Dr Henry D La Cossitt




Dr. Henry D. La Cossitt





DR. HENRY D. LA. COSSITT, a deceased pioneer physician of Mercer County, was born in Graby, Hartford Co., Conn., May 3, 1803, and died at his homestead, in West Salem Township, March 1. 1877. His great-grandfather. Reno Cossitt, was a native of Paris, France, who immigrated to America and married Ruth Porter, of Waterbury, Conn. They settled In Granby, Conn., and reared a family of ten children, Rene, the grandfather of our subject, being the eldest son. He was born in 1722, and married Phoebe Hillyer, who bore him four sons and four daughters, Capt. Silas Cossitt, an officer in the Revolution, being one of the number. Capt Cossitt was born June 22, 1756, and married Sarah Shepard, born July 15, 1784, and about 1805 removed from Connecticut to Vernon Township, Trumbull Co., Ohio. They were the parents of seven sons and two daughters. Three of the sons, Epaphroditus, James S. and Henry D. La., subsequently became well-known physicians of Mercer County. Capt. Silas Cossitt died May 7, 1819, and his widow again married, and survived him till February 14, 1832. Henry D. La. grew up in Trumbull County, Ohio, and received his education at the Mercer Academy. He began reading medicine with his brothers, Epaphroditus and James S. Cossitt, then practicing physicians of Mercer. After the former went west he continued under his brother James, who finally removed to New Castle, Penn. Dr. Cossitt attended his first course of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Fairfield, Herkimer Co., N. Y., in the class of 1824-25. He afterward attended lectures at Geneva, N. Y. He was married at Winfield, Herkimer Co., N. Y., June 9, 1825, to Miss Lydia Crandall, a native of Plainfield, Otsego Co., N. Y., born September 23, 1803. In August succeeding his marriage Dr. Cossitt opened an office in Greenville, where he practiced his profession for more than half a century. Seven children were born to him of this union: Harriett J., Isaac (deceased), Lydia A., Sarah E. (deceased), Henry D. La. (deceased), Julia E. (deceased) and one died in infancy. In August, 1828, Dr. Cossitt was commissioned, by Gov. Shulze, captain of the Greenville Infantry; was commissioned major of the regiment by Gov. Wolf, in March, 1830, and in August, 1835, lieutenant-colonel. In July, 1833, Dr. Cossitt was appointed justice of the peace by Gov. Wolf, for Salem and West Salem Townships, including Greenville, but he never exercised the duties of the office except at weddings, and usually returned the fee to the bride. His wife died September 25, 1857, and he was again married, July 22, 1858, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of William and Margaret McCli­mans, of Salem Township. Mrs. Cossitt was born in that township March 1, 1831, and is the mother of six children, all of whom are living: Henry D. La., Sarah Elizabeth (wife of J. A. Doyle, of Tarentum, Penn.), William Epaphroditus, Duran Shepard, Fred Silas and Carrie Julia. Dr. Cossitt became a member of the Rush Medical Society of the Willoughby University, of Lake Erie, Ohio, now Starling Medical College, of Columbus, Ohio, February 17, 1845, and on the 25th of the same month that institution conferred upon him the degree of M. D. He became a member of the State Medical Society in 1871, and in 1872 was elected its vice-president. He joined the American Medical Association in 1872, and was also a member of the Mercer County Medical Society. Dr. Cossitt was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church from boyhood, and one of the early supporters of the Greenville congregation. He was a life-long Democrat, and in 1882 was the choice of his party for the Legislature, and though defeated, in a strong Republican County, he polled a very large vote. From the time of locating in Greenville up to within a few days of his death he continued his professional duties with unabating vigor, except a few years while engaged in mercantile and coal business. His name was familiar to the people of every part of Mercer County, and he was recognized as one of the most successful medical practitioners of this section of the State. After practicing alone for about ten years he formed a partnership with Dr. R. E. Breiner, which continued till August, 1842, when he entered into a partnership with Dr. D. B. Packard. This existed until the fall of 1857, when he took in Dr. Fielding Donaldson, yet a practicing physician of Greenville. This business relation was severed after about two years, and Dr. Cossitt continued alone until 1874, when he formed a partnership with Dr. B. E. Mossman, which existed up to his death. He died at his home southwest of Greenville, where he had been residing for about twelve years. Dr. Cossitt was a man of deep convictions and strong individuality, but always courteous and generous toward his fellow men. He possessed wonderful en­ergy and enterprise, was generous and charitable to the needy, and stood high both as a citizen and a physician. Ever kind and affectionate in his home relations, his death was an irreparable loss to his family, to whom he left a handsome estate, the legitimate savings from more than half a century of professional toil. 

History of Mercer County, 1888, pages 1173-1174 




Return to the Mercer County

Genealogy Main Page

Or Visit One of these Major Sections of the Site:



Census Data


General info

Men of the Cloth



Old Photos


Query & Data Boards




Crawford County USGenWeb site       Lawrence County USGenWeb site     

Western PA Old Photos   Harry A. "Dutch" Rapp Memorial Website

All photos, documents and graphics contained in the Mercer County Genealogy pages are copyrighted by the submitter and by this site.  You may not use them elsewhere, whether in print or electronically, without written permission.

Space provided by RootsWeb.  


Copyright © 2003 Teri A. Brown, Walter Brown and Assoc. All rights reserved.