The story of Dr. Benjamin Cory
The image of the ‘shack’ (top above) is the earliest known photo of Dr. Ben Cory’s office in San Jose. The second image is of the Santa Clara County Hospital. Ben and his brother Andrew Jackson Cory (who arrived in Ca 10 years later and became the county’s chief medical officer in 1871) led the campaign to build this new county medical facility, both of these men recognizing the urgent need for services to the poor and indigent and the importance of charity health care in society.
Dr. Ben Cory age 70, in this family photo from 1892, and his wife Sarah Braly; to the right under the black arrows are my gt grandfather Lewis L. Cory and wife Carrie (how the portrait comes to Ca). The red dots show Lewis’ brother and sisters (children of the Doctor and his wife Sarah.) Sarah’s mother Susan (Hyde) Braly is the matron in the center of the photo. The Braly family also came across the plains in the same year 1847, and settled in Santa Clara county.
The photo is of downtown San Jose in the year 1906. Although the Doctor is by now deceased, one can see that cars are just beginning to arrive on the scene, there is no rhyme, reason or logic in the driving on the street. The main point here is that one must picture how, for decades, the good Doctor made his rounds, over hill and dale, in the beginning by horseback, and later in the luxury of a horse and buggy! (click on the photo to have a great view!)
My gt grandfather Lewis, father of Pops [see post before this one] and son of Dr. Ben, looked for opportunity in the up and coming area of Fresno. Before settling there, back east at Columbia Law School, he met his wife Carrie Martin. The circumstances of this meeting are not known to me, but I suspect these two families remained in close contact through the years (the Cory family being well-established in the Westfields). Carrie’s father Thomas, was a bookbinder in Rahway, New Jersey. Lewis and Carrie were married on 17 Oct 1882, in Rahway.
The good Doctor Ben, singer of hymns and providing services in exchange for eggs, chickens or gold dust, or for free, died in 1896.
Next: the whole letter from Nov 30 1846 from Ben to cousin Fanny;
Who is that doctor to whom you have given your sympathies? What kind of a bargain did you make with him? Did you make an equal exchange of hearts?
and a letter to his brother Andrew Jackson, from the gold mines.