remained thus occupied until 1856,
when the profession of medicine proving more attractive, he
became a student in his father's office, and was graduated from
the New York Medical University in 1859. Doctor Hubbard
began his professional career at Tottenville, where his father
had previously removed, and has since that time continued in
active practice at this point. On the 16th of September, 1862,
he entered the United States service as assistant surgeon of the
One Hundred and Sixty-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers,
was later commissioned surgeon, and continued with this regi-
ment until his discharge September 16. 1865. The doctor on
Ms return from the service resumed his practice at Tottenville,
where he has since resided. His thorough medical training
and wide experience have enabled him to take a leading rank
in his profession, and brought a correspondingly extended field
of labor. His skill in diagnosis and success in the treatment
of disease in its various forms have caused his presence to be
much sought in consultation. In 1883 he was appointed physi-
cian to the mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto,
Staten Island. The doctor is a member of the Richmond County
Medical Society. He is also an active mason, and was master
of Huguenot Lodge, No. 381, of Tottenville, and High Priest of
Staten Island Chapter, No. 196, R. A. M. Doctor Hubbard was
married February 26, 1866, to Miss Carrie L., daughter of
Joseph Wesley Totten, of Tottenville. Their children are: Van
Eber, Fannie, deceased, and George C., Jr.



490 HISTORY OF RICHMOND COUNTY.

Dr. Robert M. Ames was born in Springfield, Mass., October
20, 18H7, and was educated in the same place, taking a collegiate
course, after graduating from Springfield high school in 1876.
His diploma (medical) was received from Jefferson Medical
College. Philadelphia, Pa., in 1880, after a three years' course.
He is a past assistant surgeon in United States marine hospital
service, and executive officer of the station which rents the Sea-
man's Retreat building, and has from one hundred and twenty-
five to one hundred and fifty patients in hand all the time.

Dr. P. E. Martindale is a native of Sandy Hill, Washington
county, N. Y. , being the youngest of three sons of the late
Hon. Henry C. Martindale, at the time of his death the oldest
and most distinguished member of the bar in his section of the
state. Dr. Martindale is an alumnus of Union College, where
he graduated in 1849. He took his degree of M. D. at the Al-
bany Medical College, as a pupil of the late Dr. Alden March,
who then occupied the chair of surgery in that institution.
Soon afterward he was appointed deputy health officer of the
port of New York, during the administration of Gov. Myron
H. Clark. Doctor Martindale is one of the oldest and most es-
teemed of the medical profession in Richmond county, occupy-
ing the responsible positions of president of the medical board
of the " Nursery and Child's Hospital," and visiting surgeon
to the S. R. Smith Infirmary. He was in the medical corps of
both the army and navy, at different periods during the late
war.

Dr. James J. O'Dea was born in Toronto, Canada, September
6, 1837. He received his classical education at Upper Canada
College, and at the College of Saint Sulpice, Montreal, and his
medical education at Trinity College, Toronto, and Mc-
Gill University Medical College, Montreal. He received his
diploma as doctor of medicine and surgery, from McGill Univer-
sity in the spring of 1859. He began the practice of medicine
in his native city where he soon attained prominence. After
practicing six years in Canada lie removed to New York, where
he acquired position as a writer and practitioner. He contributed
to the " New TorTf Psychological Journal," and to the " New
York Medical Journal.'' 1 He was also corresponding member
of the Canadian Institute, and in 1871 was chairman of the
committee on criminal abortion which drew up the law on that
offense as it now exists in this state.



HISTORY OF RICHMOND COUNTY. 491

After laboring for six years in New York he removed to
Staten Island, where he acquired a large practice to which he
has devoted himself. In 1882 he published, through Messrs.
Putnam's Sons, a volume on suicide, the first of the kind by any
American writer, which was received with favor both at home
and abroad. Besides this, his Magnum Opus, he has written
on a variety of scientific subjects, of which the following are
chief: " Hereditary Influence in Mental Diseases," "Plea of In-
sanity in Criminal Cases," " Sphere, Rights and Obligations
of Medical Experts," " Principles of Criminal Law as applied
to Insanity," and " The Physiology and Psychology of
Dreams."

