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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Thomas J. Kilmer, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 118-122 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 Thomas J. Kilmer, M. D.

Portrait: Thomas J. Kilmer, M. D.

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Thomas J. Kilmer, M. D., the well-known physician of Schoharie, N. Y., was born in Cobleskill, this county, November 22, 1833, son of Daniel and Maria (Shaffer) Kilmer. He is of German extraction, and a representative of the third generation of his family in this country, being the grandson of John I. Kilmer, a native of Germany, who settled in Cobleskill as a pioneer.

John I. Kilmer acquired a tract of land containing five hundred acres, a considerable portion of which he cleared for agricultural purposes. Commencing his farm life in a log house, he later built a frame dwelling near the village of Barnerville; and through energy and perseverance he became one of the most prosperous farmers of Schoharie County in his day. Possessing intellectual powers of a high order, which had been developed by a good education, he became the owner of a large library, and fostered his desire for knowledge by continued reading. Being of a religious turn of mind. He united with the Lutheran church, and for years was one of its most active members. He lived to be ninety years old. He had a family of six children.

Daniel Kilmer, the Doctor's father, was a lifelong resident of Cobleskill; and, succeeding to the ownership of some three hundred acres of the homestead property, he became successful as a general farmer. He was progressive as well as energetic, and not only kept up with the finest in the way of agricultural improvements, but aided in developing his neighborhood by the erection of buildings. His ability and sound judgment necessarily made him an influential factor in public affairs, and he rendered efficient service to the town as Supervisor for some time. He died at the age of fifty years. His wife, Maria, was a daughter of John I. Shaffer, who at one time owned the land which is now occupied by the village of Cobleskill. She became the mother of thirteen children, of whom eleven are living, namely: Augustus; Josiah; Margaret, wife of Elijah Griffin; Daniel A.; Thomas J., the subject of this sketch; Andrew G.; Sylvester A.; Chauncey C.; Jonas M.; Aurelia, who married Napoleon Palmatier; and Delia, wife of David I. Boock — all of whom reside in this State. Mrs. Maria S. Kilmer lived to be eighty-three years old. The parents were members of the Lutheran church.

Thomas J. Kilmer acquired a common-school education in his native town, and subsequently taught two terms of school in Cobleskill. He assisted in carrying on the home farm for a time prior to entering upon his medical studies, which were begun at Port Crane under his brother's direction. He was graduated from the Eclectic Medical College, New York City, in 1874, and was afterward associated with his brother some seven years, at the expiration of which he came to Schoharie, where he practised successfully until 1888. Establishing the Kilmer Sanitarium, he continued in charge of that institution until failing health caused him to withdraw from its nmanagement in 1893. His success at the sanitarium, where patients are received from every part of the State, has given him a wide reputation as a skilful physician. Besides attending to his private practice, which is the largest in town, he prepares several effective remedies which have a large sale.

In 1854 Dr. Kilmer was united in marriage with Elmina Palmitier, a native of this town, daughter of John H. Palmitier. Dr. and Mrs. Kilmer have had four children — Josiah, Ira P., Julia S., and Herbert. The last-named is no longer living. Josiah and Julia S. reside at home with their parents. Ira P. married Joan Nethaway, and has two children — Stratton and Mina. Herbert, who was a railroad man, left a widow and four children — Ardah, Noah, Josiah, and Herbert.

Dr. Kilmer is a member of the Schoharie and Delaware County Eclectic Medical Society, of which for three years he has been a censor. He likewise belongs to the Masonic order. He was formerly a Deacon and a class leader of the Methodist Episcopal church at Port Crane, and the family are members of the same religious denomination in Schoharie.

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