History of Columbia County, New York

By Captain Franklin Ellis

Published by Everts & Ensign

Philadelphia, PA





Pages 112 to 120



    [Page 112]  The bar of Columbia county has always been a noted one.  On its roll of attorneys appear names which have been in the past household words, and whose fame has enriched the annals of the State and nation.

     From the highest place in the gift of the people, downward through almost every grade of official life, this bar has been represented with honor.  Many of its illustrious members in the past have personal mention elsewhere in these pages, and many of its present members are worthily filling the high places vacated by their predecessors.  On the roll of the Columbia bar there is to-day no lack of names which might properly be written beside the eminent ones of the past, but such mention is no within the scope and plan of this work.

     The roll of attorneys who have had a residence in the county from its organization to the present time, as gathered form the records of the courts, and revised by several of the oldest practitioners of the Columbia bar, is as follows:*

1786.---John Bay, Ezekiel Gilbert, Killian K. Van Rensselaer, Peter Van Schaack, John C. Wynkoop, Myndert P. Vosburgh, Elisha Pratt.

1787.---Hezekiah L. Hosmer.

1788.---Ambrose Spencer, Martin Van Buren, Thomas Cooper, Philip L. Hoffman, Isaac Goes.

1789.---Francis Silvester, Elihu Chauncey Goodrich.

1790.---John C. Schuyler, Peter L. Van Alen, Peter W. Livingston.

1791.---Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer, Henry C. Van Schaack, John P. Van Ness, John Van Hoesen Huyck.

1792.---Barent Hoes, Barent Van Buren, Daniel Whiting.

1793.---Elisha Williams.

1794.---James I. Van Alen.

1795.---John Champlin.

1796.---William W. Van Ness, Philip Gebhard, Garret B. Van Ness.

1797.---Barent Gardenier.

1798.---Francis Silvester, Jr.

1799.---Wm. P. Van Ness.

1801.---Elisha Holly, Thomas Bay.

1802.---Philip S. Parker, David Knapp, Ebenezer Foote, John King.

1803.---Francis Pruyn, Matthew Cantine, Joseph D. Monell, Cornelius P. Van Ness.

1804.---Thomas P. Grosvenor.

1806.---Cornelius Beekman, Daniel Rodman.

1807.---Killian Miller, John Woodward.

1808.---Abraham P. Holdridge, James Vanderpoel.

1810.---Cornelius Miller, James Strong, James H. Hamilton, Justus McKinstry.

1811.---Abraham A. Van Buren.

1813.---Thomas Beekman, Benjamin F. Butler.

1814.---Thomas K. Baker, Moses J. Cantine.

1815.---James J. Bill.

1816.---Chester Ashley (United States senator from Texas), David Van Schaack, Austin Abbott, Benjamin P. Johnson.

1817.---John B. Dexter, Julius Wilcoxson.

1818.---Campbell Bushnell, Reuben Rowley, Chester Beale, Daniel B. Tallmadge.

1819.---William Overbaugh, John W. Edmonds.

1820.---James H. Teackle, Wm. H. Tobey, Aaron Vanderpoel, Ambrose L. Jordan, Charles Waldo.

1821.---David F. Barstow, Allen Jordan.

1822.---Robert H. Morris.

1823.---Chester Sturtevant.

1825.---Eleazer Root, Jr., Chas. Esselstyn, Cyrus M. Stebbins.

1826.---Nathan Chamberlain.

1827.---John B. Van Ness.

1828.---J. Rutsen Van Rensselaer, Jr., Darius Peck.

1829.---Russell G. Door, Chas. B. Dutcher, W. W. Brodhead, Carroll Livingston.

1830.---Wheeler H. Clarke, Josiah Sutherland, John Gaul, Jr., John Snyder, John Sanders, Jr., Peter H. Silvester, Henry Hogeboom, Martin Van Deusen, Peter Van Schaack, Jr.

1831.---Robert B. Monell, Wm. H. Freeland, G. C. Heermance, James Burt, W. D. Henderson.

1832.---George G. Bull, Josiah W. Fairfield, James Sutherland, Jr.

1833.---James Storm, A. Underhill, Ambrose S. Russell, Alonzo Greene, George W. Bulkeley.

1834.---E. C. Halsey.

1835.---Robert C. Van Rensselaer, Robert L. Dorr, Edwin c. Litchfield.

1836.---Josephus D. Jordan, Daniel B. Cady.


In between pages 112 and 113 is the biography of Hon. Henry Hogeboom, to read it click here.


[page 113]

1837.---Theodore Miller.

1838.---Joseph G. Palen, (chief-justice of New Mexico, now deceased).

1839.---S. V. Cady, Claudius L. Monell, Martin Gilbert, Edward P. Cowles, C. Clyde, C. P. Schermerhorn.

1840.---Levi Rowley, Martin Pechtel, Gershom Bulkeley, P. M. Jordan.

1841.---Wesley R. Gallup, N. T. Rossiter, Stephen Storm, Stephen L. Magoun.

1842.---Henry P. Horton, Henry Miller, George M. Soule, P. W. Bishop, Edwin A. Maynard, Alexander S. Rowley, D. A. Baldwin, Robert H. McClellan.

1843.---Edward A. Dunscombe, Philip J. Clum, John c. Newkirk, Robert E. Andrews, William Caldwell, John H. Reynolds, Robert Burrell Storm.

1844.---Philip H. Bonesteel.

1845.---John W. Rider, Charles Smith, C. P. Collier, Stephen B. Miller, Edward R. Peck, James Elmendorf.

1846.---Rodolphus P. Skinner, George Van Santvoord, Hugh W. McClellan (county judge), Horatio N. Wright.

1847.---Elijah Payn, W. W. Hoysradt, Aaron J. Vanderpoel, John McArthur Welch, C. M. Hall.

1849.---Mitchell Sanford, Edwin Hoes, D. S. Cowles.

1850.---Charles H. Bramhall, De Witt Miller, W. C. Benton.

1851.---Charles L. Beale.

1852.---H. B. Barnard.

