Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D., was born at Rensselaerville, Albany County, N. Y., June 15, 1865, a son of Andrew Jay and Elizabeth (Nichols) Felter. His ancestry on the paternal side was of French and Dutch descent, tracing their genealogy back to the French Huguenots, who took refuge in Holland to escape the persecutions of Catherine de Medici and her Catholic adherents. Beyond this the family may be traced back to its origin in the fertile plains of Languedoc. His maternal ancestors were of English extraction. The paternal ancestors at an early date emigrated to America, and settled in the valley of the Hudson, and were among the founders of the village of Saugerties, N. Y. His mother dying when he was but eight years old, Dr. Felter met with varying fortunes. His early education was obtained in the public schools of Troy, Lansingburg, and Green Island, and in the Groveside district school at Pittstown, N. Y. When seventeen he obtained a teacher's certificate, and taught school for three successive winters at Potter's Hill, East Pittstown, and Groveside district schools. During the balance of the year he labored at farming. Subsequently he attended the Lansingburg Academy, at Lansingburg, N. Y. In 1883 he began the study of medicine and surgery, under Dr. Alexander B. Willis, of Johnsonville, N. Y., an Old School physician of prominence and liberal views. Looking with disfavor upon the Allopathic branch of the profession, as he saw its practice, he decided to adopt the Eclectic system of medicine, and, though bitterly opposed by friends who honestly believed the choice to be suicidal to professional preferment, he entered the Eclectic Medical Institute in 1886, and graduated June 5, 1888, at the head of a class of sixty. He then located in Troy, N. Y., for the practice of his profession. After about a year he returned to Cincinnati, where he has since resided and followed his calling. Dr. Felter was married, January 1, 1890, to Miss Martha Reyburn Caldwell, a lineal descendant of John Caldwell Calhoun and the Caldwells of the Carolinas. They have two children—Dorah Helen, born October 22, 1893, and Lloyd King, born July 9, 1896.
Dr. Felter has been secretary and president of the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical Society, is a member of the National Eclectic Medical Association and of the Ohio State, Eclectic Medical Association, of which he has been secretary, vice-president, and, in 1898, president, holding at Columbus, in 1899, one of the best meetings in the history of the society. He was formerly a member of the; Albany (N. Y.) County Eclectic Medical Society, serving as secretary, and a member of the New York State Eclectic Medical Society. He was chosen Demonstrator of Anatomy, vice Dr. McPheron, in April, 1891, and Quiz Master in Chemistry in 1895. In addition to his other duties he was appointed Demonstrator of Chemistry in 1898. In 1897 he became Adjunct Professor of Chemistry, delivering the lectures on Chemistry and Toxicology, while Professor Lloyd delivered the lectures on Pharmacy. In 1892 the death of Professor Howe necessitated the appointment of Professor Bloyer to the chair of Surgery, and Dr. Felter was appointed temporarily to the chair of Anatomy, delivering the lectures for the term, as the season had just begun. This arrangement was but temporary, Professor E. Freeman being called to the chair of Surgery, while Professor Bloyer resumed the chair of Anatomy. In 1895 Dr. Felter collated and edited, with large additions, the lectures on Materia Medica delivered by Professor Locke before the classes, and published the work as "Locke's Syllabus of Eclectic Materia Medica." In 1900 he brought out a second edition, to which he added a number of articles. He is the joint author, with Professor John Uri Lloyd, of the two-volume revision of the "American Dispensatory," which was completed in the winter of 1898. At present he holds the positions of Professor of Descriptive and Surgical Anatomy, to which chair he was appointed in 1899, and Adjunct Professor of Chemistry, Pharmacy, and Toxicology, delivering six lectures each week. He is the author of the historical and a portion of the biographical matter of this work-the "History of the Eclectic Medical Institute." Dr. Felter's favorite recreation studies are botany and general and, particularly, medical history and biography. He has contributed regularly to the Eclectic Medical Journal in original articles, and as associate editor. He has also contributed regularly to the "Annual of Eclectic Medicine and Surgery," particularly upon Materia Medica and specific medication. His papers on Eclectic Medicines running for several years in the Eclectic Medical Gleaner attracted considerable attention in this country and on the Continent, and were widely copied in many pharmaceutical and medical periodicals.
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.