Excerpt from “History of the North Country
by Harry F. Landon; Published 1932

Transcribed for internet by Anne M. Cady


The following biography is extracted from the “History of the North Country – A History embracing Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis and Franklin Counties, New York” by Harry F. Landon.  This massive history consists of three large volumes with hundreds of short biographies.  As time permits, I will be transcribing the entries with ties to Saint Lawrence County and putting them online. 


Samuel W. Close, M.D. –

In the general practice of medicine at Gouverneur for the past 45 years, and as secretary of the St. Lawrence County Medical Society since 1888, Dr. Close is highly esteemed by the medical profession and the general public, whose interests he has faithfully served.  He was born at Toronto, Ont., May 2, 1857, the son of John R. and Sarah A. (McArtney) Close.


John R. Close was born at Carrick Fergus, Ireland, Oct 2, 1821, and died Aug 8, 1889.  He was head master of a school near Belfast, N.Y., for a number of years, and had studied medicine for three years in Scotland.  He emigrated to the United States in 1848 and four years later removed to Toronto.  He returned to New York, however, in 1864, and settled in St. Lawrence County, where he spent the remainder of his life as a farmer.  His wife was born on a sailing vessel, being of Scotch-Irish parentage, July 11, 1830.  She died Nov 19, 1910 and is buried in Bayside Cemetery, Potsdam, N.Y.  Mr. Close was a Republican and held membership in the Presbyterian Church.  There were six children in the Close family: 1. Samuel W., the subject of this sketch.  2. Mary Louise, deceased.  3. Sarah J., married Elmer Daggett, lives in Massena, N.Y.  4. Robert J.  5. Fred, deceased.  6. George, lives at Stockholm, NY.


John R. Close was the son of Robert and Mary Ann (Russell) Close, who were natives of Carrick Fergus, Ireland.  Both are buried at Potsdam, N.Y.  He was a 32nd degree Mason.  His wife claimed relationship to Prime Minister Russell of England.


After his graduation from public schools of Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, Samuel W. Close attended Potsdam Normal School.  In 1885 he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine at New York University, now Bellevue Hospital, and Medical College.  After a year in practice at Potsdam Dr. Close opened offices at Gouverneur Dec 4. 1886.  He has served for many years as local health officer and school director, and is secretary of the staff of Stephen VanDuzee Hospital.  He also belongs to the New York State Medical Society and American Medical Association.


On June 16, 1886, Dr. Close married Miss Clara A. Smith, the daughter of Elias S. and Alison (Storie) Smith.  The former was born at Gouverneur, Oct 8, 1820 and died Oct 2, 1886.  His wife was born at Hammond, N.Y., March 7, 1821 and died Oct 5, 1908.  Their marriage took place April 7, 1842.  Both are buried at Gouverneur.  Doctor and Mrs. Close have three daughters.  1. Alison Jean, a graduate of Gouverneur High School, Oswego State Normal School; and attended Syracuse University.  She is a teacher at Rutherford, N.J.  2. Dorothy Louise, a graduate of Gouverneur High School and Wells College.  She is secretary to the superintendent of Bloomingdale Hospital, White Plains, N.Y.  3. Clara Catherine, a graduate of Gouverneur High School and Wells College.  She is a teacher at Elizabeth, N.J.


Dr. Close is a Republican, an elder of the Presbyterian Church, and is affiliated with Gouverneur Lodge, F. and A. M. No 217.  He also belongs to the Chamber of Commerce.


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