1853.---Seymour L. Stebbins, Wm. Boies, C. H. Porter.

1854.---C. B. Whitbeck, F. M. Butler, Peter Bonesteel, John Cadman (ex-county judge), William A. Porter, James Mulford.

1855.---John B. Longley, N. S. Post.

1856.---Francis Silvester, Cornelius Esselstyne, Martin H. Dorr, John Whitbeck.

1857.---Daniel Sheldon.

1858.---Theodore Snyder.

1859.---Isaac N. Collier, J. V. Whitbeck.

1860.---J. A. Lant, Alfred Nash, John C. Hogeboom.

1863.---Horace R. Peck, A. F. B. Chase.

1864.---Charles H. Lown, Jacob P. Miller, S. M. Van Wyck, Jr.

1865.---Herman V. Esselstyne, W. c. Daley, Charles A. Baurhyte.

1866.---William H. Atwood.

1867.---William H. Hawver, Edward P. Magoun, Willard Peck, Levi F. Longley.

1868.---Robert Hood, George K. Daley, Gilbert Langdon.

1870.---R. J. Payn, Erastus Coons.

1872.---Charles M. Bell, Louis K. Brown, Eugene Burlingame, Samuel Edwards, Alonzo H. Farrar, Ransom H. Gillett, Arthur M. Hawkes, W. H. Silvernail, W. W. Saxton, G. S. Collier.

1873.---A. B. Gardenier, John C. Hubbard, Josiah A. Mills.

1875.---Stephen F. Avery, J. Rider Cady, James B. Daley, E. D. Delamater, Chancellor Hawver, Giles H. O'Neill, George H. Stever.

1876.---Claudius Rockefeller.

1877.---Nelson F. Boucher, George D. Earle, Mark Duntz.




     Hudson.---Robert F. Andrews, W. C. Benton, Chas. L. Beale, Nelson F. Boucher, Fayette M. Butler, W. H. Clarke, W. F. Clarke, Casper P. Collier, Isaac N. Collier, J. Rider Cady, A. F. B. Chace, Mark Duntz, E. D. Delamater, Cornelius Esselstyne, Herman V. Esselstyne, Samuel Edwards, J. W. Fairfield, John Gaul, Jr., (1830), Chancellor Hawver, John C. Hogeboom, Peter M. Jordan, John B. Longley (district attorney), Levi F. Longley (county clerk), J. H. Lant, Robert B. Monell, Stephen L. Magoun, Edward P. Magoun, Henry Miller, Jacob P. Miller, John C. Newkirk, Giles H. O'Neill, Darius Peck (1828), Horace R. Peck, William Peck, Alexander S. Rowley, Claudius Rockefeller, James Storm, R. B. Storm, S. M. Van Wyck, Jr., John V. Whitbeck, John McA. Welch.


     Kinderhook.---Wm. H. Atwood, G. S. Collier, Theodore Snyder, Francis Silvester.

     West Taghkanic.---Stephen F. Avery.

     Taghkanic.---Wm. H. Hawver.    

     Greenport.---C. A. Baurhyte.

     Chatham Village.---Louis K. Brown, Hugh W. McClellan (county judge), John Cadman, W. c. Daley, Nathan S. Post, Geo. K. Daley, Josiah H. Mills.

     Chatham.---James B. Daley.

     North Chatham.---W. Heermance.

     East Chatham.---W. W. Saxton.

     Valatie.---Gershom Bulkeley, Geo. D. Earle, Alonzo H. Farrar, A. B. Gardenier, Wm. H. Silvernail.

     Germantown.---Erastus Coons.

     Hillsdale.---Martin H. Dorr.

     Ghent.---John T. Hogeboom, C. H. Porter.

     Philmont.---Henry P. Horton.

     Ancram.---W. W. Hoysradt.

     Livingston.---Robert Hood.

     Copake.---Gilbert Langdon, Daniel Sheldon.




was organized January 21, 1878, with John Gaul, Jr., as president; John C. Newkirk, Hugh W. McClellan, vice-presidents; Edw. P. Magoun, recording secretary; Willard Peck, corresponding secretary; Cornelius Esselstyne, treasurer; R. E. Andrews, John Cadman, S. L. Magoun, J. R. Cady, Samuel Edwards, executive committee; A. F. B. Chace, C. L. Beale, Samuel Edwards, Willard Peck, and C. M. Bell, committee on admission; and Francis Silvester, John C. Newkirk, N. F. Boucher, E. R. Delamater, and Chancellor Hawver, committee on grievances.  The regular meetings of the association are published for the third Mondays of January and June, second Monday in April, and first Monday in October.  Within one month from the date of organization about one-third of the members of the bar of the county were enrolled as members of the association.

     Resolutions of respect and condolence have been passed by the bar and spread upon the records of the courts on the death of eminent members in several instances.  Among them Joseph D. Monell, in 1861, Hon. John Snyder and Colonel David S. Cowles, in 1863,---Mr. Snyder dying suddenly in his house, and Colonel Cowles at the lead of his regiment in the attack on Port Hudson,---H. N. Wright, [page 114] 1867, and Hon. Henry Hogeboom, in 1872.  Eulogies on the deceased attorneys were pronounced by Mr. Gaul, Judge Newkirk, and others.

     The circuit court was in session when the news of the assassination of President Lincoln was received in Hudson, and a committee of the bar was immediately appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the feelings of the court and bar on the awful crime.  The committee reported a series of resolutions expressing their utter detestation of the crime and the principles that prompted its commission, and the deep feeling of respect for the murdered chief magistrate, which were by order of the court spread upon the records, on motion of Mr. Gaul, who made appropriate remarks relative thereto, as did also Judge Henry Hogeboom, and the court was adjourned for the day.




