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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Willard T. Rivenburg, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 234-235 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.]

Willard T. Rivenburg, M. D., a well-known medical practitioner of Middleburg, N. Y., was born in the village of Chatham in Ghent, Columbia County, this State, on November 25, 1863, son of J. Morgan and Charlotte (Tipple) Rivenburg. As his name indicates, he is of Dutch ancestry, although his family has been settled in New York for many years.

His grandfather, Henry Rivenburg, was born in Columbia County, and there spent his entire life. He helped in clearing a part of the farm which he occupied and carried on. The Doctor's father was an agriculturist, and was a man highly respected in his town. He was killed by the cars at the age of thirty-seven. His wife, who was born in Otsego County, was descended from Revolutionary stock. She was also related to Walter Gunn, who with his wife was in the mission field in India, under the auspices of the Lutheran church. Both parents were members of the Reformed church at Ghent. Of their three children, two grew to maturity. These are the Doctor and John Rivenburg, Superintendent of Poor for Columbia County and a coal dealer at Ghent.

Dr. Rivenburg was educated at the Boys' Academy, Troy, the South Berkshire Institute, Mass., and the University of Buffalo, from the last named of which he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1885. While in college he was president of the Alpha Omega Delta Society, and his society sheepskin bears his own official signature as such. He was the founder of the college society known as the "Secret Seven." Dr. Rivenburg first settled for practice at Blenheim, but after a short stay there he came, in 1887, to Middleburg, where he has won a position of influence. He covers a wide area in his professional visits, and receives calls for consultation from physicians residing twenty-five miles distant.

The Doctor was married on October 14, 1891, to Belle Stanton, a graduate of the Albany Female Academy and a daughter of John Stanton, who was a merchant, and later railroad station agent of this town. She was born on the homstead of her grandmother, not far from here, and is descended from one of the oldest and most honored families in this region. Among her ancestors was brave General James Dana, who was immortalized by Washington in his first general order immediately following the battle of Bunker Hill, where Dana, then Captain, commanded a company of the Connecticut line of Continental troops.

Dr. Rivenburg is a physician of the county almshouse. He has served as president and vice-president of the Medical Society of Schoharie County, and is now medical examiner for several well-known insurance companies, chief of which are the Mutual Life of New York, the North-western, the Penn, the Brooklyn, the Nederland, the Manhattan, the Bankers', and the United States Accident. In 1886 he took a post-graduate course at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He is a charter member of the John M. Scribner Hook and Ladder Company, and for five years was in active service, since which time he has been on the reserve list. Fraternally, he is Master of Middleburg Lodge, No. 663, F. & A. M.; and Past Sachem of Oucongena Tribe, No. 240, I. O. R. M. He is treasurer of the Village Corporation; also a trustee of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran church, and assistant superintendent of the Sunday-school.

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