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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Ernest E. Billings, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 368-370 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.]

Ernest E. Billings, M. D., the leading physician of Gilboa, Schoharie County, N. Y., is a native of Broome, this State. He was born on September 29, 1859, to Peter L. and Amelia (Brayman) Billings. His great-grandfather Billings came to this place from Connecticut. He was of English ancestry.

The Doctor's paternal grandfather, John Billings, lived and died in this county, and was a lifelong farmer. His children were as follows: Thaddeus; Peter; Charles; William; Emma, who is the wife of Lewis Brazee; Ellen, who is the widow of Emerson Campbell; and Luther, who died at the age of twenty-one years. Charles and William Billings both reside in this county.

Peter Billings during the greater part of his active life was engaged in farming at Broome, but he lived for a time in Greene County. Politically, he was a stanch Republican. For a number of years he was Poormaster. He was a member of the old school Baptist church and one of its most zealous upholders. His four children were: Ernest E. and Erwin B., twins; Anna, who married Albert Palmer; and Burton, who died at the age of twenty-three years.

Ernest E. Billings during his boyhood attended school at Broome and subsequently at Rensselaerville Academy. In his early years he had access to a well-selected library, which probably in a measure determined the course of his later life. This library consisted largely of works of science and history. It had been accumulated by his maternal grandfather, Benjamin Brayman, who resided in Broome. Mr. Brayman was a genuine lover of books. Not a volume on his shelves but was one of value and standing, and not one that he had not read and digested. His memory for facts was wonderful, and no one hereabouts could equal him in extent of knowledge. He was extremely logical, and could floor any one in an argument. Withal, he was a successful man of affairs. At that time, when good books, or indeed books of any sort, were difficult to get, his library unquestionably exerted a great influence in moulding the future of his grandson.

After leaving school Ernest E. Billings taught for four or five terms, as also his twin brother, who subsequently obtained a State certificate. From boyhood it had been his ambition to be a physician, and accordingly, as soon as the opportunity presented itself, he began the study of medicine with his uncle, Dr. E. Brayman, of Livingstonville. After a year spent there he entered the medical department of the University of the City of New York in 1881, and in 1884 he was graduated at that institution with the coveted degree of Doctor of Medicine. While there he showed especial proficiency in mathematics and in microscopy. He was one of two to receive a certificate in the latter study. He immediately began the practice of his profession in Conesville, where he remained until October 5, 1887. Since that time he has been settled in Gilboa. The Doctor still has more or less practice in Conesville, and, in fact, in the four counties of Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, and Albany. His calmness at all times and his sympathy in the sick-room fortify him for attendance on the most serious or critical cases, and his warm heart and generous expression of feeling win for him the lasting gratitude of his patients and their friends. He has made a special study of the diseases of women and children.

Politically, the Doctor is a Republican. He was Town Clerk in Broome in 1882, and is at the present time Health Officer of Gilboa. Since 1890 he has been a member of the Dutch Reformed church. For two years he was a Deacon in the church, and for the last three years has been Elder. He is a Mason of Gilboa Lodge, No. 630, and at the present time secretary of the lodge. Professionally, he is a member of the Schoharie County Medical Society. He is one of the stockholders in the weekly paper published at Gilboa.

Dr. Billings married Carrie Richtmyer, daughter of Peter Richtmyer and descendant of one of the old and honored families of this vicinity. They have one child, Ernestine.

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