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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Charles Dickinson, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 83-85 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 Charles Dickinson, M. D.

Portrait: Charles Dickinson, M. D.

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Charles Dickinson, M. D., who was for many years the leading physician in Seward valley, Schoharie County, was born in Henrietta, Monroe County, N. Y., on May 31, 1833, son of Lyman and Harriet A. (Webster) Dickinson. He is a descendant of early colonists of New England.

The first ancestor of this branch of the Dickinson family in America came from England, about 1640, and settled in the Connecticut valley. Dr. Dickinson's grandfather, James Dickinson, was born in Connecticut. He came to this State shortly after the Revolution and settled in Canaan, Columbia County. Several years later he removed to a farm in Roseboom, Otsego County, and there remained until his death, at the age of seventy-seven.

Lyman Dickinson, son of James, was born in Canaan and one of a family of seven children. He lived with his parents until he was twenty-one years of age, when he went to Henrietta, where he engaged in mechanical work for a number of years, at the same time doing some farming. He then removed to Northern Indiana, but ten years later returned to Roseboom. Some years afterward he moved to Tioga valley, and, purchasing a farm, continued to reside there until his death, at the age of eighty-eight. He attended the Presbyterian church. His wife was the daughter of Aaron Webster, and was born in Canaan, N. Y. She was of the seventh generation from the first representative of this branch of the Webster family in America. One of her ancestors, John Webster, who settled in Hartford about 1636, was the fifth Governor of Connecticut, holding the office one year, 1656-57. He afterward removed to Hadley, Mass. Her grandfather was one of the favorite scouts of General Putnam during the war of the Revolution. Her father, who was born iii, Connecticut, removed to Canaan and later to Roseboom. His first wife died at the age of twenty-six, leaving only one child, Charles, now Dr. Dickinson. She was a birthright Quaker. His second wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Sutphen, had five children, two of whom are living, by name Orville and Lyman D. She lived to the age of eighty.

Charles Dickinson in his early years attended the common schools and later the academy, at Cherry Valley. He began the study of medicine with Dr. James E. Sutphen, of Seward, and subsequently took three courses of lectures at the Albany Medical College, from which he was graduated in 1860. Returning then to Seward, he began the practice of his profession, and remained until 1869, when he removed to Binghamton. At the end of a year and a half he came back to Seward, and has since made this the scene of his professional labors. He has now been longer in practice than any other physician in this section of the county. Dr. Dickinson is energetic and persevering in whatever he undertakes, and is able as a business man as well as skilful in his profession. During early and middle life he had a large practice, and covered a wide circle in his ministrations; but in later years he has retired to a more limited field. An untiring student through all his career, he has given attention, not simply to medical subjects, but to science and literature in general. He has now and then lectured on some scientific or literary subject; and during the summer of 1896, while he was making the tour of Europe for pleasure and study, he wrote, by request, a number of letters on his travels for the Cobleskill Index.

The Doctor has lived for twenty-seven years in his present house. He was married in 1859 to Celia M. France, daughter of Gilbert G. France and one of a household group of seven children. Her father was a well-known farmer of this region, where the family has been settled ever since the Revolution. Mrs. Dickinson was a member of the Methodist church. She died at the age of thirty-eight, leaving three children; namely, Everett M., Melville D., and Hattie A. All of these are graduates of Cobleskill Academy. Both sons are Knights Templar. Everett M. Dickinson has been for the last seven years a jeweller in North Adams, Mass., where he conducts a large business. He married Laura Mann, who died in 1894, and by whom he had two children — Angie and Everett. In 1895 he married Louise Tower Wallace. She had one child — Gertrude Wallace. Melville D. Dickinson studied medicine with his father, and was graduated at Albany in 1890. He was also for two years a student at Cornell University. He is now assistant surgeon of the Troy Hospital, and is physician to St. Vincent Orphan Asylum. He married Emma Cole, and has one child, Celia. Hattie Dickinson is the wife of Clarence H. Shafer, of Cobleskill. Mr. Shafer is engaged in the jewelry business.

Dr. Dickinson is a member of the Schoharie County Medical Society, has been its president, and has served as delegate to the State society. He has written and read before the society papers on a variety of medical subjects. Politically, the Doctor is a Democrat, and he has held a number of important offices in the town. As Justice of the Peace he has done a large amount of important business, and as railroad commissioner he has rendered valuable service. He was formerly a Free Mason at Cobleskill. For many years he has been a leading member of the Methodist church and for over thirty-five years a Sunday-school teacher.

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