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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
William W. Burgett, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 215-218 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.]

William W. Burgett, M. D., of the village of Fultonham, one of the foremost physicians and surgeons of Schoharie County, was born in Fultonham, May 14, 1860. He is the son of Charles S. and Julia A. (Teller) Burgett, and is a lineal descendant in the sixth generation of one of two brothers who came from Holland to America in the early part of the eighteenth century and settled on Manhattan Island. They bought land, and afterward leased one hundred acres near the present site of Trinity Church in New York City, for a term of ninety-nine years. Both married, and both had sons in the Revolutionary army. "Burghardt," the original spelling of their surname, was retained until within a comparatively few years.

Millbury Burghardt, or Burgett, the next in line of descent, was a pioneer of Schoharie County, and the founder of the family in Fulton, where he reared his eight children, one of whom, Millbury, was the succeeding ancestor. Storm Burgett, son of Conrad Burgett, was the Doctor's grandfather. He was born in Fulton, and there he lived and died. He owned the farm now in the possession of Mr. C. E. Markham, of whom a brief sketch may be found on another page of this volume. He was a wagon-maker and carpenter by trade, occupations at which he worked in conjunction with farming, and was well known as one of the most industrious and thrifty men of the community. To Storm Burgett and his wife, whose maiden name was Sally Banner, six children were born, three of whom are living; namely, Charles S., Lydia, wife of Timothy Becker, and Peter.

Charles S. Burgett was born in Fulton, August 30, 1831, and spent his earlier years on the hone farm. He subsequently learned the blacksmith's trade, at which he continued to work until 1866, when he bought the hotel which he has since managed successfully. He is a stanch Democrat in politics, but has never been an aspirant for official honors. Both he and his wife are members of the Lutheran church. In 1851 he married Julia A. Teller, who was born August 4, 1832, in Fulton.

Her father, Cornelius Teller, spent the entire sixty-one years of his life in this town, being engaged during his active period in agricultural pursuits on a small farm that he had bought near his boyhood's home. He was one of the leading Democrats of this vicinity, and served as a Tax Collector two terms in the earlier part of this century, when the entire receipts for the year were but one thousand one hundred dollars, against the eight thousand dollars collected in 1898. His wife, Lavinia Vroman, was a daughter of Martin Vroman, a lifelong farmer of what is now the town of Middleburg; and Lavinia Vroman's mother, the grandmother of Mrs. Charles S. Burgett, was before marriage a Miss Zeie, who was born in Middleburg in Colonial days, and from the age of seven to fourteen years, during the entire period of the Revolution, lived in the Upper Fort. Cornelius Teller's father, William Teller, was born in Schenectady, N.Y,, whence he came when a young man to this county, and in 1800 settled in the town of Middleburg, where he lived until his death, at the age of forty-two years. He was a shoemaker by trade. After coming here he married Maggie Feeck, the descendant of one of the original settlers of this part of the county. She survived him, living to the age of fifty-six years. Both were active members of the Reformed church. They reared eight children.

Of the five children born of the union of Charles S. and Julia A. (Teller) Burgett, three are still living; namely, Marion, the Doctor, and Laura. Marion, after the death of her first husband, Frank P. Haynes, married Warren P. Hollenbeck, a prominent farmer in the town of Broome, N. Y. Laura married first Harland Haynes, of Fulton, who died leaving her with one child, Marion Harland. She is now the wife of F. J. Graham, a shoe dealer of New York City, and has one child by this marriage, Mildred. Both parents are members of the Lutheran church.

William W. Burgett obtained the rudiments of his education in the public schools of Fultonham, and was further advanced in learning by a course of study at the high school under Professor Sias, of whom a biographical sketch appears elsewhere in this Review. A short time he spent as a clerk in the store of H. T. Kingsley, and he taught school one term in Fulton. Going then to Schoharie, he read medicine two years with Dr. Layman, after which he entered the medical department of the University of New York City, from which he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine in March, 1882, at the age of twenty-one years. In addition to the regular curriculum of the university, he took special clinical examinations at Bellevue Hospital under Professor William H. Thompson, while at the same hospital he received private instruction in physical diagnosis from Professor Alfred L. Loomis, in operative surgery from Professor J. W. Wright, and in urinary analyses under Professor John C. Draper. Returning to Fultonham immediately after his graduation, Dr. Burgett here began the duties of his profession, and has since built up a large and successful patronage as a general medical practitioner. In 1884 he erected his present residence in the village, and also a substantial barn on the same lot. He has served a number of terms on the local Board of Health, and for six years has been County Coroner. Politically, he is a sound Democrat. He is a member of the Schoharie County Medical Society, of which he has been vice-president and president. He is also a member of Middleburg Lodge, No. 663, F. & A. M., and is at present Master of Fultonham Grange, No. 809.

On September 25, 1883, Dr. Burgett married Miss Maggie E. Schaeffer, who was born in Fulton, daughter of Hendrick Schaeffer, a retired farmer of Fulton. Among the pioneer settlers of the town of Schoharie was Christian Schaeffer, one of the largest landholders of that locality, whose son, Jacob Henry, born in Schoharie in 1808, was the grandfather of Mrs. Burgett. Grandfather Schaeffer was a lifelong agriculturist of Schoharie, where he spent his eighty-eight years of earthly existence, and was one of its most esteemed citizens. He was a Republican in politics, and served as an Overseer of the Poor. He contributed liberally toward the support of the Lutheran church, of which he was one of the oldest and most influential members. His wife, Ann Alida Groesbeck, who died at the age of eighty-four years, bore him ten children. Hendrick Schaeffer married Helen Borst, a native of Middleburg, and a daughter of Peter H. Borst, the representative of an early family of Schoharie County, and himself one of the most wealthy and prominent of its farmers. He was a member of the Lutheran church, and his death, at the age of sixty-five years, removed from that organization one of its substantial supporters. His wife, Nancy Effner, a lifelong resident of Middleburg, died in 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Hendrick Schaeffer reared four children, of whom three are living, as follows: Charles, a farmer in Schoharie; Alida, wife of Seneca Haynes; and Maggie E., now Mrs. Burgett. Peter, a carpenter, died at the age of thirty-five years.

Dr. and Mrs. Burgett have two children, namely: William Layman, who was named for one of the Doctor's early preceptors; and Charles Leland. Dr. Burgett is an elder and one of the trustees of the Lutheran church, and Mrs. Burgett also is an active church member, and for many years has been a teacher in the Sunday-school.

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