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William D. Shafer, M.D.

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

WILLIAM D. SHAFER, M.D., a rising young physician of Oak Hill, town of Durham, N.Y., was born in Cobleskill, Schoharie County, March 16, 1870, son of Daniel G. and Mary J. (Van Volkenberg) Shafer. His paternal grandfather, Daniel Shafer, was a lifelong resident of Cobleskill, where he cultivated a farm during his active period, and died at the age of eighty years.

Daniel G. Shafer, Dr. Shafer’s father, acquired a good education in the common schools and at Charlotte Academy. For many years he was associated with his brother-in-law. He finally purchased a piece of agricultural property of one hundred and thirty acres, situated near Mineral Springs, upon which he spent his last year, and where his widow, Mrs. Mary J. Shafer, still resides. In politics he was a Democrat. Mrs. Shafer’s father, Hiram Van Volkenberg, was a farmer of Schoharie County. She is the mother of two children: William D., the subject of this sketch; Mary, wife of Jesse Shafer of Mineral Springs.

After attending the common schools and the high school of Colbeskill, William D. Shafer began the study of medicine with Dr. Allen of that town, and later attended the New York Eclectic College, from which he was graduated in 1892. He began the practice of his profession in New York City, and went from there to Livingstonville. Since July, 1896, he has been the only physician at Oak Hill, and his practice, which has already assumed large proportions, extends into Schoharie and Albany Counties, necessitating long tedious rides in all kinds of weather.

In 1892 Dr. Shafer was united in marriage with Jessie Dillenbeck, daughter of Jonas Dillenbeck, a druggist of Cobleskill. They have one son, Rudolph.

Politically, Dr. Shafer acts with the Democratic party. He served as Coroner in Schoharie County, resigning that office when he removed from Livingstonville. He is treasurer of the Lyman Termaine Lodge, No. 265, I.O.O.F., at Oak Hill, and a member of the Middleburg Encampment. He is a medical examiner for the New York Life and Prudential Insurance Companies; also for the Masonic Life Association of Western New York, and formerly belonged to the New York Eclectic Society. He attends the Episcopal church, of which Mrs. Shafer is a member.

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