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His grandfather, Naham Haskell, was born in Gloucester, whence, after a sojourn in Dartmouth, he removed to Woodstock, Vt., where he became the editor of the principal newspaper of that part of the State.
Dr. James N. Haskell, our subject's father, was born and reared in Woodstock and was graduated from the medical college in that city. In early manhood, he engaged in the practice of dentistry, becoming in his day the most noted dentist in the state of Vermont. Later, he practiced medicine, and the latter years of his life were passed in St. Louis, Mo., where he died in 1884.
Dr. Haskell's mother, Loraine Young Haskell, who passed away in 1878, was also a native of Woodstock, and was of Scottish descent. Her father, John Young, who served as a soldier in the War of 1812, lived to the advanced age of ninetyone, and although a man of small stature, he was noted for his great physical strength and endurance.
Dr. Charles N. Haskell, an only child, pursued his education in the public schools of Vermont, and also under the direction of private tutors. retentive memory was ever one of his strong characteristics, and kept him easily in the lead in his classes in school. In fact, he seemed to possess an insatiable appetite for knowledge and his parents feared he was spending too much time in studying, and not giving enough to the outdoor life and recreation, which serve as up-builders of that strength so necessary as a foundation for success in later years.
When but a lad, he studied both shorthand and telegraphy, and mastered telegraphy within a month. He was at one time the youngest telegraph operator in the United States. When he was only ten years old, his favorite recreation was a game of checkers played by telegraph with a youthful operator in a distant city. A few years later, after leaving school, he became one of the most skilful operators in the country and filled many responsible positions in the large telegraph offices of this country. In 1884, during a tournament, held in Chicago, he won the prize for the fastest transmission of messages.
He also early displayed a fondness for the stage and was an
active and valued member of several amateur dramatic organizations in different cities where he resided. During his residence in St. Louis, he enjoyed considerable reputation, among the athletic followers of the town, as a pugilist, and he gave public exhibitions of his prowess in the manly art. In the season of 1879-80, he played with the first "Pinafore" company that toured New England.
All these activities, however, were regarded by him as mere side-issues, rather than permanent occupations. In fact, from early boyhood, he had resolved to become a physician and with that end in view, became a student in the office and under the direction of Dr. F. M. Bennett, a prominent homeopathic practitioner of Springfield, Mass. For nearly two years he spent his day working hard as chief operator in the Western Union office, and at night he would work many hours over his books. At the end of that time, he became a student in the New York Homeopathic Medical College. A short time afterwards, he took up the study of the regular school and after three years' preparation was graduated from the University of Vermont in 1890. He was awarded second prize for high standing in his class. In the intervals of his college work, he took courses of instruction in the hospitals of Boston in connection with the Harvard Medical School, and the different hospitals in New York. He also served for a year as assistant instructor in pathology in the Post Graduate Medical School in New York City.
Dr. Haskell entered upon active practice in Bridgeport in 1891 and his ability soon won for him a liberal patronage. After a brief period, he was appointed city physician and attending surgeon of the Emergency Hospital, but after two years he resigned both positions in order to concentrate his entire attention upon his private practice, which in the meantime had been constantly growing in volume and importance.
He kept in touch with the modern professional thought and progress as a member of the Bridgeport Medical Association, the Fairfield County and Connecticut State Medical Societies, the American Medical Association and the New York Neurological Society. For twenty-nine years, Dr. Haskell was con
nected with the New York Post Graduate Hospital and in that institution he served as clinical assistant, instructor and lecturer in nearly all of the various departments of medicine. This constant and faithful application to his calling, served to give him a remarkably broad and conceptive view of the practice of medicine.
For a number of years he confined his energies to internal medicine and neurology and was recognized as one of the most thorough and competent diagnosticians in the country. Several years ago he was the moving spirit in the Fairfield County AntiTuberculosis Association. About that time he won the first prize for a short article written on the early diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. This was in answer to one of the so-called prize questions of the New York Medical Journal, which was open to the profession throughout the country.
To Dr. Haskell, more than to any other, Bridgeport owes its present clean milk supply. A few years ago he carried on, practically alone, a most aggressive campaign against unsanitary dairies and dirty milk.
Dr. Haskell was a most entertaining conversationalist, and possessed a very facile pen. He wrote many short articles for the public press, and these not only found ready acceptance, but were sought by publishing syndicates of the country. But he did not allow them to be so used, until he received the commendation and sanction of the American Medical Association. These articles were written for the laity, and in their simple directness never failed to reach the point he wished to make. This was his recreation; he loved to do it, and he did it well. The articles were never signed, but always appeared under the caption of Editorials by the Medical Editor. Dr. Haskell did much for the development of public health service in Bridgeport. During the recent influenza epidemic, he was given charge of Lakeview Home and spent much time there studying the disease. He also took a leading part in combating epidemic infantile paralysis.
Dr. Haskell was distinctly the friend of the younger generation; he was generous to his patients, even to his own financial detriment. He always had the best word of praise for the
beginner in his chosen profession and was ever ready to put work in the way of the able physician in need of support. He was able though cautious, always taking advantage of every known means as an aid to diagnosis. He was apparently absolutely free from professional jealousies; anxious to meet a brother practitioner in consultation, but ever ready and fearless in defending his own position.
To be greeted by Dr. Haskell daily, as only he could greet one, with his accustomed smile, and the cheerful twinkle in his eye, it is hard to believe that hourly he was reminded of impending death. And yet under such conditions he lived for two years, apparently a man without a care. Dr. Haskell kept at his work until the day he died, and to use a familiar and expressive term, it may be said most reverently, that he died as he had lived, with his boots on.
He was married three times, two marriages having resulted in divorce. In 1900 he married Miss Sally Perry in New York. She survives him. He leaves a daughter by his first marriage and one grandchild.
Philip T. Kennedy, M.D.
By HENRY N. COSTELLO, M.D.
Philip T. Kennedy was a life long resident of Hartford, where he received his preliminary and collegiate education, having been graduated from the Hartford Public High School in 1901, and Trinity College in 1905. His degree of Doctor of Medicine was received from Harvard Medical School four years later.
After an interneship in the Boston City Hospital, he served terms in the Boston Floating Hospital and the Providence Lying-In Hospital.
Returning to his native city, he engaged in general practice for five years, then entered upon the work which he loved and to which he had long looked forward-Pediatrics. He was Pediatrist to St. Francis Hospital, to St. Agnes Home, an attendant to the Babies' Hospital, a member of the Civilian Relief Committee of the American Red Cross, and a member of the North-West School District Committee.
On June 17th, 1914, he married Ann St. Lawrence Clary of Hartford, who survives him, together with two sons, his father, Philip S. Kennedy, his mother, three sisters and two brothers.
His was a remarkable disposition. His keen sense of humor and his subtle wit, not only brought many pleasant moments into the lives of those associated with him, both professionally and socially, but his sympathetic, loving nature brought joy and happiness to many a sufferer.
Of his work little need be said. Possessed of a keen intellect, the goal of success was assured him, but his conscientious and self-sacrificing nature wore down a physique unable to stand the test, and a career which held much of brilliant promise was terminated at the early age of 37, following an illness of three years from bronchiectasis.
His passing brought profound sorrow to a wide circle of friends and associates, who had learned of his unfailing cheerfulness and high courage in a brave fight against tremendous odds.
He will long be remembered.