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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Frederick Homer Brewer, M. D.

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 172-173 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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In the passing of Dr. Frederick Homer Brewer, who was an efficient and successful medical practitioner of Utica for about three decades, the city sustained the loss of one of its most prominent and deeply beloved physicians. He was nearly sixty-nine years of age when called to his final rest, on the 24th of October, 1922, his birth having occurred at Griffins Mills, Erie county, New York, on November 25, 1853. The first six years of his life were spent at the place of his nativity, whence he removed to Chateaugay, and it was in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties that he received his early education. His more advanced studies were pursued in St. Lawrence University at Canton, of which institution he was a graduate. During several winter seasons he taught school in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, but he regarded this merely as an initial step to other professional labor and eventually matriculated in the Albany Medical College, which conferred upon him the degree of M. D. at his graduation in 1878. He first located for practice at Conway, Massachusetts, but at the end of a year removed to Madrid, St. Lawrence county, where he successfully followed his chosen calling for a period of fourteen years. Dr. Brewer built up a large practice in Madrid and also became very influential in the civic affairs of the town. He served as superintendent of the Sunday school in the Congregational church at Madrid during the entire period of his residence there and was likewise deeply interested in the musical life of the community.

The year 1893 witnessed Dr. Brewer's arrival in Utica, where he spent they remainder of his life and was accorded an extensive practice as a leading physician. He at once became connected with Faxton Hospital and gave lectures to the first class of nurses ever graduated from that institution. He continued to deliver lectures there almost to the time when his career was terminated by death and in his hospital work he specialized in the field of obstetrics. His office was maintained at No. 223 Genesee street in Utica. Dr. Brewer was honored with the presidency of the St. Lawrence County Medical Society, served as president of the Oneida County Medical Society for a number of years and for a few years acted as secretary of the Utica Medical Library Association. He also held membership in the New York State Medical Society and the American Medical Association.

On the 19th of November, 1879, Dr. Brewer was united in marriage to Miss Abbie Louise Bentley, daughter of John and Eunice Bentley of Chateaugay, Franklin county, New York. Dr. and Mrs. Brewer became the parents of four children: Leigh Richmond, the eldest, was born in Madrid, New York, on December 11, 1880, and departed this life on the 20th of June, 1904. Anna Louise, whose birth occurred in Madrid on April 26, 1884, is the wife of Wheaton I. Griffin of Utica and the mother of two children, Elida Wheaton, whose natal day was August 10, 1910, and Frederick Brewer, born on the 14th of April, 1914; Alice Gertrude Brewer, who was born in Utica on the 11th of February, 1893, passed away on the 14th of October following; Frederick Bentley Brewer, the youngest member of the family of Dr. Frederick H. and Abbie Louise (Bentley) Brewer, is mentioned at length on another page of this work.

In politics Dr. Brewer was an independent republican and was at all times interested in civic questions but never sought nor desired office as a reward for party fealty. Fraternally he was identified with Imperial Council No. 70 of the Arcanum, of which for many years he was medical examiner. He was the oldest living officer of the First Presbyterian church, which he joined on his arrival in Utica and in the work of which he took an active part, serving as superintendent of its Sunday school for a number of years. He was a senior elder of the church for many years and he served as secretary and treasurer of the music committee. Dr. Brewer attended services regularly and his faith was sincere and unclouded. At the time of his demise the Utica Daily Press paid him the following tribute:

"His death will be deeply regretted by all who knew him. He was devoted to his profession and to his church and was a man of modest demeanor and kindly heart. His death is a loss to this community, in which he had labored so long and successfully… Dr. Brewer was well and favorably known in Utica and vicinity and stood high in his profession. He was sympathetic and kindly and made friends of all whom he met. He was quiet and modest in his demeanor, but very efficient as a physician."

The Utica Observer-Dispatch said:

"In the passing of Dr. Brewer, Utica loses a physician of substantial worth and a citizen who richly deserved the regard in which he was held… Physicians of the city as well as the many who have come under Dr. Brewer's care through his years here will mourn in his death not only a splendid physician but a friend who was to be depended upon at all times. Conscientious in the performance of his duties, a man of poise and fine judgment, generous in every thought and deed, no one who came into contact with Dr. Brewer but left him strengthened and encouraged. He will be remembered for a long time to come and his memory loved."

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