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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
John T. Benham, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 37-38 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

John T. Benham, M. D., of Conesville, N. Y., one of the best known physicians in this part of the country, was born in Hudson, N. Y., October 19, 1823, son of Dr. John P. and Elizabeth (Smith) Benham. He is a descendant in the ninth generation of his emigrant ancestor, who was an Englishman, and is the fourth representative of the family in a direct line to practise medicine. The great-grandfather was Dr. Cornevius Benham, who practised in Catskill, N. Y., for many years; and his widow, who was of Dutch descent, married for her second husband Dr. Van Buren, a relative of President Martin Van Buren. Dr. Thomas Benham, the grandfather, practised in Ashland, N. Y., where he died at the age of eighty-nine years; and two of his sons, namely, John P. and Jacob, became successful physicians.

Dr. John P. Benham, the father, resided in Hudson for many years, and then, moving from that town to Conesville, practised there for the rest of his life. He was favorably known over a wide circuit as a capable physician, whose powers of endurance were unusually vigorous; and at the time of his death, which occurred at the age of seventy-three years, he was the oldest active medical practitioner in this county. He reared two children: John T., the subject of this sketch; and Margaret E., who married Edwin H. Marshall and resides in Troy, N. Y.

John T. Benham began his education in the district schools, and advanced in learning by attending the Schoharie Academy. After working at the carpenter's trade some twelve years, he took up the study of medicine with his father, who carefully directed his preparations. He also attended lectures at Woodstock and Castleton, Vt., and at the Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass. He subsequently spent a year at the Broadway Hospital, New York City, where he obtained much valuable experience, and returning to Conesville he entered upon the practice of his profession in company with his father. For over fifty years he has labored diligently and successfully in his calling, visiting the sick in all kinds of weather, apparently oblivious of his own health or comfort; and he is still remarkably vigorous and active.

Dr. Benham married for his first wife Rosanna Hoogland and for his second Anna M. Lader. He has two daughters by his first union, namely: Donna I., who married Oscar Mervin; and Margaret E., wife of Julian Myers.

The Doctor has always been a great reader and an independent thinker, accustomed to reason out things, as he says, for himself, even the deep questions of life. His religious opinions are liberal. Many kindly acts in the way of charity can be traced directly to him, and he is highly respected by the entire community.

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