Samuel Adams Robinson, M. D., was born in Franklin, Pa.
He is a son of Rev. John Robinson, D. D., a native of Freder-
ick county, Va., who was a direct descendant of the Scotch-
Irish family Robinson, settled in Ulster, Ireland, by James I.
in 1603. The parents of Reverend Doctor Robinson, John and
Rosanna Robinson, were the first representatives of the family
in America. They brought with them a strong faith in the
Protestant doctrine, with which they had been early inculcated,
and their son, on finishing his collegiate course at the age of
21, immediately entered the ministry of the Methodist Episco-
pal church. In it he labored with great success for more than
fifty years, being widely known in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New
York and Ohio, and filling every position in the gift of his
church except that of bishop. He now resides with the doctor,
and though over 80 years of age retains his mental and physical
powers to a remarkable degree.

The doctor's mother, Hannah Walker Adams Plumer, was
born at Pittsburgh, Pa., and died at the residence of her son in
1886, in the 76th year of her age. She was a noble example of
Christian womanhood, admired and respected by all who saw
her and beloved by all who knew her. Her mother, Patty
Adams, was born near Boston, Mass., and was closely related
to Samuel and John Adams, the well-known statesmen and
orators of the American revolution. Patty Adams was the wife
of Major Samuel Plumer, of Newburyport, Mass., a member of
the old Plumer family of that state. Major Plnmer was the
son of Nathaniel Plumer, who settled at Pittsburgh, in Penn-
sylvania, where he purchased a large estate, much of which his
descendants still own. The granite mansion which he built,



492 HISTORY OF RICHMOND COUNTY.

and in which Doctor Robinson's mother was born, has always
been occupied by the family. The major settled in Venango
county, Pa., when it was a wilderness. He became possessed
of large tracts of land and established a family which is among
the most prominent in that state.

Both of Doctor Robinson's grandfathers died in middle life,
leaving their wives, neither of whom married again, to bring up
large families, which they did admirably, training them to lives
of usefulness and honor. Both lived to old age, retaining their
mental powers til] the last and enjoying the satisfaction of
knowing that every child was doing well. The Hon. James
Robinson, of West Virginia, Judge Benjamin Adams Plumer
and the Hon. Arnold Plumer, of Pennsylvania, were the most
prominent of their children.

Doctor Robinson was chiefly educated by his father. He
.shmved an early predilection for medicine and began study for
his profession with Dr. Edward Lawrence Lakin when about
16 years of age, finishing a regular four years' course and re-
ceiving the degree of M. D. at Cleveland, Ohio, before he was
20. He has since spent six years in professional study, princi-
pally in New York, London, Paris, Vienna and Berlin. He is
a highly esteemed member of Crescent Lodge, No. 402, F. &
A. M., Palestine Commandery, No. 18, K. T., and of the four
regular A. A. Scottish rite bodies of New York city; also of
Tyrian Chapter, R. A. M., of Staten Island. He took an active
part in founding Saint Austin's school, of which he is a trus-
tee, also in the organization and establishment of the Kill von
Kill Working-men's Club and Institute of West New Brighton,
of which the Hon. Erastus Brooks was the first president, and
upon the death of whom Doctor Robinson was unanimously
chosen to succeed him. He is also a director in one of the
largest life insurance companies of New York city and chair-
man of its investment committee.

He has a large and very select general practice, extending into
IS'ew York and Brooklyn, in each of which cities he treats
many excellent families. In chronic diseases he has patients
from the most distant states of the Union. He has been a
widower since 1874. His wife was the eldest daughter of the
Hon. Hiram Greely Butler, of Pennsylvania, who was a cousin
of Horace Greely. He has but one child, Rush Robinson, who
resides with his father. Doctor Robinson is well known in



HISTORY OF RICHMOND COUNTY. 493

professional and social circles and enjoys the esteem of all with
whom he is brought into contact. In addition to his acknowl-
edged skill and large experience he has a high sense of personal
and professional honor, which renders him at once the safe
confidant and true friend of his patients.

Dr. Robert Rogerson was educuated in the University of
Edinburgh, Scotland, and graduated there as an L. M. in 1859;
also in September, 1859, he graduated in Glasgow, Scotland, as
physician, surgeon and accoucheur. During the last sixteen
years he has practiced in Port Richmond, his practice being
that of the liberal school.

