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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Franklin Pierce Beard, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 75-76 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Portrait of Franklin Pierce Beard, M. D.

Portrait: Franklin Pierce Beard, M. D.

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Franklin Pierce Beard, M. D., of Cobleskill, Schoharie County, well known as a skilful physician and surgeon and a large real estate owner, was born November 29, 1852, in Jefferson, N. Y., a son of Jacob L. and Polly (Wilsey) Beard. He comes of pioneer ancestry, his great-grandfather Beard having been an original settler of that part of Schoharie County that was named, in his honor, Beard's Hollow. There the Doctor's paternal grandfather, John Beard, a prosperous farmer, spent his long life.

Jacob L. Beard was born and educated at Beard's Hollow; but when eighteen years old he left the ancestral farm and came to Warnerville, this county, where he served an apprenticeship at the wagon-maker's trade. After following this calling as a journeyman and also in business for himself for several years in that town, he removed to Jefferson, and in 1863 transferred his business and his residence to the neighboring village of Summit, where he was engaged in farming for a quarter of a century. In 1889 he came to Cobleskill; and from that time until his death, in 1893, he resided with his son, Dr. Beard. He was a steadfast Democrat, and for a score of years served as Justice of the Peace. His wife, Polly Wilsey, who was born in Warnerville, was a daughter of Colonel Wilsey, an officer in the Revolutionary army. She bore her husband seven children; namely, David, Samuel, Rose, Franklin Pierce, Marion, Adelle, and John. The mother died at the age of sixty-eight years, in 1889. Both parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Franklin P. Beard received a practical common-school education, and in his early manhood taught in a district school five terms. Leaving home then, he turned his attention to the study of medicine, having for his instructors successively Dr. Cornell, of Richmondville; Dr. Spaulding, of Summit; and Dr. Wood, of Jefferson. He subsequently entered the Albany Medical College, from which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1875. Beginning the practice of his profession in Eminence, he continued there about two years. He then located in Summit, and for ten years ranked as the leading practitioner of that vicinity. Dr. Beard came to Cobleskill in 1886; and here, also, his eminent skill and his close attention to his professional duties has ranked him the leading physician of the county, his opinions being largely sought after in consultations extending to adjoining counties.

He is a member of the Schoharie County Medical Society and of the Cobleskill Lodge, F. & A. M. He was a Supervisor in Summit in 1882, a Coroner in Schoharie County nine years; and from October, 1895, until October, 1897, he was examining surgeon of the Pension Department.

Dr. Beard is the proprietor of two fine farms in Richmondville, this county, one in Blenheim, and one in Summit of two hundred acres, and ninety acres of land in Cobleskill. The latter has been platted and divided into building lots, a street being laid out through one portion. He has likewise valuable building property in the village, including lots on Elm Street, west of the Catholic church; and he owns a fine business block in Summit.

In April, 1873, Dr. Beard married Miss Alice D., daughter of John Chickering, of Summit, a well-known mechanic. Dr. and Mrs. Beard have five children; namely, G. Claude, John J., Leona, Mildred, and David. G. Claude, who married Lulie Kilts, is a successful agriculturist in Richmondville. John J., who was graduated from the Albany Medical School in 1897, is a physician in Sharon Springs, N. Y.

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