    The first act of the Legislature regulating the practice of medicine and surgery was that of June 10, 1760.  It was amended in 1792, and again in 1797, and under the latter act judges of the State courts and courts of common pleas and master in chancery were authorized to license person to practice as physicians upon proof that the applicant had pursued for two years the study of medicine.  By the act of April 4, 1806, five or more physicians in a county or in adjoining counties could form a medical society.  Such societies were empowered to grant licenses to practice medicine in the State, and the State society could grant diplomas.  The latter was organized in 1807, and has maintained its organization to the present time.  Delegates from the county societies compose its membership.  The restrictions laid upon practice without a diploma were finally abolished in 1844, and the law now makes no distinction between the different classes of practitioners.  Those assuming to act as physicians become responsible for the practice, and if not licensed by a county or State society, or are not regular graduates of a medical school, they can collect pay according to the time employed, but cannot collect the specific fees implying professional skill which are recognized by the established usages of the profession.

     The statute of 1806, for the incorporation of medical societies for the purpose of regulating the practice of medicine and surgery, may be considered one of the first efforts made in this country to give to the medical profession an honorable station in the community.

     The advantage to the community in placing the regulation of the medical profession under the direction of its own members has already been greatly manifested by the promotion of medical education, the encouragements given to physical inquiries and observation, and the diminished influence of pretenders to the healing art throughout the State.




    The organization of this society was effected at a meeting of physicians and surgeons of the county of Columbia, held on the first Tuesday in June, 1806, at which there were present Drs. George Monell, Henry Malcolm, Noah Wells, John Milton Mann,  Henry L Van Dyck, Samuel White, William Bay, George Birdsall, John Talman.  Dr. George Monell was chosen to officiate as moderator, and the following were elected the first officers of the society, namely:  Dr. William Wilson, president, Dr. Thomas Brodhead, vice-president; and Drs. William Bay and Henry Malcolm, respectively, secretary and treasurer; after which it was

     "Resolved, That the annual meetings of this society shall be on the first Tuesday in October, at ten of the clock in the forenoon, at the city of Hudson; and

     "Resolved, That Mann, Malcom, and White be a committee to draft the bye-laws and that they report them at the next meeting; and

     "Resolved, That the secretary inform the president and the vice-president of their appointment, and the request of the society that the president read a dissertation at the annual meeting."


    The following is a list of the names of members, past and present, of the Columbia County Medical Society, with date of their admission:

    1806.---Samuel White, John Milton Mann, Hudson; William Wilson, Clermont; George Monell, Claverack; Henry Malcolm, Hudson; Noah Wells; Henry L. Van Dyck, Kinderhook; William Bay, Claverack; George Birdsall; Thomas Brodhead, Clermont; John Talman, Hudson.

     The names above mentioned are those of the first members of the Columbia County Medical Society, and they stand as landmarks of a new era in medicine,---the era of medical associations.

    1807.---Daniel Morris, William Barthrop (Kinderhook), Augustus F. Hayden, Peter Sharp, Joseph Jewett, John McClellan (Livingston, died in Hudson), John De Lameter, David Abrams.

    1809.---E. B. Pugsley (Ghent).

    1810.---John P. Beekman (Kinderhook), Abraham Jordan (Claverack).

    1811.---Moses Burt.

    1812.---Thomas Belton.

    1813.---John c. Olmstead.

    1818.---David Mellen (Hudson), S. T. B. Platner, John T. Brodhead (Clermont), Squire Jones, Robert G. Frary (Hudson).

    1821.---Horatio Root (Chatham), John Merriman, Henry D. Wright (Lebanon), Elezer Root (Chatham).

    1822.---John Van Der Poel (Kinderhook), Alpheus Abrams, Edward H. Reynolds, Isaac Everist, Andrew Van Dyck.

    1823.---Hosea Beebe, Edward Door (Hillsdale), Robert Hicks.

    1824.---Asa Spaulding, Samuel Pomroy White (Hudson), Hessel T. Van Orden (Germantown), Ebenezer Reed (Spencertown).

    1825.---Peter Van Buren (Clermont), John Sutherland.

    1826.---Henry Foote (Spencertown), Thomas Sears, Henry A. Hermance.

    1828.---John Lusk, Levi B. Skinner, Stephen Platner (Copake), John Hunt (Hudson), Wm. M. Jones (Johnstown, died in Hudson), Samuel R. McClellan (Hudson), Peter P. Rossman (Ancram), Erick King, Jesse Ferris.

    1829.---Benjamin McKeeney (Hudson), Abner Dayton, John B. Rossman, Russell Evart, Wm. H. Wilson.

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  1830.---Joseph Chadwick (Chatham), Bostwick O. Miller, George H. White (Hudson), Jacob S. Miller, John H. Cole (Claverack), Stillman E. Ames, Montillion Beckwith, Wm. E. Buckley (Hillsdale).

   1832.---James Hubbard, John M. Pruyn (Kinderhook), Seymour W. Simpson, John O. Flagler, Robert Rossman, J. W. Palmer, Stephen Hinsdale (Claverack).

    1835.---Volkert Whitbeck (Hudson), William C. Bell, Charles Bull, Richard H. Mesick (Ghent), Robert Clow (Clermont).

    1837.---Daniel Sargent,------- Hoagland; C. W. Beman, James H. Barnes (Ghent), Wm. B. Finch, Allen A. Jordan (Claverack).

    1838.---Joseph Bates (New Lebanon Springs), Henry B. Salmon (Stuyvesant).

    1839.---Peter Van Zandt, Robert Humphrey (Greenport), F. W. Jenkins.

    1840.---G. W. Cawkins (Germantown), N. Rusk, F. A. Warner, J. Robinson, William Wright, Daniel Haynes, Peter R. Coffin.

    1842.---Franklyn D. Pierson, Stephen G. Tallmadge, Harvey Cole, Conradt Niver (Copake), John C. Newman.

    1843.---P. H. Knickerbacker (Clermont), Elbridge Simpson (Hudson), Lucas Pruyn (Kinderhook), S. O. Vanderpoel (Kinderhook), -------Moore, John P. Wheeler (Hudson), Charles R. Near (Germantown).

    Reorganized in 1863.---Joseph Bates, president, New Lebanon; H. B. Salmon, vice-president, Stuyvesant Falls; P. V. S. Pruyn, secretary, Kinderhook; Wm. H. Pitcher, treasurer, Hudson.

