FRANK F. LAIRD, M. D.
This gentleman, one of the foremost homoeopathic physicians of Utica, was born on the farm known as the “Old Townsend Homestead,” situated between the towns of Trenton and Floyd, Oneida County, April 15, 1856, being the youngest child of William O. and Sarah A. Laird. He is a great-grandson of Samuel Laird, for whom Lairdsville, N. Y. was named, and whose father came from Scotland to New England in the early history of this country. Samuel Laird was a native of New Marlboro, Berkshire county, Mass., but moved Lairdsville in 1788 with his son Salmon, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, then seven years of age and there died May 21, 1820. William O. Laird, son of Salmon and father of Dr. Frank F., became a dentist, married Sarah A. Townsend, of Floyd, Oneida County, and at the advanced age of seventy-eight is still actively engaged in the practice of his profession. The doctor’s maternal ancestors originally resided in Rainham Castle, County Norfolk, England. His great-grandfather, Nathan Townsend, came to Oneida county from Hancock, Mass., in 1801, and was one of the first settlers in the town of Floyd, where his son, William was for twenty-four years a justice of the peace, renowned for “having peaceable settled more quarrels than he made.”
Dr. Laird inherited the sturdy characteristics and native energy of his New England ancestry, and during his boyhood life on the farm acquired those habits of thrift, frugality, and activity which mark the successful man. He pursued his preparatory studies at Whitestown Seminary, where eh completed the course in 1873. While in that institution he took constant tuition in elocution under H. Sam Dyer and Rev. John R. Lewis, and won prizes in declamation and oratory which distinguished him as a thorough scholar, talented, and ambitious. In the fall of 1873 he entered the Freshman class of Hamilton College, where, during the course, he was appointed first-year prize speaker and won the first prize in essay-writing; secured the first honorable mention in essay-writing during the Sophomore year; won the Hawley medal for excellence in classical studies in the Junior year; and in the Senior year was appointed to represent Hamilton at the Inter-Collegiate Oratorical contest held in the Academy of Music, New York City, in January, 1876, winning the second consecutive victory for his college. He was graduated in June, 1877, being the third in his class, with membership in the Phi Beta Kappa society of “honor-men” and delivering the class-day oration. He received the degree of A. M. in course from Hamilton College in 1880.
Dr. Laird pursued the study of medicine under the supervision of his brother, Dr. William T. Laird, one of the leading physicians of Watertown, N. Y., and was graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College at Philadelphia in 1880, taking the highest general average save one (that of Prof. W. B. VanLennep) ever obtained at that institution, and winning the position of valedictorian of his class. He immediately began the practice of his profession in Ogdensburg, N. Y., but in the following autumn located in Augusta, Me. There the climate proved too severe, and in the spring of 1881 he removed to Utica, where he has since resided. Dr. Laird very soon won a foremost place among the medical men of the city and rapidly built up an extensive practice. He has been uniformly successful and today ranks with the leading practitioners of homoeopathy in Central New York. As a citizen he is widely respected, enterprising and progressive, and manifests a keen interest in the welfare of the community.
He is medical director of the Commercial Travelers Mutual Accident Association of America, and of the Homoeopathic Hospital; is a member and ex-president of the Oneida County Homoeopathic Medical Society, was elected first vice-president of the Homoeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York in 1889 and served by appointment as chairman of its Bureau of Materia Medica for three years. He became a member of the American Institute of Homoeopathy in 1887. He is a fluent speaker, always ready in debate, and was orator on the occasion of the Masonic Jubilee held in Utica in April, 1890.
Dr. Laird is a successful general practitioner and particularly skillful in treating the diseases of children, in which he has wide experience. In the application of homoeopathic remedies he reflects Hahnemann’s theories of immaterial dosage, believing that the curative efficacy of a drug is confined to the limit of materiality.
He has been a frequent contributor to current medical journals and transactions of articles of great value, which have attracted considerable attention and favorable comment. Among his contributions to the department of Materia Medica are “Physiological Action of Belladonna in its Relations to Homoeopathic Therapeutics,” Analytical Studies of Hydrastis, “ “Lycopus Virginicus,” “Gualiacum,” “Ammonium Muriaticum,” and “Naphthalin.” His contributions to the department of Clinical medicine include “The Reflex Symptoms of Phymosis,” “The Aetiology, Pathology, and Treatment of Diabetes Insipidus,” “Lithaemia, Its Aetiological and Pathlogical Relations,” “The Trerapeutics of Spinal Irritation,” and “Obscure Reflex Symptoms in Chronic Disease.”
In 1883 Dr. Laird married Miss Annie C., daughter of the late Hon. W. B. Tayor, of Utica, ex-State engineer. She died May 21, 1895, leaving two children, Frank T. and Mary Louise. June 23, 1896, he married for his second wife Miss Ella M. Pixlee, of Seattle, Wash.
Pages 64-65 (Contributed by Linda)