Biography of Dr. Smith A. Skinner
Rensselaer County, NY Biographies





Skinner, Dr. Smith Austin, was born in Thetford, Vt. He is the son of Smith Skinner and Rhoda Heaton, daughter of Dr. Solomon Heaton and Rhoda Whittier, an aunt of the poet, Whittier. The practice of medicine seems to have been hereditary in both branches of the family, and he read medicine with his uncle, Jonathan Skinner, at Brownington, Vt, and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1854. He practiced medicine in his native State until 1864, when he settled at Hoosick Falls, where he continues to reside. in 1863 Governor Holbrook of Vermont appointed him as one of the medical examiners of Vermont to examine men enrolled in the militia who applied for exemption from military duty in the Rebellion. He was also appointed assistant surgeon of the 7th Vt. Vols., but on account of poor health could not accept. Dr. Skinner is a member of the American Medical Association, and has been appointed a delegate to its national conventions. Re is a charter member of the New York State Medical Associatiou, a member of the Rensselaer County Medical Society and was president for a number of years of the Union Medical Society. The doctor is an inventor of merit and has taken Out many patents from surgical appliances and fountain pens to rifle implements. During the Rebellion Governor Fairbanks of Vermont equipped a regiment with his hospital bed and stretcher, which was most highly recommended by some of the leading surgeons in the army. Dr. Skinner was vestryman of St. Mark's Episcopal church of Hoosick Falls for many years. He is a Mason. and a member of Apollo Comtnandery of Troy, N. Y. He was junior warden of the Grand Commandery of the State of Vermont when he left the State. He was associated with Judge Ball in forming the Board of Health of Hoosick Falls, was the first health officer and held the position for eight years; he was instrumental in first having the streets lighted, and was an agitator for a sewer system and pure water. He has written several papers on medical and surgical Subjects. On ballistics (rifles and their ammunition) he writes under the nom de-plume of Medicus. On November 19, 1850, Dr. Skinner married Catharine Hinman Blake of Salem, Vt. She is the daughter of Hon. Samuel Blake and granddaughter of Judge Timothy Hinman, who served in the Revolutionary war, and was with Washington at Valley Forge during the winter of 1778. They have two daughters, Mabel Katrine, an amateur sculptor, and Katherine Annette, an artist in oils and china painting.

From:
Landmarks of Rensselaer County
BY: George Baker Aaderson
Published By: D. Mason & Co. Publishers
Syracuse, NY 1897


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