    1865-66.---Dr. Atwood, William C. Bailey (Chatham), John C. Benham (Hudson), Elias W. Bostwick (Hudson), Joseph Dorr (Hillsdale), L. C. B. Graveline (Chatham), Lorenzo Gile (Canaan), S. M. Moore, O. H. Peck (Chatham), G. P. Salmon (Lebanon and Hudson), D. F. Van Aiken (Stuyvesant), Abram Van Deusen (Claverack), R. H. Vedder (Chatham).

    1866-67.---Henry Lyle Smith (Hudson), George E. Bensen (Kinderhook and Hudson), Rensselaer Platner (Clermont), J. N. Schermerhorn (Stockport).

    1869.---J. K. Wardle (Hudson), ------- Fowler, M. L. Bates (Canaan), E. B. Boice (Valatie), J. Lockwood (Ghent and Philmont), P. W. Shufelt (East Taghkanic), C. E. Segar, P. B. Collier (Kinderhook).

    1872.---X. T. Bates (New Lebanon), N. H. Mesick (Glenco Mills), George Rossman (Ancram).

    1873.---Wm. O. Smith (Germantown), Joseph T. Lamb (Hudson), A. T. Losee (Germantown).

    1876.---Thomas Wilson (Claverack).

    1877.---Crawford E. Fritts (Hudson), J. H. Allen (Churchtown).

    1878.---Charles E. Valkenburgh (Stuyvesant Falls).


    The following physicians have officiated as president of the society since its reorganization in 1863, viz.: 1863, Joseph Bates; 1864, H. B. Salmon; 1865, Wm. H. Pitcher; 1866, E. W. Bostwick;  1867, G. P. Salmon; 1868, P. V. S. Pruyn; 1869, H. Lyle Smith; 1870, J. C. Benham; 1871, R. H. Vedder; 1872, W. C. Bailey; 1873-74, P. B. Collier; 1875, L. M. Bates; 1876, G. W. Rossman; 1877, W. O. Smith.

    The officers of 1877 were W. O. Smith, president; J. W. Lockwood, vice-president; Thomas Wilson, secretary and treasurer.

    William Wilson was the first president of the Columbia County Medical Society.  He was also president of the State Medical Society during the year of 1812,---the fifth of its existence.  He was a man of sound judgment and extensive knowledge, both in medicine and the collateral sciences.  In 1814 he was elected a permanent member of the State Society.  He also represented Columbia county in the State Legislature, and died in 1829, aged and respected.

    John Milton Mann was one of those pioneers in medicine who left a name which time has yet failed to erase.  From 1807 to the time of his death he held responsible positions in the State Medical Society, and was the first of the eleven who organized it.  He was drowned in crossing the river on the ferry-boat, Aug. 24, 1809, aged forty-three years.

    Thomas Brodhead served in both the County and State Societies; he was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine by the regents of the University in 1828.  He practiced long in the county, and left an honorable record.  He died in 1830, aged sixty-five.

    William Bay was another of the founders of the County Society.  He was a man of fine education, studied medicine in New York city, and graduated in 1779; from this time to 1810 he practiced in Claverack, where he achieved an enviable reputation.  In 1810 he removed to Albany, where he became a leading physician; he die in 1865, aged ninety-two, having practiced medicine for sixty-three years.

    Henry L. Van Dyck, another of the progenitors of the society, was born in Kinderhook.  He was a hard worker for the society, and was honored and respected by all who were associated with him.

    John Talman, of Hudson, was in the early days of the society one of the most popular physicians in the city.  He was a skillful practitioner, and a man of very pleasing address, of fine form, and rare social qualities.

    Samuel White is remembered not simply as a successful practitioner for over half a century in the city of Hudson, but as the founder, also, of the asylum for the insane in the same city, and which was in successful operation for twenty-five years.  Dr. White was one of Hudson's most popular physicians and surgeons, and was a hard-working man in the society at its organization.  He had a very extensive practice, both medical and surgical, and in his day was probably the ablest surgeon in eastern New York.  He was professor of surgery at the Berkshire Medical College, in Pittsfield, for many years.  He as made an honorary member of the State Society in 1829, and in 1843 was elected its president.  After a very active and honorable life, he died in 1845, aged sixty-eight.

    John McClellan figured largely in the medical affairs of the county.  He was a man of large experience and possessed of good sense and judgment.  He was honored with the degree of Doctor of Medicine by the regents of the University in 1831, and after a long and eventful life, died Oct. 18, 1855, aged eighty-three.

[Page 116]

    John Merriman came into the society about the year 1820.  He was original in thought and bold in practice.  He struggled hard to suppress quackery and advance the regularly-educated physician.  He represented the county in the State Medical Society, and in 1841 was honored with the degree of Doctor of Medicine by the regents of the University.  After a long and eventful life, filled with honors and successes, he died at a  ripe old age.

     Dr. Robert G. Frary, of Hudson, was one of the brightest lights of the Columbia County Medical Society, and his name and memory still live in the hearts of many throughout the county.

    He was the first licentiate before the censors of this society, receiving his license in 1815.  He immediately joined the society, and up to the time of his death, in 1862, was a most active and honored member.  Dr. Frary was a self-made man, and rose to eminent distinction in the profession.  He was also the recipient of many public honors, and filled important offices in public life.  He was made a permanent member of the State society in 1836, in 1845 was vice-president, and in 1851 was elected its president.  He died Dec. 29, 1862, aged sixty-nine.

    So high was the regard of the citizens of Hudson for Dr. Frary's  virtues, that they erected a costly monument to his memory.

    John Van Der Poel came into the society in 1822.  He was active and earnest in the profession, and for many years was active and earnest in the profession, and for many years a leading practitioner.  His son, Dr. S. O. Van Der Poel, the present health-officer of the port of New York, practiced with his father in Valatie.

    Ebenezer Reed, of Spencertown, was a man of sterling worth, and a very successful physician.  He joined the society in 1819, and died in 1871.

