DR. OSCAR L. SOUTHWORTH, a public-spirited citizen of Madison County, a skilful physician of wide-spread popularity, was born in Edmeston, Otsego County, N.Y., July 21, 1839, son of Horace and Sophronia (Crumb) Southworth, and fifth in the line of descent from Constant Southworth, who from England came to Plymouth, Mass., it is presumed in 1628. (See Savage's Genealogical Dictionary.) His mother, Alice Southworth, a widow, became the wife of Governor Bradford. Joseph. Southworth, grandfather of the Doctor, was born in Plymouth, Mass., and upon the death of his father left that State, and went to what is now Stonington, Conn. The same love of liberty which had animated his ancestor made him a minute-man of the Revolution. As a beardless boy he enlisted, and marched out "to die or be free." After three years of hard service he re-enlisted, and remained in the army until his country had gained its independence. When the war closed, he went to Mansfield, Conn., where he married Miss Lydia Barrows, and from there moved to Edmeston, N.Y., being one of the first settlers of that place. There he kept a store and potash factory and built a traveller's home. He died in Edmeston at an advanced age.
Horace Southworth, son of the patriot soldier and father of Dr. Southworth, was born April 30, 1809. He was the youngest child in the family, his brothers and sisters being Sally, Betsey, Joseph, Thomas, Dennis, and Polly. He was reared to the carpenter's trade and agricultural pursuits. When he reached manhood, he was strongly interested in military matters, and rose to the rank of Captain in a company which was located at Burlington, N.Y. He was also a prominent temperance man, and organized many lodges. In his politics he was a Whig as long as that party lasted, and a pronounced Abolitionist in principle. He cast his vote for William Henry Harrison as President. He married Miss Sophronia Crumb, daughter of Joseph Crumb, who was one of the first settlers of the town of Plainfield, owning all the land, nearly one thousand acres, lying in the vicinity of our subject's home. Mr. Crumb had fourteen children, twelve of whom grew to maturity, several of them being well-known professional men. Their names were: William Sidney and Gardner, who died in infancy in Rhode Island; Varnum, Stephen, Joseph, Sophronia, Archibald K., Orville, Julia, Susan, Miriam, Russell, Franklin P., and Louisa.
Mr. and Mrs. Horace Southworth had five children, namely: Horace, Jr., and Lucy A., deceased; Susan L.; Oscar Lemuel; and Orville W. The mother died in the town of Plainfield, at the age of sixty-one years.
The education of Oscar L. Southworth in the district schools of his native town was supplemented by a three years' course in the South Trenton Academy. His first work was on his father's farm, where he began at the age of twelve years to earn a living. He hired himself out by the month, and gave his father one hundred dollars every autumn for nine years, leaving home at the age of twenty-one without a dollar in his pocket. At twenty-three years of age he began to study medicine with Dr. Chauncey Perkins, of Columbus, N.Y., remaining there until the death of this estimable physician. He afterward attended a course of lectures at the Philadelphia College of Medicine and Surgery, and was graduated from that institution in February, 1866, and has been in active practice ever since. October 2, 1862, he married Miss Isiphine J., daughter of his first tutor, Dr. Chauncey Perkins, of Columbus, N.Y. They have one son, Horace C., who was graduated from the graded school at Leonardsville, attended the Whitesboro Academy, and entered the Medical Department of the University of the City of New York; but, his health failing, he was compelled to give up his studies and return to his home. Horace C. Southworth married Miss Maud Burdick; and they have one child, Mertie Lea.
Dr. Southworth's practice covers a very large territory, extending as far as Smyrna, twenty-two miles away, and taking in the towns of Burlington, Edmeston, Winfield, Columbus, New Berlin, Bridgewater, and all the surrounding country. The Doctor became a member in 1867 of the Eclectic Society of New York, and was
subsequently Vice-President of the Eclectic Medical Society for the 23d Senatorial District. He is a Free Mason in good standing, belonging to Western Star Lodge, No. 15, A.F. & A.M., one of the oldest lodges in the State. He was elected Supervisor on the Republican ticket in 1885 by a large majority, overcoming both the Democrat and Prohibition opposition. In 1886 he again received the nomination, and was reelected. While Supervisor he served upon the Equalization Committee both years, as well as acting upon other important committees. He has been a member of the Board of Education of Leonardsville, N.Y., for a number of years. He attends the Methodist church. Madison County is noted for the high standing and particular excellence of its medical men, but none among them hold a more deservedly popular position than Dr. Oscar L. Southworth. Of a genial disposition, blending firmness with kindliness, he possesses more than the ordinary qualifications necessary in a physician; and his skill has brought back to health the lights of many a home. He comes from an illustrious family on both sides, and in his useful life proves that he has not degenerated from the virtues of his ancestry. Dr. Southworth fills an important place in the community where he lives, has a large practice, and enjoys the confidence of the people in a marked degree.
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