THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


PETER B. HAVENS, M.D. Among the native-born citizens of Madison County who have risen to distinction in professional life is Dr. Peter B. Havens, who is well known in this part of the State, and is recognized as one of our ablest physicians. He was born in Hamilton, April 17, 1824. His grandparents, Peleg and Martha (Bessey) Havens, were born either in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, and emigrated from New England to New York, being early pioneers of Westmoreland, Oneida County. They made the journey overland with an ox-team, the long and tedious trip occupying many days. Mr. Havens bought a tract of land which was yet in its primitive condition, and at once built a log house and began the labor of clearing a farm. There were neither railways nor canals for many years afterward, and no markets very near, the people being obliged to subsist on the products of their land or the game, which was abundant. As soon as he had enough land under cultivation to raise a surplus of grain, he was obliged to haul it to Albany with teams, to dispose of it for needful merchandise. He improved a good farm, and resided there until his death, having ably done his part toward the building up of the town and the county. Dr. Peter B. Havens, Sr., son of Peleg and father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Westmoreland, Oneida County. He was born in the rude log cabin of his parents, and attended the pioneer schools of his native town. Being unusually fond of his books, his father gave him the advantages of a good education, and, after he had turned his attention to the study of medicine, sent him to a medical college in New York City, from which he was graduated in 1812. He commenced practice in Hamilton, and met with such good success that he remained there until his death, in November, 1860. The maiden name of his wife was Martha Clark. She was born in Erie County, New York, and died in Hamilton in 1857, having reared four children--Marcia, Hannah, George, and Peter B.
  The last-named, the subject of this biography, having received the foundation of his education in the public schools of Hamilton, supplemented it by attendance at the Hamilton Academy. Determining to adopt a professional career, at the age of eighteen years he began the study of medicine, and afterward attended medical lectures at the Western Reserve College of Cleveland, Ohio, from which he was graduated with an honorable record in the class of 1848 and 1849. Dr. Havens, following the footsteps of his father, began the practice of medicine in Hamilton, remaining there until 1853, when he removed to Davis County, Indiana, where he remained four years, actively engaged in the practice of his profession. Returning to Madison County, he resumed his professional duties in his native town, where he has achieved a brilliant success, having a large and widely extended practice. The maiden name of his first wife, to whom he was married in 1851, was Charlotte E. Stanley. She was born in Pompey, Onondaga County, and died in Hamilton in 1868. They had a family of three children: Florence E.; Charlotte E., deceased; Samuel P. Florence married J. W. Clark; and they have one child, Charlotte E. Samuel married Mina Holton, and lives in New York City. The present wife of Dr. Havens, Miss Lyra Foote before marriage, is a native of Hamilton, and was married to the Doctor in 1886. In politics Dr. Havens is a strong adherent of the Democratic party, although not a seeker after official position.

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