    Samuel Pomroy White was the eldest son of Dr. Samuel White.  He was born in the city of Hudson, Nov. 8, 1801, graduated at Union College in the year 1822, and studied for his profession with his father, going through the regular course of lectures at the medical college in New York city, under the late Valentine Mott, M. D.  Although thoroughly familiar with all branches of his profession, he was especially devoted to surgery, and very early in his career performed some difficult operations with such skill and success as to attract the attention and gain the highest eulogiums form the most eminent members of the medical fraternity.

    One operation alone, successfully performed by Dr. White when a young man, made him famous.  The operation was the ligature of the internal iliac artery.  The operation had never before been performed in America, and but thrice before in any country.  This skillful and brilliant performance brought the young surgeon into favorable notice.  He received from Williams College, soon after, the honorary degree of M. D., and was chosen to lecture before the medical college at Pittsfield on surgery and obstetrics.  In the year 1833 Dr. White removed to the city of New York, where, until the time of his death, he continued in the successful practice of his profession, securing the confidence and affections of his patients, and the high esteem and respect of the members of the medical faculty.

    In 1865 he read a paper before the Columbia County Medical Society on "The Salubrity of the Climate of Hudson," in which his warm and abiding interest in the city of his birth is most clearly evince.  He died June 6, 1867, and among his private papers, after his death, was found a note requesting that he might be buried in Hudson, which request was fully complied with.

     George W. White was born in Hudson, Oct. 14, 1808.  He was the youngest son of Dr. Samuel White, and was associated with his father in the management of the private insane asylum in the city of Hudson, and after the death of his father he conducted it alone for several years.

    Dr. George H. White possess many of the distinguishing characteristics of his father and elder brother.

    His father, desiring that he should also pursue the profession which he so ardently loved, gave him every advantage that would tend to fit him for a successful practitioner.

    He was a man of fine address, quiet and unobtrusive, and was honored and respected by all who knew him.  He was a thorough physician and a skillful surgeon.  His advice was always deliberate, because it was mature and given with a clearness that none could either misconstrue or misapprehend.  And in his operations he was remarkably calm and collected.

    Among his earlier operations was the successful ligature of the subclavian artery, external to the scaleni muscles.

    Dr. White became a member of the county society in 1830, and was a most active worker in it for twenty-five years.

    Ill health obliged him finally to seek the south, but, unfortunately, without benefit, for after a six months' sojourn in New Orleans he returned to Hudson, and died April 11, 1857.

     John M. Pruyn, a worthy and active member of the society, lived in Kinderhook.  He was made a permanent member of the State Society in 1849.

    He died February, 1866, aged sixty.

    Stephen G. Tallmadge possessed in a rare degree the qualities of the true physician.  He occupied all the positions of trust in the gift of the society.  He died in 1868, honored by all who knew him.

    Horatio and Eleazer Root, both of Chatham, were men of energy and thoroughly conversant with their profession, and to-day many mourn their death.

    William H. Pitchers was a representative man in an eminent degree, not only in the profession but also in the society in which he moved.  He was born in Claverack, Oct. 26, 1825.  He graduated from the State Normal College at Albany, and on June 22, 1853, he graduated with honor at the medical college at Woodstock, Vt.  He practiced at Claverack for three years, and then removed to Hudson.  Dr. Pitcher was in all respects a self-made man; he developed his faculties to a wonderful degree, his intellectual attainments being solid and substantial rather than brilliant in their character.  In his professional life he was marked by a cool and sound judgment.  Bold and fearless in the use of remedies, he achieved triumphs that extended his practice over a larger filed than most physicians occupy.  As a surgeon he was thoroughly conservative, but he performed many capital operations.  He was an active [page 117] member of the County Society, and represented it as a delegate to the State Society.  On the 23d of May, 1872, while making a post-mortem examination, he received a wound, which was the direct cause of his death.  He suffered the greatest agony for several days, and died June 1, 1872.  And thus died one whose life, for many years, was identified with the city of Hudson, and whose name upon every tongue was as familiar as household words.

    To the hearts and homes of hundreds he was endeared by many kindly acts and offices, while to all alike, the high, the low, the rich, and the poor, he was ever ready to exercise those rare abilities and attainments of which he was possessed.  Lamentation for the loss of Dr. Pitcher extended over the whole county, and the citizens of Hudson manifested their regard for his virtues by erecting a beautiful monument to his memory.




    The practice of medicine after the school of Hahnemann was introduced into Columbia county in or about the year 1840, by Dr. George W. Cook.  Dr. Robert Rossman also began the homoeopathic practice about the same time.  Dr. A. P. Cook was an old-school physician in Chatham in 1835, and went to Kinderhook in 1839, and in 1842 began the practice of the new school, and in 1844 came to Hudson, where he is yet in practice.  Drs. G. W. Cook and Rossman were also of the old school, as was Dr. Stephen Coburn, in Ghent, who changed to homeopathy in 1842.  Edward L. Coburn began the practice also in Ghent in 1843.

    Homoeopathic medical societies were authorized to be formed by the act of April 13, 1847, and under the act the




was organized Oct. 1, 1861, with the following officers:  A. P. Cook, Hudson, president; T. T. Calkins, Coxsackie, vice-president; C. M. Samson, Hudson, secretary; P. W. Mull, Ghent, treasurer; C. H. Stevens, Hudson, J. W. Smith, Jr., Claverack, James S. Philip, Kinderhook, censors.  A constitution was adopted, which provides that any regular licensed physician under the laws of the State, who avows his belief in the homoeopathic maxim similia similibus curantur, and conforms his practice thereto, may become a member of the society.  Drs. Cook, Calkins, and Smith were the first delegates to the State Society.

       The presidents of the society have been as follows:  A. P. Cook, 1862-64; T. T. Calkins, 1865-66; W . H. Barnes, 1866-67; P. W. Mull, 1867-69; W. H. Barnes, 1869-70; H. B. Horton, 1870-71; T. T. Calkins, 1871-72; C. P. Cook, 1872-73; P. W. Mull, 1873-74; A. P. Cook, 1874-75; W. H. Barnes, 1875-76; P. W. Mull, 1876-77.

