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  An Eminent Franklinville Physicia
 
 
The Honorable Alfred Spring wrote a biographical sketch of Dr. Henry Van Aernam describing him as a man who made a marked impression on the people in Cattaraugus County. This esteemed physician was born in Marcellus in Onondaga County on March 11, 1819 and came with his family to Mansfield in 1822.

His early education happened in a log school house and was later supplemented by a term or two as a district school teacher. He clerked in the store of William Ellicott and as a young man went to Virginia and engaged in the construction of the Kanawha Canal. He served as a paymaster and confidential clerk of the William Pierce & Company.

He returned home and attended Springville Academy. In 1841 he began the study of medicine with Dr. Levi Goldsborough in Otto. He attended Geneva Medical College but received his diploma from Willoughby College in Ohio.

After graduation he practiced his profession in the Village of Allegany until he moved to Franklinville in 1848 where he resided throughout the remainder of his career. On November 30, 1845 he married Amy M. Ethridge, a marriage that lasted for decades.

He had the remarkable ability to accurately diagnose diseases and had an intuitive insight into the mental characteristics of his patients. He was sympathetic to those he treated vigorously and was willing to ride out to the huts of the poor as well as the homes of the rich. He was considered the expert when it came to determining the pathology of the most difficult patients and even after he became crippled and unable to continue with his daily practice, his judgment was regarded as the ultimate authority.

Early in life he turned to politics and was a charter member of the Republican Party with strong feelings of Abolitionism. He became a political convention organizer. In 1867 he was elected to the Legislature from the First Assembly District of the County.

 
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