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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Aaron Frederick Olmstead, D. D. S.

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 651-652 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Dentistry may be said to be almost unique among the occupations, as it is at once a profession, a trade and a business. Such being the case, it follows that in order to attain the highest success in it one must be thoroughly conversant with the theory of the art, must be expert with the many tools and appliances incidental to the practice of modern dentistry and must possess business qualifications adequate to dealing with the financial side of the profession. In all of these particulars Dr. Aaron Frederick Olmstead is well qualified and therefore has attained prestige among the able representatives of dentistry in Ilion, where he has followed his chosen profession during the past third of a century.

He was born in East Bloomfield, Ontario county, New York, on the 14th of September, 1858, his parents being Charles H. and Mary (Ross) Olmstead, whose family numbered twelve children. His paternal grandparents were Caleb Stanley and Content (Hall) Olmstead, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts and departed this life in East Bloomfield, New York. The grandfather, Caleb S. Olmstead, who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career. His son, Charles H. Olmstead, the father of Dr. A. F. Olmstead, was born in the town of Lyden near East Hartford, Connecticut, and acquainted himself with the cooper's trade but became a farmer by occupation. He passed away at the old homestead at East Bloomfield, Ontario county, New York. The Olmstead family is of Puritan ancestry. Mrs. Mary (Ross) Olmstead, the mother of Dr. A. F. Olmstead, was born in the town of Milo, Steuben county, New York and is also deceased. Her parents, Thomas and Harriet (Jaynes) Ross, passed away in Bristol, Ontario county, this state. Thomas Ross was an agriculturist by occupation.

Aaron Frederick Olmstead, whose name introduces this review, obtained his early education in the district schools of his native county and continued his studies in the old Canandaigua Academy at Canandaigua, New York. Subsequently he was engaged in carpentering and building for five or six years, on the expiration of which period he decided to study dentistry and laid down his saw and hammer to enter the Philadelphia Dental College, which institution conferred upon him the degree of D. D. S. in 1889. Following his graduation he located for practice at Naples, Ontario county, New York, where he maintained an office for fifteen months. The year 1891 witnessed his arrival at Ilion, which has since remained the scene of his professional activities and where he has been very successful, being accorded a liberal patronage by the people of Ilion and the surrounding country. In addition to his professional work he has also been active in the real estate field and has erected a number of houses in Mohawk, Frankfort and Ilion.

On the 26th of November, 1885, at Manchester, Ontario county, New York, Dr. Olmstead was united in marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Fischer, daughter of Frederick and Rebecca Fischer, both of whom were natives of Württemberg, Germany, and passed away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By trade Frederick Fischer was a cabinetmaker. Mrs. Olmstead was one of a large family of children, but as far as she knows she has no living relatives. She was graduated from the Clifton Springs Female Seminary as valedictorian of the class of 1876 and was afterward a member of the faculty of that institution for nine years. Mrs. Olmstead is a consistent member of St. Augustine's Episcopal church. By her marriage she became the mother of one daughter, Eleanor A., who was born at Canandaigua, New York, on March 22, 1888, and following her graduation from the Ilion high school entered the Bryant & Stratton School of Commerce in Boston, from which she was graduated in 1910. In August, 1911, Eleanor A. Olmstead became the wife of Frank A. Adams of Arlington, Massachusetts, who is the owner and manager of the Hampden Creameries at Everett, Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Adams have two children, Frank Olmstead and John Frederick Adams.

Dr. Olmstead gives his political support to the republican party and fraternally is identified with the following organizations: Ilion Lodge No. 591, F. & A. M.; Iroquois Chapter No. 126, R. A. M.; and Ilion Lodge No. 1444, B. P. O. E. He finds his principal diversion in gardening and the cultivation of flowers and also manifests marked fondness for collecting antiques, Indian relics, old guns from almost every nation, and old revolvers. He has a very fine collection of antique mahogany furniture, of which he is very proud. He enjoys an enviable reputation in both social and professional circles of Ilion and Herkimer county, where the circle of his friends is almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintance.

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