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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
James Wetherwax Graves, M. D.

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 646-649 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Portrait of James Wetherwax Graves, M. D.

Portrait: James Wetherwax Graves, M. D.

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Dr. James Wetherwax Graves is the second generation of his family to engage in the practice of medicine in Herkimer, his father, George Graves, M. D., having been a practicing physician and surgeon of this village and the surrounding community for more than half a century. George Graves was the son of Ezra and Mariah (Card) Graves, and was born in Herkimer, May 20, 1848. He received his early education in the Fairfield Academy, graduating from the former in 1867. Entering the medical department of the University of Buffalo, he obtained his M. D. degree in the class of 1870 and straightway opened an office for the practice of his profession in Ilion, New York. Two years later the young physician returned to Herkimer to establish himself in medical practice and has since enjoyed a liberal patronage from his fellow villagers and the people from the surrounding district, many of whom have employed him as their family physician for two or more generations. His office is now located at No. 216 North Main street. Dr. George Graves was at one time an assistant surgeon in the National Guard of New York state and United States examining physician for years. He also held the post of surgeon for the Adirondack & St. Lawrence Railroad Company. His father, who was born in the town of Russia, Herkimer county, December 1, 1803, and died at Herkimer, January 8, 1883, at the venerable age of eighty [Editorial note: 79, if the dates are correct], was a lawyer and county judge for Herkimer county for twelve years. His wife, Mariah (Card) Graves, was also a native of this county, her birth occurring on August 31, 1803. She died in Herkimer, New York, on August 23, 1884. Dr. George Graves was married to Harriet Wetherwax, daughter of James and Delia (Feeter) Wetherwax, the former a farmer of this county and at one time sheriff. James Wetherwax was born in the town of Manheim, Herkimer county, and died there on January 1, 1884. Harriet (Wetherwax) Graves was born in November, 1854, and died in Herkimer, on March 29, 1889.

James Wetherwax Graves was only five years old when he lost his mother, his birth having occurred on January 24, 1884, in Herkimer. He graduated from the high school of Herkimer in the class of 1903 and spent the ensuing three years at Syracuse University, following which he entered the University of Vermont, which conferred upon him the M. D. degree in 1908. Returning to his native village, the young physician began the practice of his profession, in which he has met with gratifying success. In addition to his very large private practice Dr. Graves is a member of the staff of the Herkimer Hospital. He is now serving his third term as coroner for Herkimer, having held that office for eight years consecutively. During the World war he enlisted for service in the Medical Corps at Syracuse, and on October 25, 1918, was ordered to the Base Hospital at Camp Devens for active duty. He was honorably discharged from the army shortly after the armistice was signed, on December 6, 1918, with the rank of first lieutenant, Medical Corps.

In his political views the Doctor is a republican. He is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine and is also identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. His clubs are the Herkimer Exchange and Down and Out Clubs of the village, Little Falls Country Club, and Fort Schuyler Club of Utica. Dr. Graves is also connected with the Herkimer fire department.

At Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on June 6, 1910, Dr. Graves was married to Miss Bessie E. Weart, daughter of Elusas and Emma (Reed) Weart, who was born at Bradford, Pennsylvania, on December 26, 1888. Mrs. Weart is a native of Newport, New York, and Mr. Weart of Norway, the former born in 1848, and the latter in 1845. Mr. Weart is general manager of the Jarecki Manufacturing Plant, makers of oil and gas supplies. Mrs. Graves belongs to Christ Episcopal church of Herkimer and is a member of the Auxiliary of the American Legion in the village. Dr. and Mrs. Graves have a daughter, Harriet Bessie Graves, born December 7, 1912, in Herkimer.

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