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Biography of Dr. Thomas L. Harris (1824 to 1891)
Daniel H. Weiskotten
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From: Smith, James H., 1880, History of Chenango and Madison Counties, New York. D. Mason & Co.. Syracuse, NY

Dr. Thomas L. Harris
Pages 683 to 684

The original text includes and illustration of Dr. Thomas L. Harris


        Dr. Thomas L. Harris, a brief sketch of whose life is here given, was born in Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY, on December 18, 1824.
        He is the eldest in a family of six children, five of whom are now living.  His parents William and Semantha Harris were, with the exception of a few years, life-long residents of Cazenovia.  The doctor's facilities for securing an early education, except those of the district schools were far inferior to those of the present day.  Much of his time during the early years of his life was, in the summer, occupied in agricultural pursuits.  Having a desire for mental culture and discipline, he spent a large share of his leisure time in reading and study.  This method of securing an education without collegiate advantages was attended with many difficulties, which with decision of character and persevering effort he overcame, and at the age of twenty-one years, with a desire for honorable distinction, and the means of obtaining a competence, he entered the office of Dr. George Sheldon, a prominent and successful practitioner of the time, and commenced the study of medicine.  A previous though somewhat limited knowledge of Physiology and Anatomy, was now made available in the further prosecution of his medical studies.
        In the year 1848 having concluded the requisite course of reading and study and being deemed qualified by a board of medical examiners he commenced the practice of medicine.  In 1854, he was married to Miss Sarah N. Hatch, of Cazenovia.  As the result of this union, during an interval of thirteen years, four children were born, three of whom, two sons and <:684> one daughter are now living.  During a long residence in Cazenovia, and an extensive and successful practice, extending over a term of thirty years, the doctor has found time to fill several official positions of trust to which he has been elected by an intelligent constituency.  For a term of years he held the position of surgeon on the staff of Col. T.F. Petrie and Col. James Whitford.  In the spring of 1862 having sustained a creditable examination he received the diploma of the Metropolitan Medical College.  In 1864 he passed the examination of the Board of Censors and was duly elected a permanent member of the Eclectic Medical Society of the State of New York.
        At the Annual Meeting of the Society in New York, Dr. Harris was unanimously elected president of the same and as an executive officer contributes to the success of that body, and the credit of himself.
        The doctor has for many years been closely identified with, and a zealous worker in the cause of temperance, a co-laborer with others for the elevation of humanity.
        An acute sense of individual responsibility and a strong conviction of accountability present and future has ever made him an earnest student, and worker in the cause of reform.  As a citizen, Dr. Harris has the esteem and confidence of the community.  As a physician a constantly increasing and eminently successful practice speaks for itself.