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

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[This information is from Vol. III, p. 784 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]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. Peter Pryne, deceased, was a worthy representative of a family that has been long and honorably connected with the history of New York, for the Prynes are known to have been settled in Albany as early as the year 1661. He was born in Frankfort, Herkimer county, this state, on the 20th of June, 1820, his father being Francis Pryne, who bore arms for his country in the War of 1812. Peter Pryne, the paternal grandfather, served in the Revolutionary war and was wounded in the battle of Oriskany.

Peter Pryne, whose name introduces this article, was educated in the schools of Frankfort and Rome and commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Arba Blair at Rome. He continued his studies with Dr. Andrew Doolittle and graduated from the Geneva Medical College on the 27th of January, 1846. He took up the work of his chosen profession in Herkimer, where he was engaged in active practice until 1860, when he was appointed physician for Sing Sing prison, a position he filled very ably for ten years. Returning to Herkimer, he practically retired from his profession and spent much time in the study of natural history, being the owner of one of the finest and most complete collections of birds and small animals of anyone in this part of the country. Indeed, he was frequently quoted by English journals as an authority on scientific subjects. He was well educated, thoroughly informed on all current topics and a most intelligent conversationalist. At the time of his death his property holdings included the valuable real estate at the corner of Main street and Park avenue and a farm on the creek road.

Dr. Pryne was twice married, being first joined in wedlock to Miss Jane Byers, who passed away in 1879, leaving two children: Eugene and Clara M., the latter the widow of James H. Huyck. The following year Dr. Pryne was married to Miss Mary C. Weber. The Doctor was a republican of the old school and for many years his vote was the first to be cast in his election district. He was a worthy exemplar of the teachings and purposes of the Masonic fraternity, to which he belonged for many years, and was also an honorary member of the Herkimer County Historical Society. As a private citizen and as a man Dr. Pryne's life was worthy of the highest admiration. One of the local papers which published a review of his career at the time of his death said:

"He was a good citizen, a kind and indulgent parent and always an honest man whose word was as good as his bond."

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http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/resources/mvgw/bios/pryne_peter.html updated February 28, 2012

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