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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Herbert Henry Williams, M. D.

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 707-708 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]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. Herbert Henry Williams, one of the best known of the younger physicians practicing in the Mohawk valley, and a veteran of the World war with an interesting overseas record and an officer's commission, is a native son of New York state and has ever maintained his residence in this state, his home city being Mohawk, in Herkimer county, since taking up his practice there in the summer of 1912. He was born in the village of Adams, in Jefferson county, this state, May 29, 1883, and is a son of George W. and Alice F. (Cowles) Williams, the latter of whom also was born in Adams, on September 24, 1852, and died there on August 27, 1908. She was a daughter of Jerome and Nancy (Cooper) Cowles, both natives of Connecticut, the latter of whom was descended from Sergeant Cooper, a soldier of the Continental army during the war of the Revolution. Jerome Cowles was a substantial farmer and he and his wife became early settlers in the town of Adams, where both spent their last days. George W. Williams, who is still living in Adams, where he has for years been engaged in the jewelry business, was born in Boyleston, Oswego county, this state, and is a son of Nelson and Phoebe Ann (Wood) Williams, the former of whom, a substantial farmer and also for some time postmaster at Boyleston, lived to be eighty-five years of age, his death occurring in Boyleston. His widow passed away in Ellisburg, in Jefferson county, about the year 1900, she then being ninety-six years of age.

Reared in Adams, Herbert Henry Williams received his local schooling in that village and in 1902 was graduated from the high school there. Having early turned his thoughts toward the study of medicine, he entered the medical department of Syracuse University, taking preparatory work there, and then took a year of special work in the University of Buffalo, after which he entered the Medical School of the University of Maryland at Baltimore, and in 1911 was graduated from that institution, one of the honor men of his class. Upon receiving his diploma Dr. Williams was given a place on the staff of the New York State Custodial Asylum at Rome, and for eighteen months applied himself there to some very intensive practical experience in his profession. He then opened an office in Mohawk, beginning there in August, 1912, and has ever since been engaged in practice there, with offices at No. 4 Otsego street.

On June 20, 1917, not long after this country had taken a hand in the World war in the spring of 1917, Dr. Williams offered his services in behalf of the Medical Corps of the army, and on August 13 he reported for active duty at the Army Medical School in Washington. On September 8 he sailed for overseas duty, landing in Liverpool on September 23, where he presently was assigned to the Royal Army Medical Corps and sent to the First Southern General Hospital in Birmingham, where he was stationed, doing surgical work, from September 28 to December 5. He then received orders to go to France, and there was attached to the Twenty-seventh Field Ambulance of the Ninth Scottish Division, British Expeditionary Forces, where he served, on the Cambria front, from December 13 to January 8, 1918. He became ill with trench fever, and was confined to the hospital until March 25. On March 28 he was assigned to service with General Hospital No. 6, British Expeditionary Forces, located at Rouen, France, where he served until April 20, when he was transferred to Stationary Hospital No. 25 of the British forces at Rouen, continuing thus detailed until November 29, when he was transferred to the Motor Transport Repair Depot of the Royal Air Force of the British Expeditionary Forces at Yvetot, France. On the following December 17-18 he was transferred to Stationary Hospital No. 25, where he remained until March 25, 1919, when he received orders to report for home duty. Dr. Williams sailed from Brest on April 17 and landed at Newport News, Virginia, on May 1. He spent a week at Camp Hill, Virginia, and then went to Camp Upton, on Long Island, where for a while he rendered service on the discharge board and where on July 1, 1919, he received his honorable discharge, with the rank of captain, to which grade he had been promoted on February 17, 1919. During his period of service in France Dr. Williams became qualified as an expert, under the regulations of the British Army Medical Corps, in the treatment of infectious and contagious diseases.

Upon the completion of his military service Dr. Williams returned to Mohawk and resumed his practice. He is a member of Crim-Shafer Post, No. 920, American Legion, of Ilion, and takes an active interest in the affairs of that patriotic order. He is affiliated with the Herkimer County Medical Society and with the New York State Medical Society, and in the deliberations of these bodies takes a proper interest. Dr. Williams is a Knights Templar Mason, including the cryptic and capitular degrees in the York Rite body, and is a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, affiliated with Ziyara Temple at Utica, and is also affiliated with Khorassan Grotto at Ilion. He is one of the charter members of Zarthan Council, No. 83, R. and S. M., of Ilion, and was the first master of that council. He is the present high priest of Iroquois Chapter, No. 236, of the Royal Arch Masons at Ilion, a Sir Knight of Little Falls Commandery, No. 26, Knights Templar, and is the present warder of the same. His blue lodge connection is with Rising Sun Lodge, No. 234, F. and A. M. of Adams.

On February 8, 1909, in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Williams was united in marriage to Miss Nina A. Westover, who was born in Hannibal, Oswego county, this state, January 8, 1888, a daughter of William H. and Adella (Whitney) Westover, the latter of whom was also born in Oswego county, in the vicinity of Parish, and they are now living in Mohawk. William H. Westover, who is a stationary engineer in Mohawk, formerly was engaged in the manufacture of cheese at Hannibal. He is a native of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Williams completed her schooling in the high school at Fulton, in her home county. Dr. and Mrs. Williams take a proper interest in the general social and cultural activities of their home town, and Mrs. Williams is the present matron of Evening Star Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star at that place. She is also a member of the White Shrine at Utica, and of the Amaranth, and the local organization of the Daughters of Liberty at Ilion. Dr. Williams has long given his interested attention to the cultivation of his musical tastes and plays acceptably on the piano, mandolin and guitar. Years ago he also played a horn in a band, and for some years while living at Adams was a member of the choir of the Methodist Episcopal church of that city. He and his wife are republicans and take a proper interest in local civic affairs.

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