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William Bissell, M.D.

By F. H. LEE, M.D.

On July 28, 1919, Dr. William Bissell passed away after a long life spent in service to his fellow men.

He was born in the town of Litchfield, Conn., March 15th, 1830. He was graduated from the academic department of Yale College in 1853, and from Yale Medical School in 1856. After a few months of practice at Elizabethport, N. J., he returned to the Litchfield Hills, and entered into partnership with Dr. Benjamin Welch, at Lakeville, where he continued to practice through his long life.

On June 26th, 1858, he married Miss Mary G. Biddleman of Bloomsbury, N. J. Four children were born to them, three sons and one daughter. His wife died in 1907, and one son, Edward, in 1897. One son, Dr. Joseph B. Bissell, a prominent surgeon of New York City, died in December, 1918. Another son, Dr. William B. Bissell, survives him, and is practicing at Lakeville. His daughter, Miss May B. Bissell, who was very devoted in the care of her father in his declining years, now lives at the old home.

On three different occasions the people of Lakeville and vicinity gave to Dr. Bissell a public demonstration of their appreciation of his long life spent in the service of the community. In 1912, on the fifty-sixth anniversary of his commencing practice at Lakeville, he was presented with a beautiful testimonial, signed by over 1,300 persons, all of whom had been under his care at some time.

In 1918 "The Dr. William Bissell Fund for Hospital Aid" was incorporated, under the State law, as a permanent memorial. "It is intended that the income from the fund shall be used in securing hospital treatment for residents of Lakeville and Salisbury and in maintaining free beds or rooms for them in some existing hospital."

Dr. Bissell was a member of The Connecticut State Medical Society, and The Litchfield County Medical Association. He was at one time a Trustee of the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane, and a Trustee of the Hotchkiss School at Lakeville. He was a member of the Litchfield County University Club, and often attended the meetings.

Many will remember Dr. Bissell as a skilful, efficient and persevering family physician.

David Crary, M.D.


Dr. David Crary was born in Hartford, April 26th, 1842. He attended the public schools, and at the age of twenty, he entered a drug store in Rutland, Vt., where he remained for three years. During the year 1865 he was employed at the drug store of S. G. Moses & Co., on North Main Street. He afterwards entered Yale College and was graduated from the Medical Department in 1869. He began the practice of medicine with his father after graduation and continued with him for sixteen years until the senior Dr. Crary retired from practice in 1884.

For many years after he began the practice of medicine in Hartford he was devoted to his profession and rarely relinquished his work for needed rest and recuperation. He built up a large and lucrative practice, in which he was completely absorbed, and appeared to find his greatest pleasure in complete devotion to the interests of his large and constantly increasing clientele. He established himself firmly and securely in the confidence of his patients, to many of whom his advice carried the conviction of law.

Dr. Crary was a careful, thorough, efficient and conscientious practitioner of the old school. He was a wise counsellor, and enjoyed the admiration, respect and esteem of a very large circle of friends and acquaintances.

Socially, Dr. Crary was quiet, modest and unassuming, but he possessed the faculty of endearing himself to those with whom he was on terms of familiarity.

After many years of hard, untiring labor, as he began to feel the weight of years, he spent considerable time in travel through Europe and on the Continent. Since 1900 he made several extended tours in Southern Europe and Egypt and spent several winters in the West Indies and South America.

I had known him intimately in the latter years of his life,

and over our cigars, in the quiet of his home, and in the evening of a long and successful career, he loved to talk of his past experiences, of the difficulties and hardships attending the practice of medicine in the earlier years, contrasting it with the comparative ease and comfort, and modern facilities afforded the young men of the present generation.

He died at his home, in Hartford, after a somewhat protracted illness, on July 9th, 1919.

Edwin A. Down, M.D.


Dr. Edwin A. Down, a member of this Society since 1891, died suddenly on entering his home at the close of an accustomed day's work December 28th, 1919. If he had had any premonition of illness of any sort it was not known to others.

Dr. Down was born at Utica, N. Y., October 27th, 1856, the son of John Edwin and Marienne La Filleurd Down. His early education was had in the public schools of Utica and the Utica Seminary. He was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York in 1887. He had spent vacation periods of his medical course at the State Hospital for the Insane in Middletown and the way was thus prepared for his appointment to a position on the staff of that hospital immediately on attaining his degree. After a service of four years as assistant physician he was appointed First Assistant on the medical staff of the Hartford Retreat, in which capacity he served from 1891 to 1898, when he resigned to take up the practice of nervous and mental diseases in Hartford.

Dr. Down was continuously a member of the State Board of Charities for more than twenty-two years and for the larger part of that time was its President. His associates have thus paid tribute to his services: "During his long tenure of office he attended the sessions of the Board with great regularity, often at the cost of personal inconvenience, and not only fulfilled his required duties as visitor, but cheerfully took upon himself many trying, unpleasant tasks in connection with the work of the Board, giving his time and strength without other reward than the consciousness of the faithful performance of service to the humane interests of the State." He was much interested in the provision. for hospital care for the epileptics of this State and gave a great deal of time to a survey to determine the number and needs of this class. Through his connection with the State Board of

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