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Claudius Collins Coan

Ovid, Seneca Co., NY



Source: "Town and Village of Ovid, Seneca Co., NY; an early history" [W.E. Morrison & Co., 1953] p. 278.


      "Claudius Collins Coan was born at West Stockbridge, Massachusetts on March 1, 1794, and when four years of age accompanied his parents into the wilds of western New York. He served for a short time at Niagara Falls in the War of 1812, and without assistance gained his education at the Canandaigua Academy, and pursued the study of medicine in that village with his preceptor, Samuel Dungan, M.D., who was an uncle of his future wife. It is related as an incident of his early life, but one which indicated the resolution and perseveremce which characterized his subsequent years, that Dr. Coan twice walked from Canandaigua to Philadelphia to attend the medical college. After a course of study at the University of Pennsylvania, under the tuition of the distinguished Benjamin Rush, M.D., he commenced the practice of medicine about the year 1816 at Lodi, then a scattered community, and in the same year was married to Miss Sarah M. Folwell. He took up residence on the ground where the elegant dwelling of Mahlon Coleman ws later erected, and the place with its log store, shoe store and wagon shop took on the name of Coan's Corners. In 1835 he removed to the old John McMath farm-house, a rather stately building early in the century, about two miles south of Ovid Village, where he spent the remainder of his lfe, this cross-roads also becoming known as Coan's Corners. Seven of his eight children lived to maturity, viz: William F. Coan, Sarah E. who married Henry Tuthill, Martha D. who married Clement Leach, Jennie who married A.D. Schuyler, Helen S. who married Rev. John L. Nevius, Elizabeth who married Alfred Bolter, M.D. and Miss Mary E. Coan. Dr. Coan had a good memory and a keen observation which was coupled with hard common sense. An ardent Democrat, he was an admirer of Gen'l Jackson, as was indicated by the name he gave his home, The Hermitage, and Horatio Seymour, a leading Democrat who was first elected in 1852 as Governor. The parrot that one of his daughters sent to him had been trained to say "Hurrah for Seymour and hurrah for Dr. Coan!" He continued in the uninterrupted practice of his profession until his last illness, a period of sixty-five years, and died on February 28, 1882. His wife died the following day of pneumonia, with which they were both afflicted, and they were buried side by side in the same grave. For many years Dr. Coan occupied a prominent position, but his deafness led him to decline public positions almost entirely, whether literary or political. He was skillful in his profession, successful as a financier and influential as a citizen. As an ardent pioneer in the great temperance work, he was eminently useful. Dr. Coan was a regular attendant at the Presbyterian Church in this village, joining in a reverent manner in a service of which, on account of his infirmity, he could not hear a word."

Click here for a photo of Claudius Collins Coan, MD. and here for photos of Elizabeth Coan Bolter and Alfred Bolter, MD.


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