Dr. Henry W. Sawtelle was born in 1842, at Sidney, Maine,
and was educated at Waterville, in the same state. He was
graduated at the University of Georgetown, D. C. (medical de
partment), March 3, 1868, and began practice on the island in
May, 1883. Being an officer of the United States marine hos-
pital service, he moved the hospital from Bedloe's Island to the
old Seaman's Retreat, which was leased in behalf of the gov-
ernment for use as a marine hospital in 1883. He remained in
charge until June 15, 1885, when he was ordered to another
port.

Dr. Samuel Russell Smith was born at Waterbury, Connec-
ticut, on the 10th day of April, 1801. At the age of four-
teen he became a clerk in a bookstore in the city of New York,
and later entered the drug business, and at the same time com-
menced the study of medicine, in due time graduating at the
University of the State of New York, in the class of 1828. In
May of that year, he came to Tompkinsville, and began the
practice of his profession, which he pursued successfully until
his death, which occurred December 24, 1851.

He devoted himself assiduously to his profession, in which
he was remarkably successful. He was no respecter of persons,
for all ranks and conditions of life equally received his atten-
tions when required. The following instance of the goodness
of his heart is related by Clute :

" One cold winter night, after a more than ordinary fatiguing
day's work, he was awakened by a loud rap at his door. Upon
answering the call, he found a poor lighterman there, who
said his wife required the doctor's services as soon as possible.
I will come immediately,' was his reply. Without delay he
prepared himself to face the snow-storm which was raging



494 HISTORi' OF RICHMOND COUNTY.

without, and hastened to the lighterman's dwelling. After he
had performed the duty required of him, and as he was prepar-
ing to return to his home, the lighterman tendered him five
silver dollars, at the same time remarking, ' I have been saving
up this money for several weeks, knowing that I would soon
need your services, but as there is but little doing in my busi-
ness at this season of the year, it is all I have been able to raise.'

" 'No, no,' replied the doctor, putting his hand behind him,
'you need that money just now more than I do ; your ex-
penses, in the present condition of your family, will be heavier
than usual, so instead of taking your money, you must allow
me to add to it,' at the same time laying a five-dollar bank note
on the table, and hurrying away to avoid hearing the poor man's
expressions of gratitude. This was so characteristic of the
man, that when the recipient of the doctor's bounty related
the circumstance to his fellows on the following morning it
created no surprise whatever, but one of them remarked.
'That's just like Doctor Smith.' Though the saying that a
man 'had not an enemy in the world' has become exceedingly
trite, it was never more applicable than to the subject of this
sketch. The grief of the community at his death was universal."

Dr. Walker Washington, Jr., was born near Fredericksburg,
Va., on the 23d of November, 1860. He attended school under a
private teacher for several years, until he commenced his colle-
giate education. He spent three years at the Randolph Macon
College, of Ashland, Hanover county, Va., and completed his
collegiate course at Richmond College, Va. After leaving there
he took up the study of medicine and received his diploma
from Bellevue Hospital Medical College, in March, 1885. He
removed to Tottenville, Staten Island, October 28, 1885.

Dr. J. Walter Wood is the youngest child of Walter D. and
Catherine S. Wood, and a descendant of the Dongan family.
He is a native of the island, and was born at Mariners' Harbor,
April 23, 1856. The doctor attended the district school of his
native place and several private schools. He then moved to the
city and graduated from " Grammar School No. 35." He im-
mediately entered the " College of the City of New York," in
the academic department, passed through it with honors and
received the degree of A. B., in 1878. He then entered the
" College of Physicians and Surgeons," from which he gradu-
ated three years later. He afterward settled in Madison, N. J.,



HISTORY OF RICHMOND COUNTY. 495

and in September, 1881. married Miss Mattie Sprague, second
daughter of Prof. J. S. Sprague, then of West New Brighton.
In September, 1882, his health failing, he sold his practice in
New Jersey, and located at Port Richmond, S. I., where he soon
gained a lucrative practice. He stands high in the Masonic
order, is an active member of Richmond County Medical So-
ciety, and is one of the stewards of Grace M. E. church.

Major George Howard, a resident of the city of New York,
after having been boarding officer of the port for eleven years,
was appointed keeper of public stores at Staten Island in the
year 1830; consequently he moved with his family to the island.
He erected on Brighton Heights a h'ne mansion, the first one
built on the Heights. After occupying it a few years, he sold
the house and grounds to John Anthon (in the year 1838), for
$22,000. He then removed to the village (Tompkinsville) where
he resided until the year 1844, when (owing to political changes)
he resigned his office as public storekeeper.

