Fairfield, NY

Charles W. Hamlin was born on the Hamlin farm in East Floyd, near Holland Patent, son of Joseph S. and Delia Willard Hamlin, the first of eleven children. After attending Whitetown Seminary, he graduated from the State Normal School at Albany and taught school for one term at Remsen. But he soon decided that medicine was more to his liking and he studied with Dr. D.A. Crane and Dr. Norton Wolcott at Holland Patent.

After running into a former school friend who had enlisted in the army, Charles signed up with the 57th N.Y. Infantry and was soon promoted to hospital steward.

After the war he finished his medical studies at Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City. He first practiced at Oriskany Falls, but moved to Middleville in 1870 to assume the practice of his father-in-law, Dr. Alfred E. Varney.

The union of Charles and Dora A. Varney was a union of cousins. The family story began in the Town of Fairfield on the Platform Road when Col. Charles Willard (1785-1862) and his wife, Mehile Bullard moved from Connecticut to Fairfield in the early days of the town's history. They had four sons and three daughters. The first daughter, Ann Maria (1811-1889), married Dr. Alfred E. Varney (1807-1870) of Middleville. Their daughter was Dora A. Varney (1845- ). The second Willard girl was Delia (1817- ) and she married Joseph Hamlin of Floyd and they became the parents of Charles W. Hamlin. The third Willard girl was Mary Louisa (1823-1894) who married Dr. Daniel M. Holt of Newport.

During the war, Dr. Holt visited his nephew Charles as frequently as possible. Continuing the family involvement with the medical profession, Charles and Dora produced a son and daughter. The son was Dr. Varney B. Hamlin of Clinton.

Charles Willard Hamlin owned much property in Middleville, from the Maltanner Creek past Cobble Hill on North Main St. and what is now the playgorund on Park Ave. Quoting from his obituary, "He never spared himself or his horses in attending to the interests of his patients." He served as coroner, justice of the peace, encouraged the incorporation of the village, and promoted the waterworks project, serving as the president of the Board of Water Commissioners.par

The death of daughter Anna Willard Hamlin in April 1897 was very distressing to the Hamlins. They went abroad where Charles injured a toe that had been troublesome since his army days. The injury did not respond to treatment and they returned home. Dr. Hamlin died of gangrene and it was said that he had lost all interest in life when his daughter died.

From: the book "This Green and Pleasant Land, Fairfield New York," by Jane Dieffenbacher.

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Created 2/5/03
Copyright © 2003 Jane Dieffenbacher
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