The College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York was chartered on June 12, 1812, and closed January 26, 1841. Before 1812, the Fairfield Academy was teaching medical courses. A memorandum was sent to the Regents of the State of New York proposing medical courses when the Fairfield Academy was forming in 1802. In 1809 medical instruction was given at what was called the Academy of Medicine of Fairfield. In 1807 the Regents chartered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City which later merged with the Medical Department of Columbia (formerly King's College) in 1813.

When the College at Fairfield was chartered, it was the first medical school west of the Hudson River and attracted many well known teachers and graduated many students who would later become known in medical history. Some graduates continued west and started new colleges on the advancing frontier. The advent of new colleges, and their higher salaries for professors, led some of Fairfield's staff to resign. The income from tuition and state grants was not enough to continue the medical college at Fairfield.

The last course of lectures was given in 1840. Approximately 600 physicians graduated and spread their techniques and knowledge throughout the United States. The Fairfield Academy and Seminary continued to graduate students who later completed their education and were granted medical degrees by other institutions.

The first list of students connected with the medical school at Fairfield that is known to exist is that of students who attended courses before the College of Physicians of the Western District was chartered.

Catalogue of the Students who attended Chemical Lectures in July 1809

William A. Spencer
Caleb Neely
Henry Hamilton
Jabes Wilkinson
Nathan Roberts
Anthony Gaye
Sylvester Willard
Samuel Virton
Frederick Fox
Benjamin B. Bowen
Sylvester Miller
Gaylord G. Pinney
Lyman D. Sherwood
Benjamin Richards
Charles Ford
Alexander Richards
Joseph Harpum
Theodore Popple
William Bara
John Crane
Hiram Nolton
William W. Cass
Ralph Watterman
Alpheus Green

Readers will please remember that these names were transcribed from handwriting that is not always clear and that there were many variations in spelling. No addresses were listed for these students.

Catalogue of Students who attended Medical Lectures in Nov. 1810

Newel WrightBallston, Saratoga Co, NY
Helen (?) Gage junFairfield, Herkimer Co, NY
Truman Richards junFairfield, Herkimer Co, NY
William LindonFitzwilliam, New Hampshire
Elijah BarnumRanslearville, Albany Co NY
Dustin DalenoScipeo, Cayuga Co, NY
Henry JeffersCoemans Patten, Albany Co, NY
John BreakenridgeAugusta, Granvill Co, Upper Canada
Charles E. FordOgdensburgh, St. Lawrence Co, NY
Ezekiel SanfordManlius, Onandago Co, NY
Benjamin Sanford" "
Jarvis PlattGallaway, Saratoga Co, NY
Giles H. FondaCaughnawaga, Montgomery Co, NY
John StevensHeniker, Hillsborough Co, New Hampshire
William F. Hail (or Haile)Fairfield, NY
Alexander RichardsMadrid, St. Lawerence Co, NY
Converse WhiteWhitesborough, Oneida Co, NY
Jacob DalamatterFloradia, Montgomery Co, NY
Abijah Mann JunFairfield, NY
Oliver TiffanySchoharie, Schoharie Co, NY
Monsa H. MaynardHerkimer Co, NY
Jerard S. Maynard " "
James St. GregoryMilton, Saratoga Co, NY
Willard Smith
Greenfield, " "
Samuel G. DorrChatham, Columbia Co, NY
John B. WagginerCanajoharie, Montgomery Co, NY
William H. AverilOtsego, Otsego Co, NY
Daniel S. ButterwickPittstown, Ontario Co, NY
Isaac SchamerhornSchenectada, Schenectada Co, NY
James W. MillerLewis Co, NY
Hiram NoltonFairfield, NY
Hiram MannMilton, Saratoga Co, NY
Jesse FoxEssex Co, NY
Levi H. PerryWhitesborough, Oneida Co, NY
James M. McMasterRussia, Herkimer co, NY
James HadleyWare, Hillsborough, NH
James N.A. AndersonNew York City
Xerxes WharryFairfield, Herkimer Co, NY
Daniel SchenckMiddletown, Monmouth Co, NJ
Nathaniel StrongHerkimer, Herkimer Co, NY
Anson HouseTurin, Lewis Co, NY

Students in the Medical College, Fairfield, NY   1811

William H. AverillCooperstown, Otsego Co, NY
Jonathan BailyWare, Hillsborough, NH
Thomas BakerMamakaling, Orange Co, NY
Stephen C. BarumSoutheast Dutchess, NY
Elijah BarnumRensslearville, Albany Co, NY
S.D.W. BloodgoodUtica, Oneida Co, NY
Benjamin BowenNewport, Herkimer Co, NY
Caleb BudlongFrankfort, Herkimer Co, NY
J.L.C. CarierLebanon, Madison Co, NY
Thomas L. ConklinRensslearville, Albany Co, NY
Samuel H. DavisNew York, NY
David DickersonFairfield, Herkimer Co, NY
Abm. DiefendorfCanajohary, Montgomery Co, NY
Samuel G. DorrChatham, Columbia Co, NY
Charles E. FordOgdensburgh, St. Lawrence Co, NY
Alden Gage, Jun.Fairfield, NY
Henry GreenFairfield, NY
Alpheus S. GreenNewport, Herkimer Co, NY
J.H. GregoryMilton, Saratoga Co, NY
James HadleyWare, Hillsborough, NH
William F. Hail (Haile)Fairfield, NY
D.M. HailHerkimer, Herkimer Co, NY
John M. HendersonChampion, Jefferson Co, NY
Henry JeffersFairfield, NY
Uriel H. KelloggWhitestown, Oneida Co, NY
Willm. LincolnFitzwilliam, Chesier Co, NH
Hiram MannMilton, Saratoga Co, NY
N.H. ManterLitchfield, Herkimer Co, NY
Horace Manly (Manley)Norway, Herkimer Co, NY
James McMasterRussia, Herkimer Co, NY
Alonzo H. MaynardHerkimer, Herkimer Co, NY
Jared S.C. Maynard " "
Timothy MillerTurin, Lewis Co, NY
William M. MillardMilton, Saratoga Co, NY
Adams W. PlattGalaway, Saratoga Co, NY
Alexander Richards Jun.Madrid, St. Lawrence Co, NY
David N. SchanckMiddletown, Monmouth, NJ
James SheldonRemsen, Oneida Co, NY
Willard SmithLewistown, Niaraga Co, NY
Ira SmithOgdensburgh, St. Lawrence Co, NY
Nathan StrongHerkimer, Herkimer Co, NY
Jno. M. WatsonNewport, " "
Newell WrightBallstown, Saratoga Co, NY

These students attended medical classes at Fairfield before the college was chartered. Some of these students were able to begin medical practices with the knowledge gained at Fairfield. Others may have continued their education elsewhere. When the college was chartered, it was mandated that in order to receive a degree of Doctor of Medicine, a student had to provide proof that he had studied physic and surgery with a reputable practitioner for three years and to have attended two full courses of the public lectures of the Medical Professors at Fairfield or some other college. At least one term must have been spent at Fairfield. It was necessary to be tested by the medical faculty and to write and defend a dissertation on some medical subject.

Source: This list was provided by the Herkimer County Historical Society
Copyright © Herkimer County Historical Society
Submitted by: Jane Dieffenbacher, Fairfield Town Historian

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Last Updated: 2/4/97
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Copyright ©1997 Jane Dieffenbacher/Martha S. Magill
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