    The present officers are:  President, P. W. Mull; Vice-President, A. F. Mull; Secretary, T. T. Calkins; Treasurer, W. H. Barnes; Censors, J. S. Philip, O. J. Peck, James Green.

    The members of the society have been and are as follows: 

    1861.---A. P. Cook, T. T. Calkins, C. M. Samson, P. W. Mull, C. A. Stevens, J. W. Smith, Jr., Jas. S. Philip, Wright II. Barnes.

    1862.---E. Holly Hudson, J. F. Philip.

    1863.---L. B. Hawley.

    1865.---W. V. B. Blighton.

    1866.---S. E. Calkins.

    1867.---G. L. Barnes.

    1868.---C. P. Cook, W. M. Sprague, H. B. Horton, Kinderhook.

    1869.---James Green, James H. Green.

    1870.---Oliver J. Peck, North Chatham; Dwight Warren, Spencertown.

    1874.---N. H. Haviland, Spencertown; A. F. Moore, Coxsackie; David E. Collins.

    George W. Calkins, of Germantown, began the practice of medicine under the old school in 1836, and about 1857, or before, changed to the homoeopathic practice, and soon after moved into Wisconsin, and is now practicing near Janesville, in that State.  He was a graduate of the New York Medical College.






was the first paper published in the county, and is now one of the oldest in the State.  The first number was issued March 31, 1785, by Charles R. Webster and Ashbel Stoddard, who had been apprentices together in the office of the Connecticut Courant, at Hartford.  The size of the sheet was ten by fourteen inches.  In typographical appearance it was quite equal to the publications of that day.  The introductory of the "printers" is in the following words.  It will be seen that they were profuse in the use of capital letters.


    "The Subscribers having established a PRINTING OFFICE in this flourishing CITY, think it necessary to remind its respectable Inhabitants of the many Advantages to the Public in general, and the City in particular, from the Publication of an impartial NEWS PAPER, conducted on truly republican Principles, and which shall ever be the WATCHFULL CENTINEL of its Liberties.  It shall suffice us to observe that ever Rank and Station of Life must perceived its Advantages."


    The terms were "twelve shillings per annum.  Each subscriber to pay Six Shillings on receiving the Fifth Number, at which time the Printers will obligate themselves, in Case of any Failure on their part, through Neglect, to refund the Whole of the Subscription Money."

    Among the most important news items in the first number is the following, under date of Albany, April 1:  "On Friday se'nnight two persons broke open the house of Mr. J. M. V. Wagoner, of Livingston Manor, and after beating him in a most cruel manner, robbed him of one hundred pounds of specie and about seven hundred in bonds and other paper securities.  Mr. Wagoner is since dead, and the villains have been apprehended and committed to gaol in this City."

    Among the sensations, Philo Socius enters his "earnest protest against a dancing-school" that had been established in the city, as having a tendency to "send all the young people directly to perdition."

    From its columns we see that it required one week to get intelligence from Albany, two weeks from New York, and two months from Europe.

    At the commencement of the second volume Mr. Webster [page 118] withdrew from the concern, and the paper was published by Mr. Stoddard alone until 1804, when it was merged in the Balance, published by Croswell, Sampson & Chittenden.  On the 5th of January, 1792, the columns were elongated two inches, and a new German text head introduced, which was retained as long as Mr. Stoddard published it.  In 1803 the paper was enlarged by the addition of a column to each page, which made it of very respectable proportions for the period.

    In 1793 the office was burned out, but was soon replaced by public subscription.  This was the first fire which occurred in the city, and led to the organization of the first fire department.  In 1796 the "Printer" first styled himself "The Editor."

    In March, 1824, a number of leading and public-spirited citizens---among them Oliver Wiswall, Solomon Wescott, David West, Austin Stocking, Abner Hammond, Samuel Anable, Jehoiakim A. Van Valkenburgh, Rufus Reed, Moses Younglove, and Jeremiah H. Strong---raised a fund of some five hundred dollars, purchased the old printing material, and resuscitated the Gazette.  On the 7th of September, in that year, the first number of the new series was issued, with John W. Edmonds, (then a young lawyer, and subsequently a judge of the Supreme Court) as editor, with a salary of three dollars per week, and Peter Sturtevant as publisher.  In his salutatory, the editor thus defines the position of the paper:

    "It will maintain the doctrine that the minority ought in all cases to yield to the majority, and that the great object of the organization of a party is the advancement of principles and not men.  It will support, with all its power, regular caucus nominations, convinced that hereby the man is obliged to yield to the principle, and firmly believing that no other than good can result from a cause which has placed such men as Jefferson and Madison at the head of our government, which has doomed the Adams Federalism to destruction, and which has preserved the triumph of correct principles for years."

    In a letter to the present editor from Judge Edmonds, written in 1868, reviewing the early history of the Gazette, he says,---

    "The paper grew in circulation and influence, and was greatly instrumental in working out, in the short space of four or five years, a political revolution in the county, so that 'Old Columbia,' which, for a century, had been uniformly and inflexibly Federal, in 1829 elected Republican members of Assembly, in 1830 elected me to the Assembly by some seven hundred majority, and by a still larger majority assisted in sending me to the Senate at the election in 1831.

    "From that time on the county remained steady in the support of that party for several years,---how long you can tell better than I can.  I can speak only of the time that I remained in the county; for, when I left it in 1837, I, in a measure, lost sight of its politics, and as I write now from memory, I dare not speak beyond that time.

    "This, however, I can say, and that is, that the Gazette had very much to do in overthrowing the long-continued domination of the Federal party in the county, and in establishing and maintaining an opposite ascendancy.

    "Another thing I can say of the old Gazette:  it was then, as now, fearless; and so long as I knew anything about it, neither for 'fear, favor, affection, or the hope of reward' would it publish anything which it did not honestly believe to be true and right.  It was earnest in its politics, some people called it furious; perhaps it was so, for it had the impulsiveness of youth about it in those days.  It was often severe and sarcastic, and sometimes witty."

