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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Robert Selden, M. D.

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[This information is from pp. 47-48 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.]

Robert Selden, M. D., a leading physician of Catskill, N. Y., residing at 271 Main Street, was born in Shanesville, Ohio, on August 21, 1847, his parents being Dr. Orrin G. and Catherine (Hall) Selden. His grandfather, Robert Selden, was a Scotchman, by occupation a miller. He came to this country when his son Orrin was seven years of age, and, settling in Massachusetts, worked at farming there during the remainder of his life. The maiden name of his wife was Balfour.

Orrin Selden was brought up on a farm, and followed agricultural pursuits until he became of age. His education was received in the common schools and in the academy at Haverhill. While still a young man he went to Ohio, where he taught school for some time. He subsequently studied medicine, and practised in Ohio and Wisconsin. He settled in Catskill in 1877, and here he resided until his death in 1894, one of the leading practitioners of this vicinity. His wife, Catherine, was born in Winsted, Conn. She was the daughter of Reuben Hall, a shoemaker by trade, who espoused the cause of the black man and early allied himself with the anti-slavery party. He went south, and started a school and Sunday-school for negroes at Fayetteville, but was burned out, losing all his property. He then removed to Pennsylvania and later to Ohio, where he died at the age of eighty. Orrin G. Selden and his wife were the parents of three children, of whom there are living Robert and Mary. Mrs. Selden died at the age of fifty-two. She was brought up a Methodist, but after her marriage she joined the Presbyterian church, of which her husband was a member.

Robert Selden spent his early life in Ohio. He read medicine with his father, and then took a course at the Charity Hospital Medical College, of Cleveland, from which he was graduated in 1870. He began practice at Shanesville with his father, and continued there after the latter removed to Wisconsin. Subsequently the father and son were associated inpractice here until the death of the father. Dr. Robert Selden has been here since 1882. He has a very large practice and one that is constantly increasing. His patients are to be found not only in the village, but in all the outlying districts.

Dr. Selden was married in 1880 to Charlotte E. Gardiner, daughter of William H. Gardiner. She was born in Whitesboro, N. Y., where her father was a physician. Later he went to Ohio. While there he received an appointment as post surgeon for the army at Nashville, and while engaged in the discharge of the duties of that position he was attacked with cholera, which proved fatal. His wife, Emily Hull, bore him six children, of whom the living are: Mrs. Buss, of Cleveland; Mrs. Selden; and Emily H. Dr. and Mrs. Selden have two daughters — Catherine E. and Fannie, both of whom are attending school.

The Doctor is a member of the New York Medical Association, and has been its vice-president; also a member of the Greene County Medical Society, of which he has been president. He has read numerous valuable papers on medical subjects before both organizations. He has been a Mason since 1870. He holds membership in Catskill Lodge, No. 468, F. & A. M., of which he is a trustee and a Past Master; in Catskill Royal Arch Chapter, No. 285, of which he is a charter member and present High Priest; in Lafayette Commandery, K. T., of Hudson, of which he is Past Commander; in Mystic Shrine, Cypress Temple, of Albany; in the Fraternal Union of Anointed High Priests, which includes the highest officers from the various Royal Arch Chapters of the State; and in the Association of Templar Knights Commanders. He is medical examiner for a number of the largest insurance companies and for the A. O. U. W., of which he is a member and has been for several years financier. In politics the Doctor is a Democrat. He was Town Supervisor for one year. His library, of which he is justly proud, is the largest and finest private library in the county. Dr. and Mrs. Selden are members of St. Luke Episcopal Church, and he has been for a number of years a vestryman.

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