Dr. John T. Harrison was for many years mate of the marine
hospital, and subsequently health officer. Dr. John S. Wester-
velt served five years as mate to the marine hospital, from 1823
to 1827, inclusive, under John T. Harrison. Dr. Westervelt was
appointed health officer in the year 1829, in which capacity he
served till 1836. Dr. Daniel M. Hitchcock at that time was
mate and deputy. Dr. William Rockwell (successor to Dr.
Westervelt) served as health officer four years. During the
first two years of office, Dr. Charles A. Vanzandt was deputy,
and the last two Dr. Henry Van Hoevenberg. Dr. James Har-
court was at that time mate of the marine hospital. Dr. A. J.
Doane succeeded Doctor Rockwell, and held the office three
years. Dr. Henry Van Hoevenberg, Doctor Doane' s successor,
commenced his official duties in 1843. He appointed Dr. James
Harcourt deputy health officer.

During Doctor Harrison's, also Doctor Westervelt's term of
office, vessels were only boarded seven months in the year, viz.,
from April 2d to October 31st, inclusive, unless a vessel arrived
in the interim having on board contagious or infectious diseases,
which was seldom the case. The hospital was generally closed
about November 1st, and remained so until April 2d. At the
closing of the hospital the inmates were sent to the New York
Hospital, their board and medical attendance being paid for by
the commissioners of health, from the funds of the institution.



496 HISTORY OF RICHMOND COUNTY.

During the last two years of Doctor Van Hoevenberg's term of
office, the law was changed, making it obligatory on the health
officer to board vessels from foreign ports having passengers, all
the year round.

Dr. Harcourt was on the hospital ship " Falcon," in 1866
with Dr.'Bissell, attending to cholera patients. Dr. Bissell was
attacked with cholera but recovered. Doctor Swinburne was
then health officer.



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CHAPTER XL



OLD FAMILIES AND PROMINENT INDIVIDUALS.



Alston. Androvette. Bedell. Barnes. Samuel Ward Benedict. Read Bene-
dict. Bodine. W. H. J. Bodine. Blake. Bogart. Braisted. Britton.
Burbanck. Burgher, Burger. Bush. Butler. Cannon. Christopher.
Cole. Abraham Cole. William A. Cole. Colon. Conner. Corsen. Cor-
telyou. Crips. Crocheron. Cruser. Cubberly. George William Daley.
George Henry Daley. Decker. De Groot De Hart. Depuy. Disosway.
DuBois. Dustan. Eddy. Andrew Eddy. Egbert. Ellis. Enyard.
Fountain. Frost. Garrison. Guyon. Hatfield. Haughwout. Charles A.
Herpich. Hilly er. Holmes. Housman. Jacobson. Johnson. Jones.
Journeay. La Forge. Lake. Larzalere. Latourette. Lawrence. Lisk.
Lockman. Manee. James M. Manee. Martling. Martino. Men-ill. Mer-
sereau. Metcalfe. Nicholas C. Miller. Morgan.



ALSTON. Originally this was a Scotch family. One of its
most noted members was Charles Alston, a celebrated
Scotch physician and author. He died in 1760. Joseph Alston,
the son-in-law of Aaron Burr, and a former governor of South
Carolina, was also of this family. The first of the name on Staten
Island was David Alston, who came here from New Jersey,
somewhere about the beginning of the revolution. He was com-
missioned a captain in the British army; his company was com
posed of provincial loyalists or tories; he owned the property
recently belonging to the estate of Samuel Decker, deceased, in
Northh'eld. The large stone house in which he lived and died
was demolished a few years ago. He died between the 6th and
14th of May, 1805, for these ai*e the dates of his will and its
probate. He speaks, in that document, of his sons Warren,
Japhet and David. It is said that he continued to draw his
half-pay from the British government as long as he lived. His
son Japhet, at the time of his death, which occurred July 31,
1842, at the Four Corners, Castleton, was the father of Moses
Alston, Esq., late twice sheriff of the county, and of his
brothers David, Japhet, Adam, George and William.

32



498 HISTORY OF RICHMOND COUNTY.

ANDROYETTE. This is one of the old families of the island,
but it was never very prominent nor very numerous; the notices
of it (hei'efore are few. They appear to have confined them-



Online LibraryRichard Mather BaylesHistory of Richmond County (Staten Island), New York from its discovery to the present time → online text (page 48 of 72)