David N. Barker, Broadalbin
Some Events In the Life of
Kindly written and contributed by Broadalbin
Historian, Gordon Cornell.
David Newton Barker, while not Broadalbin's first doctor, was one of the early physicians. He was born August 26, 1821 at Edinburgh, Saratoga County, N. Y., the son of Ichabod Barker and Susan Olmstead. Ichabod was born in Poughkeepsie. D. N. Barker is listed in Edinburgh town records as an inspector of elections in 1845 and 1847. On June 14, 1848, he received his degree as Doctor of Medicine from Vermont State Medical College at Castleton, Vermont.
Dr. Barker set up practice in Broadalbin following his graduation, and he and his first wife, Martha, had a son Philo E. prior to her death on July 11, 1851. The doctor next married Mary Elizabeth, the daughter of Reuben and Harriet Priest. Mary Elizabeth was born at Stillwater, New York. The Barkers had a daughter, Charlotte Alice, born February 27, 1862, Mary Elizabeth died March 12, 1890.
During the thirty five or more years that Dr. Barker maintained a practice he had an office in Broadalbin and for years one in Mayfield as well.
On September 1, 1881, Dr. Barker's daughter, Charlotte (Lottie) was married to Henry Clement Finch of Broadalbin. The ceremony was performed by Rev. S. W. Clemans of the Broadalbin Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Clemans was a cousin of Samuel Clemens who used the pen name of Mark Twain.
In March 1882, Henry Clement Finch graduated from Albany Medical College and joined his father-in-law, Dr. Barker, in his practice in Broadalbin and Mayfield.
An 1868 map of Broadalbin shows that Dr. Barker resided in the house at the corner of North Main Street and School Street. Some of our senior citizens will remember this house as that of Richard H. Lee, our Town Supervisor many years ago. John Sniezak and his family resided there prior to the time it was razed in the 1950's and a market now occupies the site.
Advertisements on file inform us that Dr. Barker marketed "Improved Anti-bilious pills" and "Anti-dyspeptic pills". He also offered "Dr. Barkers alternative, a general condition medicine for horses and cattle." It Lists "Dr. Barker, proprietor and manufacturer, Broadalbin, New York."
The good doctor did not stop with those offerings noted above. We also find an ad telling us "Getting out of the old Rut. Barker's shifting draft bars for cutters and sleighs." Following an explanation on how this works can be found "Manufactured and sold at Broadalbin, Fulton County, New York."
There seems to be little question that David Barker had an interest in treating both man an beast. He also remained active in our community and in the Methodist Church as well. Two news articles found in the local paper support this idea as seen below. In the July 7, 1882, issue of the Broadalbin Herald can be found the following "The person who took an umbrella that did not belong to him from behind the hand rail in the M. E. Church on the night of the 4th, will convince the owner, Dr. Barker, that he made an innocent mistake by returning the same to the church or parsonage. It is known who took it, and if not returned, unpleasant consequences will follow." In another article Dr. Barker served as president of the Broadalbin Mayfield Rural Cemetery Association for a period of time.
On May 27, 1893, Dr. Barker married Mrs. Mary J. Tabor. This was his third marriage and was not popular within the family. An age difference of 26 years may have been a factor.
Dr. Barker passed away in September 2, 1899, age 78.
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