Dr. Richard W. Padgham, who at the time of his death had been engaged in medical practice for almost a quarter of a century, was descended from an ancient English family, many members of which have been represented in various lines of professional life. Both of his parents died in England, where his father had spent the active years of his life in the ministry as a representative of the Methodist denomination. Although Dr. Padgham commenced the study of medicine rather late in life he had achieved a remarkable degree of success and was frequently called into consultation by his professional brethren.
Dr. Padgham was born in the Island of Barbadoes, West Indies, April 11, 1850, and died February 27, 1911. It had been the design of his parents that he should follow in the footsteps of his father, and he appeared to be unusually gifted for clerical life. He preached his first sermon when he was but twelve years of age, and was engaged in clerical work for some years. His throat, however, became affected by his too frequent use of the vocal cords, and he was constrained to think of another field for his mental activities. He thereupon decided upon the medical profession as offering a wide scope for relieving the physical ills of his fellow men, as nature was debarring him from ministering to their spiritual needs. He at once threw himself with ardor into the study of medicine, becoming a student at the Eclectic College in New York City, from which he was graduated in the class of 1989. For some years he practiced in Interlaken (then Farmer), New York, but removed to Geneva, Ontario county, New York, in 1896, where he continued his activities in this direction, and had a large and lucrative practice, and enjoyed the fullest confidence and esteem not alone of those who profited by his skill but by all who were enabled to judge of his conduct as a man and a good citizen. He made a special study of the diseases which are apt to afflict the nose, throat, lungs and stomach, and effected some remarkable cures, which attracted widespread attention in medical circles.
While he was undemonstrative and unassuming, Dr. Padgham was naturally interested in all matters which concerned the progress and improvement of the community in which he lived, and took a particular interest in the sanitary welfare of the town. He never aspired to public office, but gave his earnest support to the principles of the Republican party. His life was always an active one; he was a man of kindly impulses, and this together with his winning personality attracted people to him. As a member of the Methodist church he had great influence among his co-religionists, and he was also a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Foresters and the Royal Arcanum.
Dr. Padgham married in 1874, Elizabeth Clark, born in Ontario, Canada, 1851. Children:
1. Ethelbert G., born in Odessa, New York, May 9, 1875; he was graduated from the high school of Geneva, New York, entered the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1902, was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1906, and established himself in practice in Geneva the same year; he married, October 17, 1906, Grace Etta Ridenour, a native of Gallipolis, Ohio; children: Richard R., died aged three months; Grace Elizabeth Norris, born August 11, 1907; and Donald F., born September 27, 1910.
2. Eleanor Elizabeth, born October 12, 1876, died May 2, 1895.
3. Mabel Gertrude, born November z6, 1877, was graduated from the Cortland Normal School.
4. Maude Beatrice, born January 14, 1880, was graduated from the Geneva Academy.
5. Leila Blanche, born February 21, 1883, was graduated from the Cortland Conservatory of Music.