William A. Wasson MD

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


WILLIAM A. WASSON, M.D., a leading physician of Greenville, N.Y., was born in 1852 in Hamburg, Eric County, this State. He is the only son of Horace and Susan E. (Oberholser) Wasson. His grandfather, John Wasson, was one of the pioneers of Hamburg, coming to that place, which lay in the old Holland patent, in 1800, at the age of nineteen. There he worked at farming during the remainder of his life, and on the homestead the succeeding generations of the family have been born. He served during the War of 1812 as a Captain in the militia. He died at the age of seventy-four. His wife, who died in middle life, was before her marriage a Miss Griffin. Of the five children born to her, two are living - Horace and Thomas, both of whom reside in Buffalo.

Horace Wasson was born on the Wasson farm in Hamburg in 1823, and was reared to farm life. In early manhood he showed marked administrative ability, and this secured his appointment to the responsible position of superintendent of the Eric County Insane Asylum in Buffalo, the duties of which he discharged in a faithful and efficient manner for a quarter of a century. The institution was a large one, having about a hundred and fifty inmates. Mr. Wasson is one of the well-known citizens of Buffalo. He gave up his position in the asylum in 1873, and has since given his attention to his personal business interests in that city. His wife, who is of German stock, was born in Otsego County. Her father, John Oberholser, who reached the advanced age of ninety-four years, was a carpenter, and worked at his trade in Lancaster County when a young man. Later he removed to Otsego County, and finally to Amherst, Eric County, where he resided until his death. He had a family of nine children. Mrs. Wasson is a member of the Church of the Disciples. She has two children: Dr. William A.; and Carrie, who is the wife of W. S. Turbett, of Buffalo.

Dr. Wasson began earning his own living in his thirteenth year, when he went to work in a brokerís office in Buffalo. He was there for a year, and then became an employee in the Eric County Savings Bank for another year. Following this he attended St. Lukeís School for a year, and then went to Rochester as general agent for the Knickerbocker Life Insurance Company, this being in 1867 and 1868. Subsequently he was for a year in college at Alliance, Ohio, and he then returned to Buffalo and became an assistant house physician in the Eric County Hospital. This position he held until 1872, when he was appointed house physician. While there he attended lectures at the University of Buffalo, and in 1872 received his degree from that institution. In 1873 he gave up his place at the hospital, and opened an office in Buffalo for the practice of medicine. There he remained until 1880, when he came to Greenville. He has here a large general practice, and is one of the most popular physicians of the town. His present residence, built for him in 1885, is one of the finest in the village and, indeed, one of the finest to be found in any of the villages in the county.

The Doctor was married in 1875 to Carrie E. Wooster, a native of Westerlo, daughter of Charles E. and Melissa (Hitchcock) Wooster. Her parents had a family of four children. For many years they resided here, her father being one of the well-known farmers of the town. Dr. and Mrs. Wasson have an only daughter, Alice M., who is the wife of John H. Sandford, a druggist in this town, and has a little daughter, Ruth.

Dr. Wasson is a Democrat. He is warmly interested in all public matters, but the demands of his profession prevent him from taking a very active part in political affairs. He is a member of the Greene County Medical Society, and while in Buffalo was a member of the Erie County Medical Society, and also of the Buffalo Medical Club, which has since developed into the Buffalo Academy of Medicine. The Doctor occasionally takes a rest from his professional labors by indulging his tastes as a sportsman. He is an excellent shot, and is the owner of several guns and of hunting dogs. He has been actively associated with the Masonic organization since 1877, when he joined the Queen City Lodge in Buffalo. Upon coming here he received membership in the James M. Austin Lodge, and of this he has been five years Master, and was two years District Deputy in the old Eleventh District under Grand Master William Shever and Grand Master Burnham. He has filled all the chairs in the lodge. It was at his instigation that the Greenville Royal Arch Chapter was organized, and he has been its High Priest from the start. He was charter member of Jefferson Lodge, A.O.U.W., of Buffalo, and while in that city was examining physician of the lodge. He has held the office of trustee of the academy, and is at the present time a member of the Board of Education. He is also one of the three fire commissioners of the town and chief of the fire department.


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