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An Historical Sketch of the Seneca County Medical Society

At the anniversary meeting of the Seneca County Medical Society held at Waterloo, July 23, 1885, a resolution was introduced by Dr. S. R. Welles, and adopted by the Society, that a committee be appointed which should prepare biographical sketches of members of the Society from its earliest history to the present time. As a result, this manuscript was published which includes 75 biographies of the early pioneers of the Seneca County Medical Society.

Biography of Martin Schoonmaker

Much has been written in this historical work of the banks and bankers of Rock Island and Moline. However, in estimating the financial strength of Rock Island County the banks and bankers of its smaller municipalities are deserving of very prominent mention, for they are the tributaries of larger financial institutions and have an important part in swelling the stream of the county’s prosperity. To the village bank comes the farmer from the surrounding countryside and deposits the golden fruits of his toil. From the proprietor of that bank its customers may ask and receive sound financial advice. He is their friend and adviser as well as their banker. The farm loan, that solid rock of financial investment, is placed with him, or is negotiated through some larger banking institution through his agency. Upon the stability and security of these smaller banks, as well as upon the honor and integrity of those in control of them, rests the whole superstructure of the confidence and trust reposed in them. With these thoughts in mind we are now to consider the life and character of Martin Schoonmaker, the banker at the Village of Reynolds in this county, one of Rock Island County’s most influential citizens. He was born October 21, 1834, in Green County, New York, his parents being Christian and Sylvia Schoonmaker. Both Mr. Schoonmaker’s parents were natives of this country. His paternal grandfather came to America from Germany at a very early date. Martin Schoonmaker received such education as was afforded at that early time in the common schools of his native county, receiving sound instruction in the common...

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