William Napier Macartney, M. D. - The rise of Doctor Macartney to a prominent place in medical circles in Northern
New York was outstanding. For more than 40 years he has been the leading physician and surgeon of Fort Covington
in Franklin County. He was born here, Feb. 25, 1862.
His father, James Macartney, was Scotch-Irish, the son of William Macartney and Anna Napier, of Kells, County Antrim,
Ireland. He was born in 1816 and came to Quebec in his early youth. He married in Quebec, later moved to Coteau,
P. Q., Lancaster, Onto., and finally, in 1858, to Fort Covington, became a citizen of the United States and died
in Fort Covington on Oct. 1, 1892. He was buried here. He was a shoemaker throughout his life.
His wife, Claire Elise, was born in Quebec, the daughter of John Costolow and Claire Elise de Jolicouer dit Contramine.
She died on Feb. 5, 1899, and was buried in Fort Covington.
The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. James Macartney: 1. Sarah Macaxtney, born April 8, 1848. Taught
school for about thirty years. Died in Fort Covington April 5, 1929.
2. John Macaxtney, born Nov. 2, 1848. Was a ranchman at Eaton, Colorado, and died there on Feb. 20, 1929. Pioneer
developer of that section.
3. George Henry, born Aug. 9, 1852, and died Jan. 24, 1917, in Fort Covington. Was a druggist and later postmaster,
Massena, N. Y. General merchant in Fort Covington for many years.
4. James, born July 20, 1855. Now president of The Fort Covington Banking Company and one of its founders.
5. William Napier, the subject of this sketch.
Doctor Macartney was educated in the old Fort Covington Academy. He later was employed in a local drug store and
became a licensed pharmacist. He studied medicine at the same time under Dr. William Gillis and later attended
the Medical Department of the University of the City of New York, from which institution he was graduated with
high honors in March, 1888. On competitive examination he secured an interneship in Bellevue Hospital, New York
City, serving there during the years 1888-1890. He moved to Fort Covington in 1890 where he has since resided.
He has had an exceedingly active practice, owns a well established drug business, has been health officer continuously
for the combined district since 1891 and has served as coroner from 1896 to the present time. He has been local
surgeon to the Grand Trunk Railway since 1890. He was one of the founders of the Fort Covington Banking Company
and was president of that institution from 1917 to 1929, at which time he retired from active general practice
and other onerous duties.
For the last 20 years he has spent a large share of his winters in Florida, specializing there in eye, ear, nose
and throat work almost exclusively. At present he is chiefly engaged in completing a work on general medicine,
embodying largely the results of his personal experience. He is a lover of the rod and gun and a skilled taxidermist.
In January, 1902, Doctor Macartney was united in marriage with Miss Caroline Claghorn, of Savannah, Ga. She is
a graduate nurse, having trained at Bellevue Hospital during the interneship of Doctor Macartney. At the time of
her marriage she was assistant superintendent of the Lackawanna Hospital in Scranton, Pa.
Doctor and Mrs. Macartney have three children: 1. William N., Jr., a graduate of the Clarkson Polytechnic Institute
at Potsdam, N. Y. He is now in the employ of The Fort Covington Banking Company.
2. Elin Karlsson, who attended St. Lawrence University and was graduated from the Potsdam Normal School in 1927.
She married Dr. Bruce T. Smith, physician and surgeon, of Fort Covington. They have one son, Robert Macfie Smith.
3. Caroline Claire Elsie is a graduate of Simmons College, Boston, Mass., and the College of Medicine of the University
of Syracuse, class of 1930. She served as interne at the Woman's Infirmary Hospital, New York City, and is the
wife of Dr. Philip W. Gorman. He is also a graduate of Syracuse University, class of 1930, and recently completed
his interneship at Wyckoff Heights Hospital, Brooklyn, N. Y. Both are now in general practice in Fort Covington.
Doctor Macartney has been for many years a constant contributor to medical literature and to journals on natural
history. He is a Republican in politics, is affiliated with the Masonic Lodge and is a member of the Presbyterian
Church. Mrs. Macartney is an Episcopalian. Doctor Macartney is a member of the Franklin County Medical Society,
was at one time its president, and is a member of the American Medical Association. His medical practice is now
limited largely to special work and consultations.
The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932
Franklin County, NY
Names A to L
Names M to Z
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