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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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DAVID WARNER BIRGE, M. D. By his skill and success in his chosen work as a physician, Dr. Birge has won an excellent reputation and the good-will and confidence of the citizens of Hector and vicinity. He was born in Manchester, Conn., December 6, 1822, and remained there for the first ten years of his life. He was then taken by his parents, Simeon and Electa (Pitkin) Birge, to Portage County, Ohio, remaining there until attaining manhood. He first entered Twinsburg Literary Institute, where he remained two years, then took one term in the Western Reserve College at Hudson, and later attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

On reaching his twenty-first year, David Birge began reading medicine in the office of Dr. Peter Allen, one of the noted physicians of Kinsman, Trumbull County, Ohio, and after two years, in 1844, came to New York, making his home for a time with an old friend of his father’s at Ithaca. During the spring of 1845 he removed to Ovid, continuing his medical studies with Dr. C. C. Coan, and during the winter of 1845-46 attended lectures in the Geneva Medical College. In 1847-48 he was a student at Cleveland Medical College, from which institution he was graduated in the Class of ‘48, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. D. W. Bliss, the noted surgeon and medical adviser of President Garfield, was one of his classmates, as was also John H. Newberry, a prominent scientist and physician of Washington, D. C.

When ready to begin in practice. Dr. Birge went to Flint, Mich., where he remained until the winter of 1848, when he made his way still further westward to the Golden State, and engaged in mining in Eldorado County, at a place called Georgetown. During the time spent there he also practiced to some extent, and met with very satisfactory results in both departments of work.

In the fall of 1854 Dr. Birge returned to the Empire State, and for two years prosecuted his studies in the various medical colleges of the state, spending the greater part of his time in the New York Medical College. He then located at Libertyville, Lake County, Ill., and until 1860 was one of the skilled physicians of that place. In August of that year he came to Schuyler County, taking up his abode in Hector, where he has lived for the past thirty-five years, and is therefore one of the oldest and most popular physicians of the county. The Doctor was interested in western lands for many years, but has now disposed of this property, investing his money in real estate in New York State. He was one of the first residents of this section to engage in grape culture, and at the present time he has about ten acres devoted to the raising of this luscious fruit, his vineyard lying on the slopes of Lake Seneca. The country round about is one of the most beautiful spots in the state, and, on account of Watkins’ Glen, which is located in this vicinity, is quite a summer resort.

Dr. Birge has retired from active practice, and for the past ten years has given his attention almost entirely to fruit-growing and farming on a small scale. He was married at Ovid, in 1856, to Miss Hannah D. Eastman, a native of that place, who died in July, 1866. Of the children of the first marriage we mention the following: Mary is now her father’s housekeeper. Julia became the wife of Cyrus E. Kinney, a member of the well known firm of Kinney Brothers, of Ovid. Mrs. Kinney was finely educated in the Cortland Normal, and for eight years taught school, four of which were at Ovid. Grace married Arthur B. Clarke, who is now the drawing teacher in Stanford University of California. She, too, was a graduate of the Cortland Normal, and for some time was preceptress in the Onondaga Academy at Onondaga Valley.

The Doctor was again married, October 15, 1867, to Miss Mantie Elliott, of Hector, whose parents were Ansel and Samantha Elliott. Mrs. Birge was born and reared on a farm in the town of Hector, and survived her marriage twelve years, passing away in 1879. Gertrude, the daughter of the second marriage, is a graduate of the Oneonta State Normal, and after completing her studies taught for two years at Unadilla, Otsego County. She was married, July 2, 1895, to Herbert P. Gallinger, a graduate of Cortland Normal School and of Amherst College, and for two years Principal of the Oxford Academy. The day following their marriage they embarked on a vessel for Europe, where they both intend to pursue their studies in Jena University, in Germany. Benjamin E., a son of the second union, is a student at the Plattsburg State Normal. Charles W. is at home, and assists his father in farm work.

The Doctor takes great interest in all public matters, and never fails to cast a vote in favor of Republican candidates. After so many years of active work he is now prepared to take life easy, and during the fishing season spends many hours on the lake, and is often rewarded by a large string of black bass. He is well known in this neighborhood, and enjoys an extensive acquaintance throughout this part of the state.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

View additional Schuyler County, New York family biographies here: Schuyler County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Schuyler County, New York here: Schuyler County, New York Map

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