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William H. Mead, M.D.

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Celeste MacCormack. 

WILLIAM H. MEAD, M.D., the veteran physical and surgeon of Windham, Greene County, N.Y., was born in Jewett, this county, on April 6, 1833, to Stephen and Caroline (Hosford) Mead. His great-grandfather Hosford, whose Christian name was Gideon, was a prominent farmer and land-owner in Farmington, Conn., and Dr. Mead has in his possession some of the ancestral deeds bearing the seal of King George.

Philip Mead, the Doctorís paternal grandfather, was born in Dutchess county, New York, and grew up on a farm. He removed to Jewett when his son Stephen was five years old, finding his way hither by following marked trees. He lived first in most primitive fashion in a log hut, but in time cleared a goodly tract of land and erected a commodious frame house. He was a lifelong farmer. After spending some years in Jewett, he went to Cayuga, near Weedsport, where he resided until his death, at sixty years of age. The maiden name of his wife was Hannah Townsend. They had a large family of children.

The Doctorís father, Stephen Mead, was born in Dutchess County, and reared to farm life. When he became of age he purchased a farm in Jewett, where he spent the remainder of his life, and where he died at the age of eighty-six. He followed agriculture and lumbering, and did a large business in selling bark to tanners. He and his wife, Caroline, were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. Mead died at the age of sixty-nine. She was the daughter of Joel and Maria Hosford, farmer folk of Jewett. Her father died at the age of eighty-four, and her mother, who was of Dutch descent, died while quite a young woman, although she lived to bear four children. Stephen and Caroline Mead were also parents of four children, three of whom are living, namely: Dr. William H., of Windham; Dr. J. H. Mead, of Hunter, a sketch of whose life is to be found on another page; and Adeline, who married Alanson Woodworth, of Hunter, whose biography also appears in this volume.

William H. Meadís early life was spent on his fatherís farm in Jewett. He attended the common schools of the town, and later became a teacher in them and in the schools of Hunter. After teaching for several years he took up the study of medicine with his brother Joel, then settled in Hunter, and he subsequently attended the Albany Medical College. After his graduation in 1868 he began practice in Ashland, where he remained until 1879, when he came to Windham. He has now been in continuous practice here for thirty years, and, barring one or two exceptions, is the oldest medical practitioner in service in the county. He has given much attention to surgery, and has performed some remarkable operations, his skill being known throughout the county. His career as a general practitioner has also been a distinguished one.

In 1856 Dr. William H. Mead was united in marriage with Matilda Winter, daughter, and one of a number of children of Moses Winter, a farmer of Jewett. Mrs. Mead died November 26, 1896. Of the three children born to her, one died at the age of ten months, and another at the age of five years. A daughter, Eugenie, is living. She is the wife of Emery A. Hill, a well-known Windham farmer, and has two children - Blanche and William Henry.

Dr. Mead is a stanch Republican. His first Presidential vote was cast in 1856, and he has voted every election since with the exception of one. He has held a few minor offices in the village, but in the man has refused public office. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity in this town, and was elected Junior Warden within two weeks after joining the organization. He has been a member of the Greene County Medical Society ever since it was started, twenty-five years age. His church connections are with the Methodist society of this place, of which also his wife was a member. For many years he was steward in the church, but within a short time he has tendered his resignation of that office. For many years, too, he was a teacher in the Sunday-school and chorister of the church. During their residence in Ashland Mrs. Mead also was a teacher. Throughout his long and useful life the Doctor has been a promoter of every good and philanthropic cause, and has been actively interested in every effort to promote the well-being of his fellows.

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