M. CALVIN WEST, M. D.
The West family, of whom the subject of this memoir was a worthy representative, is of English origin, and for generations imbibed the noble characteristics of their mother country. John West, sr., born in Shaftsbury, Vt., April 25, 1770, settled in the town of Western, Oneida County, N. Y., in 1790, and there his son, John, Jr., was born December 26, 1796. In 1816 the family moved to Rome, N. Y., where the pioneer John died July 28, 1834. His wife, Harriet Stephens, whom he married January 26, 1792, was born in Connecticut on November 11, 1768, and died August 21, 1818. They had ten children, four sons and six daughters, of whom John jr. was the fourth child and oldest son. November 26, 1821, John West jr., married Mary j., daughter of John Driggs, who was born in Stafford, Conn., January 22, 1800, and who died January 30, 1882. Mr. Driggs came to Rome in 1804 and engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods, having a satinet factory at “Ridge Mills” and also operated grain and lumber mills until his death in 1855. Mr. West died February 6, 1860.
Dr. M. Calvin West, youngest son of John Jr., and Mary (Driggs) West, was born in Rome on the 11th of September, 1834, and obtained his education in the district schools and Rome Academy, graduating from the latter institution at the age of eighteen. For a few years thereafter he assisted his father in agricultural pursuits, but his inclinations soon took a professional turn. In 1857 he went to Hagerstown, Ind., and read medicine in the office of his paternal uncle, Dr. Calvin West (Dr. Calvin West, born in Western, Oneida county, August 9, 1806, became a prominent physician in Indiana and a surgeon in the Union army in the war of the Revolution, and died at Hagerstown on August 25, 1863.). In 1860 he was graduated with the degree of M. D. from the Medical Department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and during the following year continued his scientific and clinical studies with his uncle at Hagerstown. In the fall of 1861 he began the active practice of his profession in Floyd, Oneida County, where he remained until 1863, when he settled permanently in Rome. While in Indiana he was a prominent member and for a time president of the Wayne County Medical Society, and prepared and read before that body a practical paper on “Hypodermic Injection, “ which was published in the Cincinnati Lancet. He was an active member of the Oneida County Medical Society, a delegate to the New York State Medical Society, a member of the New York State Medical Association, and a permanent member of the American Medical Association. In 1865 and 1866 he was one of the faculty of Rome Academy and delivered a series of lectures on physiology and kindred subjects.
Dr. West was a physician of high standing and rare ability, and enjoyed an extensive practice. He possessed a cheerful and restful personality, an underlying current of humor, a keen discrimination, a large fund of information, and a sense of justice which carried the weight of conviction. Tenacious of friendship and endowed with a great kindness of heart, he won universal respect and the confidence of all with whom he came in contact; careful, shrewd, and wise in business affairs he was generally successful in everything he attempted. He early won professional recognition from his associates and esteem from all classes of citizens and held them to the end. His advice and counsel were often sought. He was thoroughly identified with the prosperity and advancement of the city of Rome and always took a lively interest in public affairs. In July, 1881, he was made a member by Mayor Comstock of the first board of fire commissioners and in October following he was elected a commissioner of the Rome free schools, and held each position three years, being president of the board of education a part of the time. He was physician to the county poor house during the term of Superintendent Theodore S. Comstock, was long a director in the Central National Bank, and in January, 1891, became president of the Rome and Carthage Railroad Company, a position he held at the time of his death, which occurred in Rome on October 20, 1891. He was also a member of Rome Lodge, No. 266, I. O. O. F., and trustee of the First M. E. church of this city.
Dr. West was married November 6, 1861, t Miss Felicia H. Williams, daughter of Jesse Williams, the father of the cheese factory system in America and the proprietor of the first cheese factory in Oneida County. Their children were Olive D., Jessie J., Dr. Calvin B., F. May and Florence Mary. Dr. Calvin B. West, born in Rome, March 29, 1867, was graduated from Rome Academy in 1885 and from Phillips Academy at Andover, Mass., in 1886, spent three years in Amherst College and was graduated with the degree of M. D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City in 1898. After filling the position of house physician and surgeon to the Paterson General Hospital one year he came to Rome in August, 1894, and began the active practice of his profession.