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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
George Haner, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 27-29 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.]

George Haner, M. D., an able physician and prominent citizen of Tannersville, Greene County, N.Y., was born in Prattsville, Greene County, on the 6th of August, 1847. His sole heritage was that of an unsullied name and a constitution which had been developed through generations of industrious sons of the soil. For three generations the Haners and their wives have been hard-working, persevering, and in some degree successful citizens of Greene County.

Martinus Haner, the Doctor's great-grandfather, was one of the pioneers who came to Prattsville from the more settled regions of Columbia County. He immediately engaged in peeling bark for the tanneries, which at that time formed the chief industry of the neighborhood. This pursuit he followed as long as his health permitted him to work. His son Martin continued the gathering and sale of bark, but besides this he cleared a large farm and won by his diligent application a degree of prosperity and comfort.

Martin Haner married Miss Shoemaker, a native of Columbia County, by whom he had seven children, namely: Isaac; Henry; William M., the Doctor's father; Patty M.; Elizabeth; Lavinia; and Mima Ann. Patty M. married Samuel Chamberlain, who is no longer living; Lavinia became Mrs. Spencer; Mima Ann was married to Henry Palmer; and Elizabeth became the wife of Edward Cronk. Martin Haner brought up his children in such a way as to fit them for the battle of life; and, if he did not leave them a fortune, he at least taught them to win their own way to respect and independence. His wife died at the age of fifty, but for a few years more he remained with his family, closing an honorable life, with the love and respect of all who knew him, at the age of sixty-six.

William M. Haner, like his brothers and sisters, obtained his education in the common schools of the town. In the course of time he took possession of a part of the old homestead property, which he farmed with some success until 1866, when he removed to Jewett. There he purchased a farm, but he only occupied it one year; and then selling it he removed to the town of Roxbury, near Grand Gorge, Delaware County. Here he purchased a large dairy farm, which he continued to occupy until 1895. He is now (July, 1899) seventy-six years of age, and is living with his children at Tannersville. He is a Democrat in politics, and has held office as Road Commissioner and Overseer of the Poor.

His wife, Cornelia, was a daughter of Jacob and Jennie (Stanley) Maginnes, who also were among the first settlers in Prattsville. She became the mother of eight children, four of whom are still living, namely: George, the subject of this sketch; Jennie E.; Homer H.; and Clark R. Jennie E. is the wife of Charles Voss, the genial Postmaster of Tannersville, a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in the Review. Homer has been for twenty years general agent for the Davis Sewing Machine Company, and for upward of three years he represented their interests in Australia. Clark is a book-keeper and clerk, and resides at Tannersville. Mrs. Cornelia M. Haner died on May 15, 1899, at the age of seventy-three. She was for many years a useful and honored member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Thus it will be seen that George Haner started in life with no great advantages, but such as he had he turned to the very best account. All that the common schools of Prattsville had to give he devoured with avidity, and speedily made his way at eighteen years of age from the pupils' bench to the teacher's desk. Quiet and reserved though he was, his efficient work soon called the attention of trustees and school commissioners, and he successively and successfully taught in the schools of Red Falls, Jewett Centre, Windham, and Prattsville in Greene County, and Gilboa, Gallupville, and Middleburg in the neighboring county of Schoharie. With the power to teach came the love of and craving for more knowledge and he very soon proceeded to Fort Edward Institute, where he took an advanced course of study. A period was, however, put to his attendance at this school through lack of funds, but, nothing daunted, he turned to manual labor to supply his needs in this direction. He obtained work as a carpenter, and it was while thus engaged that a direction was given to his mind which determined his choice of a lifework. He was assisting to build a house for Dr. D. M. Leonard at Broome Centre, Schoharie County, and in discussing his future with that gentleman he was advised by him to adopt the profession of medicine. Taking this advice, he at once began his studies with Dr. Leonard, with whom he remained until he entered the Medical College of the New York University from which he was graduated in the class of 1877. Thus equipped, Dr. Haner took up his residence in the town of Conesville, where he practised with success until 1880, when he came to Tannersville.

In 1880 Tannersville was only a small village, and the arrival of a young doctor with a university diploma and some experience was indeed an acquisition. He very speedily impressed the inhabitants with his professional knowledge and ability, and as the years have rolled along his practice has increased and his reputation as a skilful physician has continued to grow. For ten years he practised without opposition. Besides his ordinary practice he has a large clientele among the many city boarders who visit Tannersville during the summer months, and among whom he is deservedly popular, both from a professional and social point of view. His present residence was erected in 1881, but it has been recently enlarged and beautified and made complete by a most convenient suite of offices.

In politics the Doctor is a Democrat. He has twice represented his town as Supervisor, and during the latter term was chairman of the board. The esteem of his fellow-citizens has also been manifested in his election to the office of Coroner for three terms of three years each.

His public spirit has led him to take an active interest in all that concerned the prosperity and development of the village in which he resides. He was one of the incorporators and its first president. He took measures for the laying out of its sidewalks, and was a member of the building committee which erected the first public school-building.

In 1877 Dr. Haner was united in marriage to Miss Agnes More, of Roxbury, Delaware County, a daughter of Andrew and Ann E. (Hardenburgh) More and a third cousin of the late Jay Gould. She had two sisters, Cornelia and Kate, and she has one brother, Samuel P. Kate was married to Mr. M. L. Benham. Samuel P. More is a publisher in Great Bend, Pa. Dr. and Mrs. Haner have one daughter, Helen.

The Doctor is a charter member of the Mount Tabor Lodge, F. & A. M., and belonged formerly to the Gilboa Lodge. He is a member of the County Medical Society, of which he has been secretary for three years, and also of the New York Physicians' Mutual Aid Association.

Dr. Haner is also a prominent and enthusiastic member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and actively and generously participated in the movement which resulted in the erection of the present beautiful edifice in Tannersville belonging to that body. He worked indefatigably in the erection of the Methodist Episcopal parsonage, and to these objects combined has contributed upward of five hundred dollars.

His interest in Sunday-school work dates back to his Conesville days, when he was superintendent of the school; and ever since he came to Tannersville he has been ready with hand and brain, sympathy and purse, to advance the work of God in the church of his choice. He has held almost every office that a layman can hold, representing his brethren at both the district and annual conferences, and is at the present time a trustee.

Dr. Haner is yet in the prime of life, and if spared will be of inestimable service to the community amid which he resides.

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