William Knapp, who lives at Bainbridge, is believed to have been the first physician who practiced in this locality. He removed to Elmira. Dr. Nathan Boynton, who was located at Bettsburgh, and Drs. Starkey and Root, who studied with Boynton, and the latter of whom practiced in company with him at Bettsburgh, practiced here at an early day. They all removed to Elmira.
Abraham Benton, brother of Orange Benton, studied medicine with Dr. Boynton at Bettsburgh and settled in the village on the east side of the river, where he practiced several years nearly fifty years ago. He was a noted temperance man. He sold out in 1837 to Elam Bartlett and removed to Illinois. Dr. Bartlett practiced some ten years, when he bought a small farm in the town of Colesville, on which he died, January 9, 1862, aged 53. Herschel D. Spencer, M. D., came in from Lisle, his native place, and bought out Dr. Bartlett. He practiced here till his death July 27, 1857, aged 33. Dr. Koon, who came from Mt. Upton, succeeded Spencer, and remained about three years.
The present physicians are James B. Cook, Philetus A. Hayes and George Bissell.
James B. Cook, was born in Harwinton, Litchfield Co., Conn., July 20, 1817, and studied medicine in Oswego, N. Y., with Drs. Gardner and Brown, with whom he remained a little over two years. He next pursued his studies for one year with Dr. Frank Hine, in Franklin, Delaware County. He attended courses of lectures at the Fairfield Medical School in 1838 and ‘9, and in 1840 he attended a course of lectures at the Albany Medical Institute, where he was graduated in Feb’y, 1841. He commenced practice the latter year in Hobart, Delaware County, and removed thence in January, 1842, to Afton, where he is still practicing.
Philetus A. Hayes was born in Castle Creek, Broome County, September 10, 1848. He commenced the study of medicine in his native place with Dr. S. P. Allen, with whom he remained two years, one year before entering college and one between terms. He entered Geneva Medical College in the fall of 1868, and was graduated January 27, 1870. He commenced practice at Killawog, Broome county, immediately after graduating, and a year afterwards he removed to Afton, where he has since practiced.
George Bissell came from Valcour Island, Clinton county, N. Y., in the spring of 1877, and practiced a few months, till about the 1st of December, when he returned to Clinton County. He again came in the fall of 1878 and has since practiced here.