Dr. Thomas L. Harris
(December 18, 1824- )
Dr. THOMAS L. HARRIS, a brief sketch of whose life is here given, was born in Cazenovia,
Madison Co., N. Y., on the 18th of Dec., 1824.
He is the eldest in a family of six children, five of whom are now living. His parents WILLIAM
and SEMANTHA HARRIS were, with the exception of a few years, life-long residents of
Cazenovia. The doctor's facilities for securing an early education, except those of the district
schools were far inferior to those of the present day. Much of his time during the early years of
his life was, in the summer, occupied in agricultural pursuits. Having a desire for mental culture
and discipline, he spent a large share of his leisure time in reading and study. This method of
securing an education without collegiate advantages was attended with many difficulties,
which with decision of character and persevering effort he overcame, and at the age of twenty-
one years, with a desire for honorable distinction, and the means of obtaining a competence, he
entered the office of Dr. GEORGE SHELDON, a prominent and successful practitioner of the
time, and commenced the study of medicine. A previous though somewhat limited knowledge of
Physiology and Anatomy, was now made available in the further prosecution of his medical
In the year 1848 having concluded the requisite course of reading and study and being deemed
qualified by a board of medical examiners he commenced the practice of medicine. In 1854, he
was married to Miss SARAH N. HATCH, of Cazenovia. As the result of this union, during an
interval of thirteen years, four children were born, three of whom, two sons and one daughter are
now living. During a long residence in Cazenovia, and an extensive and successful practice,
extending over a term of thirty years, the doctor has found time to fill several official positions of
trust to which he has been elected by an intelligent constituency. For a term of years he held the
position of surgeon on the staff of Col. T. F. PETRIE and Col. JAMES WHITFORD. In the spring
of 1862 having sustained a creditable examination he received the diploma of the Metropolitan
Medical College. In 1864 he passed the examination of the Board of Censors and was duly
elected a permanent member of the Eclectic Medical Society of the State of New York.
At the Annual Meeting of the Society in New York, Dr. HARRIS was unanimously elected
president of the same and as an executive officer contributes to the success of that body, and
the credit of himself.
The doctor has for many years been closely identified with, and a zealous worker in the cause of
temperance, a co-laborer with others for the elevation of humanity.
An acute sense of individual responsibility and a strong conviction of accountability present and
future has ever made him an earnest student, and worker in the cause of reform. As a citizen, Dr.
HARRIS has the esteem and confidence of the community. As a physician a constantly increasing
and eminently successful practice speaks for itself.
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 683.
Transcribed by Sandy Goodspeed
Date: Saturday, August 28, 1999 05:21 PM
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