Retyped from Beers "History of Greene County" by Sylvia Hasenkopf
The subject of this sketch was born August 6th 1814, at Allentown, New Jersey, and was the son of Rev. John Cornell and Maria, daughter of Major General and United States Senator Frederick Freylinghuysen, a lady of great amiability and eminent piety. His medical education was obtained at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and he was a student in the office of the celebrated surgeon, George B. McClellan, M.D., a professor in the institution. Dr. Cornell practiced in New York fo9r several years, and he divided the medical leadership of the metropolis with Drs. Francis and Delafield. His articles on scarlatina were published in the leading medical journals, and were translated into several European languages. The extent of his duties was such as to seriously impair his health and about 1844 he moved to New Baltimore, and there, up to his death, lived the life of a retired gentleman. He was for 30 years one of the ruling elders of the Reformed church of Coeymans and New Baltimore. He had before this found a companion for life in the person of Miss Maria, a daughter of Dr. Zina Wolcott Lay, a native of Saybrook, Connecticut, who came to this state and settled in Chesterville, Albany county, whence he removed to Cooperstown. He afterward lived in Albany, and the last years of his life were spent in Stillwater, where he died March 4th 1855 at the age of 67. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Moses Smith, of Chesterville. Dr. Cornell and Miss Lay were married November 8th 1843. They were called to bear the loss of all their children in early infancy.
Dr. Cornell departed this life October 22nd 1880. His widow lives a life of quiet repose in the village of New Baltimore, in a home hallowed by many pleasant associations.
Dr. Cornell had three brothers: Frederick, Rev Dr. James A.H. (whose prominence and usefulness in the Christian ministry are too well known to require mention), and John. He had sisters: Margaretta, wife of Rev. Isaac S. Dumond; Catharine; Sarah, wife of Rev. William Demarest; and Charlotte, wife of Dr. John Van Allen.
Throughout his professional career Dr. Cornell was recognized as a leader, and was kind, affectionate, and prompt in his ministrations to the sick, and when he passed away there were few that did not realize that the community had experienced a loss that would not soon be supplied.