Alfred Wotkyns, M.D.
Albred Wotkyns, M. D.
City of Troy

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett
Sylvester, published in 1880. Many thanks to Bob McConihe for typing this biography.

ALFRED WOTKYNS, M.D., was born at Walpole, N.H., Sept. 7, 1798. His father was a farmer. He was mainly educated by a private tutor, under whose charge he was put at the age of thirteen.

At the age of nineteen he came to Troy, and entered the office of the late Dr. Moses Hale. In 1821 he was admitted to the practice of medicine, and became a partner of Dr. Hale; but not long afterward, wishing to perfect himself in his profession, he removed to Philadelphia, where he read medicine one year under the tuition of Dr. Nathaniel Chapman, and attended the lectures of the University of Pennsylvania, of which institution he is a graduate.

He returned to Troy in 1822, and applied for the appointment of surgeon in the United States army, and received the appointment, though there were some three hundred applications for the position.

He was soon ordered to Natchitoches, La., on the Red River, about two hundred miles above New Orleans, an extreme frontier post. A subsequent order changed his destination to Pensacola, Fla., at which post there were then stationed some two thousand men. Here he remained two years as surgeon, when he resigned.

Returning to Troy, he reopened a physician's office, and for a period of nearly fifty years was a practicing physician of that city.

He has been president of the County Medical Society. He was many times a delegate to the State Society, of which organization he was a permanent member. In 1838, when Troy had but three supervisors, Dr. Wotkyns represented the Second District. He was one of the originators of the Marshall Infirmary, a governor of the institution from its commencement, and a member of the medical board.

When the State Bank went into operation, in 1852, Dr. Wotkyns was chosen its president, and continued as such until January, 1868. The prosperity of this banking institution is well known, and it is conceded that its success has been largely due to the striking financial abilities and great business sagacity of its president.

In 1857-58, Dr. Wotkyns was mayor of Troy. It will be recalled as the panic year for the whole country. City finances were somewhat embarrassed throughout, and the aid Mayor Wotkyns furnished, in enabling the city to meet all of its obligations on the one hand, and to escape the extortion of money-lenders on the other, was very considerable, as well as very timely. In the discharge of his official duties he exhibited his characteristic business sagacity.

Dr. Alfred Wotkyns died on the 23rd of December, 1876, deeply mourned by his family and friends. His life was an eventful one. There was not a word of reproach against his character; nothing to sully his fair name; nothing to dim the luster of his life, still left shining as a bright example.

His magnificent person will be long remembered in Troy, and many have learned from him, as golden rules in business, to be cautious in the inception of an enterprise, and prompt and daring in carrying it out.

For his first wife he married Mary Williams. Of this union were born three children, of whom only one survives, viz., Mrs. Dr. W. P. Seymour, of Troy. For his second wife he married, in 1850, Eliza, daughter of Dr. Isaiah Breakey, of Greenbush, N. Y., who died Sept. 11, 1876. His children by this marriage are Grace, B. Marshall, Webster, Walter L., and Roger S., who have, since the death of their parents, removed to Chicago, Ill.

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