    In 1826, Hiram Wilbur became its publisher, and Mr. Edmonds dissolved his connection with the paper.  In 1834 it passed into the hands of P. Dean Carrique, who continued its publication until the year 1851, when it passed into other hands, and was continued without any stated publisher until Sept. 7, 1857, when the establishment was purchased by M. Parker Williams, its present editor and proprietor.  Under his management it has been twice enlarged, and from time to time improved, until now it ranks among the first-class papers of the State.

    Throughout its varied career the Gazette has always sustained a high reputation among the newspapers of its time, and wielded a wide political influence.  The first twenty volumes now have a place in the State Library at Albany.




is the offspring of the Gazette.  It was established May 26, 1866, by Williams & Clark, having its birth in the demand created by the growing interests of the city and county for an organ to creditably represent them.  April 10, 1869, the interest of Mr. Clark was purchased by M. Parker Williams, who is now its editor and sole proprietor.  The Register held a membership in the Associated Press from the commencement, which added greatly to its popularity, usefulness, and permanent establishment.  Its distinctive feature is the advocacy of local enterprise and business interests.




now published by William Bryan, in the city of Hudson, was commenced in 1820 by Solomon Wilbur, under the name of the Columbia Republican, as a Democratic paper.  In 1824 it was purchased by Ambrose L. Jordan, who changed its political character to that of the Whig party.  It was published at different times by Ambrose L. and Allen Jordan, Charles F. Ames, and Samuel Curtis from 1824 to 1834, and by Lawrence Van Dyke from 1834 to 1843, when it passed into the hands of P. Byron Barker, who, after continuing it one year, disposed of it to Messrs. Palen & Jordan, Barker remaining as its editor.  In 1845 it was purchased by Messrs. Bryan & Moores, and Mr. Moores retired in 1851.  In 1855 the paper became the organ of the Republican party of the county.  For a year or two, about 1835-36, it was issued under the name of the Columbia Republican and Hudson City Advertiser.  In 1876 the Hudson Weekly Star was merged in the Republican.  The Star was commenced in 1842, by J. R. S. Van Vliet, under the name of the Columbia Washingtonian, as an advocate of total abstinence.  Van Vliet published it one year, and transferred it to Warren Stockwell, who, in 1847, sold the establishment to Alexander N. Webb.  In 1850, Mr. Webb changed the named to the Hudson Weekly Star, and its character from that of a temperance advocate to [page 119] that of a general newspaper.  In 1873, Mr. Webb was succeeded by Louis Goeltz and H. N. Webb, who continued the publication to May 1, 1876, when Mr. Webb sold his interest to Wm. Bryan, and the paper was merged in the Republican, and the combined journal issued as the Hudson Republican, the name it now bears.  Mr. Goeltz died in October, 1877, leaving Mr. Bryan the sole manager and editor, which position he still occupies.  It is an eight-column folio, twenty-four by forty-two inches.  From the Republican office also is issued




which was the first daily paper published in the county.  It was begun in 1847, by Alexander N. Webb, as the Daily Morning Star, but in 1848 changed its name to the Daily Evening Star.  However, its vesper appearances were brief, and at the end of two months it appeared as the Hudson Daily Star, a title it has borne to the present time.  It has experienced as many or more changes in form as it has in name even, and it is now a seven-column folio, twenty-four by thirty-six inches.




a weekly newspaper, is published every Saturday, and, as a medium for advertising, is unequaled in the Second Assembly district of Columbia county.  It was first issued in 1825, as the Kinderhook Sentinel, and was edited by Peter Van Schaack, a gentleman at that time quite prominent in political and literary circles.  In 1832, Elias Pitts bought an interest; the paper changed its name and became known as the Columbia Sentinel.  Two years later John V. A. Hoes, a nephew of Martin Van Buren, became the proprietor, and continued so until 1836, when he sold out to Mr. Van Schaack, its first owner, who continued in possession until 1854.  In that year Peter H. Van Vleck became the owner, and the paper became widely known as the The Kinderhook Rough Notes, and the trenchant wit and humor of its editor brought commensurate success.  In 1864, when Van Vleck died, the office fell into the hands of J. R. Arrowsmith, and subsequently into those of Willard Pond, an erratic genius, who pulled down the old sign and called his paper the Columbia County Advertiser.  He considered its former name as lacking in dignity and character, and, strange to say, his subscribers, before a great while, passed a like judgment on its editor, and he passed away, to be heard of afterwards as a drummer, a preacher, and, finally, as the recorder in a New York paper of his own death by shipwreck.  He was succeeded by J. H. Woolhiser, who in due season gave way to Wm. B. Howland, who dropped the words "Columbia County" from the head of his paper, and sent it forth as The Advertiser.

    In May, 1875, it passed into the hands of the present owner, Charles W. Davis, and the old name, which had endeared itself to the residents of the town and village, was again placed at the head of its columns.  The change "took" at once, the circulation of the paper rapidly increased, and it now has more subscribers than ever before.  The facilities of the office for book and job printing are unexcelled in the county.  The Rough Notes is a four-page, twenty-four-column paper, and is issued on Saturday of each week.




was established in 1862, at Chatham Four Corners, by Frank O. Sayles, of South Adams, Mass., a gentleman of considerable literary and poetic talent.  Mr. Sayles soon sold the paper to Delos Sutherland, a local printer, who continued the publication of it for several years, and in 1868, or thereabouts, sold it to Charles B. Canfield.  In 1871, James H. Woolhiser became associated with Mr. Canfield in its publication, remaining, however, only a year or two, when the latter became again sole publisher.  In June, 1875, William B. Howland, of Kinderhook, bought the paper, and still owns it.

     The Courier is a four-page thirty-two-column paper, handsomely printed, and devoted to the local and agricultural interest of the locality.  Its editorial staff is composed of William B. Howland, editor-in-chief, George T. Powell, of Ghent, agricultural editor, and Dr. Allen Cady, of Malden Bridge, has charge of the veterinary department, in which are answered, for free of charge, all questions concerning diseases of horses and other domestic animals.

