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