Biography of Dr. John L. Fenney
Richmond County, NY Biographies





JOHN L. FENNY, M. D., is the second oldest son of the late Dr. Joseph Feeny, of Stapleton, who opened in 1849, the first drug store established on Staten Island, and who was one of the leading physicians on the Island in the early sixties. He afterward moved to Jersey City, where his reputation as a successful physician had evidently preceded him, as he was made health officer of the city the next year after taking up his residence there. Dr. Joseph Feeny was one of the most scholarly men of the county, and before he began the practice of his profession was the principal of one of the most thorough classical institutes ever established on the Island. He died at his residence in Jersey City in.1866.

Dr. John L. Feeny was from his earliest boyhood selected by his father as his successor in the medical profession. At the early age of fifteen years he had acquired an excellent classical education and began the study of medicine under the late Dr. Thos. C. Moffatt, at the same time getting a large practical experience at the Seamen's Retreat Hospital, where he remained until he entered the University of New York Medical Department, from which he was graduated in 1866 among the highest in the class. During his college course he studied under such famous physicians as Valentine Mott, Alfred C. Post, William H. VanBuren, Alfred Loomis and John T. Metcalfe; also under Professors Budd, Paine and the Drapers. After leaving the university he took a special and private course under Professor Ayelette. It will be seen, therefore, that his father, being a prominent physician himself, was able to secure as instructors for his son, the most famous physicians and teachers of that day.

Upon completing his course of study, he was appointed house physician to the "Seamen's Retreat," a position which he filled with honor until 1869, when he resigned to enter on private practice in Stapleton. In 1870, he was appointed physician to the metropolitan police, and is now surgeon to the Richmond county police, has been health officer for the town of Middletown and the village of Edgewater for many years, and is a member of the Richmond County Medical Society.

The thorough instruction which Dr. Feeny received under the distinguished physicians at the University enabled him to take a high rank in his profession, and to be especially sought for consultation in intricate cases. He has had, from the first, a practice second to none in. the county, and his success with difficult cases has given him the confidence of the entire community.

In the spring of 1893, Dr. Feeny was elected to the board of supervisors and immediately began one of the most searching and thorough examinations into the finances of the county which has been made for many years, and while the investigation is not yet completed, enough has been established to prove that the county will greatly profit by the doctor's services.

In private life the doctor is one of the most congenial and companionable of men and has a host of devoted friends. In his professional and official duties whatever he has to do is done thoroughly and well, not the smallest details being overlooked or omitted.

Of Dr. Fenny, Prestons History of Staten Island, published in 1886; says:
"Dr. Feeny has now been in active practice more than sixteen years, during which time many remarkable cases have come under his notice and been treated by him. He adds to his large experience an intense love not only of his profession but of all scientific and artistic study. He is up in the classics, has traveled considerably, and has taken a deep interest in historical research. His cordial manners and general intelligence have long been noticed by those who enjoy his acquaintance, and have resulted in endearing him to them."

"The deep interest which he has taken in the health of the community in which he. lives, and the county at large and especially the freedom with which he responded to a call made on him for lectures on hygienic subjects during the recent cholera agitation will long be remembered with pleasure by the people of Staten Island." And we may add that no physician on the Island took a more active part in suppressing the smallpox, which came near becoming epidemic on the Island a few years ago.

Dr. Feeny was married June 9, 1870, to Miss Emma Bateman, daughter of the famous engineer, John F. Bateman, of Maine. They have four children living, Mildred, Marguerite, Elsa and John L. Jr.

From:
Prominent Men of Staten Island 1893
A. Y. Hubbell, Publishers
New York, 1893.


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