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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Ralph Pryne Huyck, M. D.

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 33-34 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Dr. Ralph Pryne Huyck of Herkimer, physician and surgeon and veteran of the World war with a distinguished service record, was born in Herkimer on the 6th of February, 1883, his parents being James Horatio and Clara Maria (Pryne) Huyck. Extended mention of his father and also of Dr. Peter Pryne, the maternal grandfather of Dr. Huyck, may be found on other pages of this work.

Coming under the influence of his talented and scientific grandfather at an early age, it is more than possible that Ralph Pryne Huyck was influenced by the older man in the choice of his profession. Be that as it may, the young man spent two years at Amherst College of Massachusetts after leaving the public and high schools of Herkimer in 1900, then in 1902 entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York city, from which he graduated with the Doctor of Medicine degree four years later. The next two years were spent in graduate work in New York in the J. Hood Wright Memorial Hospital and the Roosevelt Hospital. In 1908 the young doctor returned to Herkimer and began the private practice of his profession at No. 107 Court street, the house in which he was born. He is still in the same location. A considerable experience in the Medical Corps of the United States army during the World war brought him into close touch with some of the latest developments in surgery and gave him an excellent opportunity to perfect his skill in this branch of medical science.

Dr. Huyck was among the first of the private citizens to go to the Officers Training Camp at Plattsburg, New York, in the summer of 1916, almost a year before the United States entered the World war. He was commissioned captain in the Medical Corps of the United States army on the 17th of June, 1917, and served throughout the war, being honorably discharged on May 26, 1919. During his seventeen months of overseas service he was stationed on the Marne, Soissons, Vesle and St. Mihiel fronts and took part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive in the fall of 1918. Since his return to civilian life the Doctor has been exceedingly interested in the welfare of the ex-service men, particularly of those who were disabled during the war, and he works tirelessly in their behalf. It was mainly through his efforts that the American Legion Post No. 38 of Herkimer was organized and he was its first commander. He is a member of the executive committee, district chairman of the fifth judicial district of the American Legion, Department of New York. He is a director of the Veterans' Mountain Camp at Tupper Lake, New York, a hospital for disabled soldiers, which takes tubercular cases principally, and supervisor for the fifth judicial district of the New York Veterans' Relief Association. In addition he has been instrumental in securing compensations in many individual cases and has helped many an unfortunate veteran to help himself in the rehabilitation adjustment.

Dr. Huyck was married to Miss Nellie Burgess Hull at Haverstraw, New York, on February 1, 1908, and is the father of two children: Elinor Louise, born August 13, 1911; and James Horatio (II), born November 15, 1913. In San Francisco, California, on October 30, 1920, Dr. Huyck was united in marriage to Miss Helen Augusta Bedford, daughter of Norman and Mary Bedford of Ilion, New York. Mr. Bedford, whose death occurred in September, 1923, was long prominent in Ilion as a contractor and builder. His widow continues to reside in Ilion. Before her marriage Mrs. Huyck was a nurse by profession and during the war was in the government service, being stationed at the Debarkation Hospital at Ellis Island, New York harbor.

During the years Dr. Huyck held office as coroner, from 1912 until 1919, he earned the reputation of being one of the hardest working officials the county ever had. He was reelected to this office for a second term in the fall of 1916 by a large majority. Dr. Huyck is a republican in his political beliefs and was the candidate of that party in both of his contests for the post of coroner. Fraternally the Doctor is associated with the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He was one of the early members of the Down and Out Club of Herkimer, although not one of the charter members of that organization, and he attends the Dutch Reformed church of the village.

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