    The Courier's leading features are its full, fresh, and readable local news from almost every village in the upper half of the county;  its substantial and valuable agricultural department; its veterinary column; and its editorial review of current general news.

    The Courier printing-house is amply fitted for first-class job-printing, having three fast presses, and an abundant supply of type and other material.

    Other ventures in journalism in Columbia county have been as follows:

    The Bee was removed from New London, Conn., to Hudson, Aug. 17, 1802, and was published by Charles Holt until 1810, when he sold the establishment to Samuel W. Clark, and moved to New York.  Mr. Clark remained proprietor of the Bee until 1821.  It was the organ of that class who justified the War of 1812, and numbered among its contributors Martin Van Buren, Benjamin F. Butler, John W. Edmonds, and others of equal talent and position.  It next passed into the hands of John W. Dutcher, who changed its name to the Columbia Sentinel, and two years afterwards united it with the Columbia Republican.

    The appearance of the Bee in Hudson provoked from the Wasp, a small sheet less than a letter-sheet in size, issued from the office of Mr. Croswell, and edited by "Robert Rusticoat, Esq.," the following couplet,---


"If, perchance, there come a Bee,

A Wasp shall come as well has he."


    Mr. Holt removed his paper to Hudson (at the solicitation of the Republicans of the city) on account of becoming obnoxious to the sedition laws, under which Mr. Holt had [page 120] incurred both fine and imprisonment, which destroyed his business in New London.




was commenced in 1801 or 1802, in quarto form, by Ezra Sampson, George Chittenden, and Harry Croswell, who first published it as a neutral paper; but in less than a year it became the organ of the Federal party, the proprietors refunding to such of the subscribers as did not like the change their due proportion of the subscription money.  In 1808 it was removed to Albany, and was discontinued in 1811.  Mr. Sampson, familiarly known at that time as "Dominie Sampson," was a Presbyterian clergyman and a vigorous writer.  Mr. Chittenden was a book-binder, and Mr. Croswell a printer.

    The Wasp was contemporary with the Bee, and, judging from the personal abuse which filled its columns and those of the Bee, the office of each was to return sting for sting.  It was edited for a short time only, in the early part of this century, by "Robert Rusticoat."

    The Hudson Newspaper and Balance Advertiser was commenced in October, 1806, by Harry Croswell.

    The Republican Fountain, founded in December, 1806, was published in the interest of the Lewis branch of the Democratic party about one year.  It was discontinued after the elections, which resulted in the defeat of Mr. Lewis.

    The Northern Whig was begun in 1808, by W. B. Stebbins, upon the removal of the Balance to Albany.  He continued it two or three years, and was succeeded by Wm. L. Stone, who continued it until 1816, when it passed into the hands of Richard L. Corss, and subsequently, in 1821, into those of Wm. B. Stebbins, son of the original proprietor, who continued it until 1824, when it was discontinued.  It was one of the strongest Federal papers in the State.

    The Columbia Magazine was published at Hudson, at an early dated, by the Rev. John Chester.

    The Spirit of the Forum and Hudson Remarker was published in 1817, as a literary paper, by an association of gentlemen.

    The Messenger of Peace was started at Hudson, in 1824, by Richard Carrique, and continued one year.

    The Rural Repository, a semi-monthly literary paper, in quarto, was begun, in 1824, by Wm. B. Stoddard, son of Ashbel Stoddard, the first printer in Hudson.  It was discontinued in 1851.  During the twenty-seven years of its existence its able and judicious management secured for it a large and appreciative list of subscribers, who early learned to value and welcome its regular visits, and who deeply deplored it loss.

    The Columbia and Green County Envoy was begun, in 1831, by Edward G. Linsley, and continued two years.

    The Diamond, semi-monthly, was published, in 1833, by George F. Stone, at Hudson.

    The Magnolia, also semi-monthly, was published at Hudson, in 1834, by P. Dean Carrique.

    The Hudson Flail was published during the campaign of 1840, as a "Tippecanoe" paper, by J. R. S Van Vliet and its complement as The Thrasher, published during the same campaign.

    The Columbia Democrat was commenced at Chatham Four Corners, in 1847.

    The Temperance Palladium was published at Hudson, in 1851, by John W. Dutcher.

    The Hudson Daily News was published in 1855, by Richard Van Antwerp.

    The Valatie Weekly Times was published, in 1853, by H. N. Hopkins.

    The Equal Rights Advocate was begun at Chatham Four Corners, in the spring of 1846, by an anti-rent association.  In 1848 it was removed to Hudson, and changed to The Democratic Freeman, under which name it was published by Charles H. Collins.  It was discontinued in 1855-56.

    The Columbia County Journal was published at Chatham Four Corners, in 1850, by Philip H. Ostrander.

    The Chatham Courier was established in 1862, and has since been published at that point.

    The Chatham Press had its first issue April 11, 1877.  It was published a year by Burrows & Woolhiser, and then discontinued.

    The American Repository, a paper supporting Millard Fillmore for the presidency, in 1856, was begun in that year, but discontinued shortly after the election.  Its editor, R. Van Antwerp, also commenced a daily, which was published two months, a short time before the introduction of the Repository.

    The Columbia County Family Journal, a semi-monthly literary paper, was begun in 1861, by F. H. Webb, but discontinued after six months' issue.

    The Columbia Farmer was a late as well as brief venture, having been begun and completed during the past two years, in Hudson.

    The Journal of Materia Medica was begun in New Lebanon, in 1857, by Henry A. Tilden, and its publication is continued by Tilden & Co., with Joseph Bates, M. D., as editor.         



* The date given is the date of the admission to the Columbia county courts, as evidenced by the signature on the parchment-roll of the court, or the first appearance in the court for business.

This list, and the succeeding brief sketches of a few of the old physicians of the county, were prepared by a committee of the medical society, appointed for the purpose at their meeting in June, 1878.

From the Columbia County Directory, 1871-72.

The first number was issued Saturday, May 29, 1824, and the last, Saturday, Oct. 4, 1851.