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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Ira M. Comstock, M. D.

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 493-494 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Ira M. Comstock, one of the oldest and best known physicians in Oneida county, New York, was born in Salisbury, Herkimer county, on January 1, 1856, the only child of Morris W. and Sarah (Rice) Comstock, who were also born in Herkimer county. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, died in November, 1863, and the mother passed away in May, 1894. In 1866, at the age of ten years, Ira M. Comstock came with his grandfather to Yorkville, New York, and received his early education in district school No. 3, at Whitestown, New York. He later entered Whitestown Seminary and afterward studied medicine with Dr. William M. James, of Whitestown. He then entered the University of the City of New York, where he was graduated in 1879, with the degree of M. D., after which he took a post-graduate course in that city for a year. On May 1, 1880, he located in New York Mills and has been practicing here since that time. He is the oldest physician in New York Mills and one of the oldest in the county and state.

On April 7, 1880, in Williamstown, New York, Dr. Comstock was united in marriage to Miss Emma L. Bartlett, daughter of David Bartlett, a member of an old family in that portion of the state. She died in March, 1900. The children of this union were: Morris W. Comstock, who died in 1901; May Esaneth Comstock, now matron in the New York Hospital for Crippled Children at West Haverstraw; Aletha, now Mrs. N. W. Harris of Ossining, New York; and Charles Ward Comstock, who was killed in an electric accident at Van Buren, Maine, on July 13, 1924.

In October, 1914, Dr. Comstock was married to Miss Sarah E. Clark, of Utica, New York. They became the parents of the following children: Sarah Elizabeth, who died in March, 1922; Annie Eugenia Comstock, who met with an accident at Sylvan Beach, her death resulting in August, 1922; and Thomas Clark Comstock, aged six months. They also have an adopted daughter, Beatrice Cutter Comstock, aged two years.

Dr. Comstock is a Mason and a member of Oriental Lodge; Oneida Chapter, No. 51; Utica Commandery, No. 3; Mohawk Valley Consistory, of which he is a charter member; and Ziyara Temple of the Mystic Shrine of Utica. He is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and held all chairs in Canton, Utica Encampment Branch. During the World war Dr. Comstock was appointed to the medical board but was not used. He is a member of the staff of St. Luke's Hospital of Utica and of the American, State and Oneida County Medical Societies. His church associations are in the Methodist Episcopal church of New York Mills, where he is chairman of the board of trustees. In politics he is a republican and has served on various committees. For diversion he is fond of swimming and outdoor life. Dr. Comstock is a man of broad sympathies and he has the respect and confidence of his many friends.

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