THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


    DR. BIRDSALL, a prominent and respected physician of the town of Brookfield, was born in the town of Otego, Otsego County, N.Y., October 30, 1839. The family were originally from Delaware County, the grandfather having been a native of Sidney, N.Y., whence he removed to Otego at an early age, and resided there until his death. The father was educated in the district schools of the place, and worked on the farm until his twenty-fifth year, when he married Miss Harriet Gilbert. He removed to the town of Butternuts after his marriage; and, having long had the desire to serve in the Lord's vineyard as a minister of the gospel, he began studying divinity, and was soon assigned to the charge of the Baptist church in that town. He preached there many years, and later in Otego Village. His last charge was at Sand Hill, in the Unadilla Valley, in which place he was compelled to retire from the ministry on account of his poor health. He was for nearly half a century a devoted follower of his Master; and, when he died at Otego, his death was universally mourned. To Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Birdsall a large family of children were born, namely: Millie M.; A. J. Birdsall, our subject; Samuel, a physician of Susquehanna, Pa., who was assistant surgeon in the late war; William 0.; Albert, of Otsego County; Mary E.; Hattie. The mother died suddenly in Union, Broome County, N.Y., while visiting her brother.
   Our subject received an excellent education in the district school of his town, and also under the able tutorship of his father. At the age of twenty-three, it being during the Civil War, he entered the Federal Army, enlisting in Company E, Second New York Heavy Artillery. Soon after reaching Virginia, he was appointed Hospital Steward, and about six weeks later was transferred to the general hospital at Fairfax Seminary, near Alexandria. Four months later he was discharged, with the rank of Hospital Steward.
   Previous to the war Dr. Birdsall had commenced the study of medicine with Dr. E. Guy, of Harpersville, Broome County, N.Y., and had taken a course of lectures at the Albany Medical College of New York State. After his discharge from the army he again took up his studies, graduating from the University of Buffalo, N.Y., in February, 1863; and in the spring of that year went to North Brookfield, N. Y., where. he opened an office for the practice of medicine. He married November 10, 1863, Miss Mary 0. Green, daughter of Henry and Celia Green, of North Brookfield. The family came to the State of New York from Rhode Island, and were early settlers in Madison County. At the time of his marriage the Doctor purchased and removed to the farm previously owned by his father-in-law. He has erected new buildings, and has greatly improved the farm, putting it into the highest state of cultivation, availing himself of all the modern inventions for labor saving which are of such help now in the art of agriculture. The mother of Mrs. Birdsall, a well-preserved lady at the age of ninety-one years, resides with her daughter.
   Dr. Birdsall is a careful, painstaking practitioner, and has a large and successful practice. He is the only physician in the village, and is looked upon as one of the most skilful in the county. A member of the Madison County Medical Society, he has served as its Secretary for ten years, as Vice-President two terms, and as President one year, absolutely refusing at the end of that time to hold office any longer. He is also connected with the New York State Medical Association and the American Medical Association. In his religious opinions he follows the example set by his good father, and is a member of the Baptist church. He early identified himself with the Masonic fraternity, and is attached to Sanger Lodge, No. 129, also to Brookfield Lodge, No. 632, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has endeavored to so order his life as to accord with the designs which the Grand Master has marked out. Naturally, he is devoted to the interests of the Grand Army of the republic, and affiliates with Searle Post in his town.
   Dr. Birdsall is the only one in his father's family who is a Democrat. In the year 1891 he was elected Supervisor of the town by that party. His services in this capacity gave thorough satisfaction, as the ratio of taxation was lower that year than at any time since the war.
   In his wife, who is of a lovely type of character and is possessed of all the true womanly qualities which go to make a home happy, Dr. Birdsall has ever found a sympathetic and ready helper. Together they enjoy the highest esteem of the best people of their section. Their handsome residence is an attractive spot to their legion of friends, who are ever welcome, and are entertained in a most pleasant and affable manner.

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