Biography of Dr. William S. Nelson
Oneida County, NY Biographies





Dr. William S Nelson, whose demise occurred at Providence, Rhode Island, on the 12th of September, 1910, gained an enviable reputation as a successful physician and surgeon of the state of New York and spent the last four years of his life in Utica. His birth occurred in Vienna, Oneida county, New York, on the 22d of April, 1863, his parents being Rev. Sybrant and Maria (Parkhurst) Nelson. Early in life he manifested a marked preference for the study of medicine and surgery. He obtained his education at Massena, New York, and when about sixteen years of age taught the first term of school in the present schoolhouse at Wampsville. At that time he was studying medicine under the direction of Dr. William Taylor of Canastota. When a youth of seventeen years he removed with his parents to Fowlerville and there studied medicine with Dr. Jones for one year. At the end of that time he entered the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, where he passed an examination which entitled him to a free scholarship. After spending about two years in that institution he entered the medical department of the University of New York, graduating with the highest honors in medicine at the end of twenty four months. He devoted seven years to study before accepting the degree of M. D. While in New York he also acted as "quiz" master, assisting young men to prepare for their examinations. His professional degree was conferred upon him in 1885 and he then spent about a year in Bellevue Hospital, subsequently acting as house physician in a Jewish institution of New York for a similiar period. He next opened an office in Seneca Falls, where a liberal and lucrative practice was accorded him.

On the 10th of October, 1889, at Seneca Falls he married Miss Rena C. Allen, a daughter of Martin Allen of that place. In the great fire at Seneca Falls Dr. Nelson lost all of his medical books and appliances. Owing to the poor health of his wife he removed with her to Saranac Lake, where her demise occurred about two years later. Their three children all died in infancy. In September, 1904, at Saranac Lake, Dr. Nelson was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Isabel T. Worden of Brooklyn.

Dr. Nelson practiced medicine at Saranac Lake for about eight years and then devoted a year to study in Berlin, Germany. After returning to this country he spent one winter at Johns Hopkins University, fitting himself for his work in pathology and bacteriology and as a specialist in internal medicine. About 1906 he came to Utica, establishing his home at No. 280 Genesee street. Here he served as a member of the staff of Faxton Hospital. He was frequently called in consultation all over the state of New York, his opinions upon professional questions being largely regarded as conclusive.

At the polls Dr. Nelson supported the men and measures of the republican party, believing that its principles embodied the best elements of good government. In Seneca Falls he held the office of coroner and at Saranac Lake served as health officer. Fraternally he was identified with the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while in religious faith he was a Presbyterian. His personal characteristics gained for him the warm regard and friendship of many, and in professional lines he attained that eminence which only comes in recognition of merit and ability.

From:
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1912


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