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This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

Joseph Lewi, M. D.

Joseph Lewi, M. D., who has been in active practice in Albany since 1848 was born in Radnitz, Austria, August 17, 1820. His parents, Elias and Rosa (Resek), were born in the same place. He was one of a large family of children and while he attended the preparatory schools at Pilsen, helped to defray the expenses of his education by teaching. From the Gymnasium or High School in Pilsen he went to the academy at Prague where he took the higher classical course and began the study of medicine. In order to be near and have the advantages of the larger clinics, laboratories and medical museums and of the more thorough school, he went to the Vienna University where he continued his studies under the guidance of the great men of that time, among whom were: Rokitanski, Hebra, Schuh, Hyrtl, Oppolzer, Skoda, Rosas, and other authorities. He was an industrious and conscientious student and a hard worker in the calling of his choice, but not to the exclusion of literature, music and the classics towards which he always had a leaning, and in the company of Solomon Mosenthal, Leopold Kompert and Moritz Hartmann, who were his intimate friends and who all became famous in the world of letters, he found ample opportunity to cultivate and to develop his literary tastes. After being graduated he returned to his native town where he practiced his profession about one year, and then at the outbreak of the March revolution with which he was in sympathy, but the success of which he doubted, he came to America hoping to find in the great republic of the West a better and more congenial field for his knowledge, and knowing that in the republic he would not be brought face to face continually with the despotism and intolerance which were characteristic of the Austria of that day.

Dr. Lewi came to Albany at once on his arrival in America and has been a resident of the city ever since. He soon acquired a large practice, a high standing in the medical profession and the respect of the community, and while his knowledge as a physician secured for him his large practice and place among his professional brethren, his literary merits made him a delightful companion and his patriotism a model citizen. Coming from a country in which prejudice and intolerance reigned and where a spirit of darkness precluded a better state of affairs, he, like all the better class of immigrants of that day, was naturally appreciative of the democratic institutions of the United States. He looked upon slavery as the national shame and even before he became a citizen he raised his voice in opposition to the institution. He joined the forces which were led by Greeley, Beecher and Garrison, helped to rock the cradle of the Republican party and cast his first vote in a general election for the Fremont and Dayton electors, and he takes much pride now in saying that he has voted for every Republican candidate from Fremont to McKinley.

When the Civil war broke out the surgeon-general appointed a commission consisting of Drs. Thomas Hun, Alden March and Mason F. Cogswell to examine physicians for the volunteer service, to which commission Dr. Lewi was made an adjunct member, and when in the dark days of the Rebellion the armed enemies in the field expected aid and assistance from their sympathizers in the North he became one of the organizers of the United League.

Dr. Lewi is an ex-president of the Albany County Medical Society and the senior member of the Board of Censors of the State Medical Society. He has devoted much time to the Albany Hospital on the staff of which he is still consulting physician. He never aspired to public office but accepted the position of member of the Board of Public Instructions for a term of three years. He served in the position with characteristic conscientiousness and was returned as his own successor three times, and after a service of twelve years declined a nomination.

He was married in New York city in 1849 to Miss Bertha Schwarz of Hesse Cassel, the daughter of Josepeh Emanuel Schwarz, a theologian and composer of sacred music. Mrs. Lewi is an ideal woman, a model wife and mother. Fourteen children blessed the union of Dr. and Mrs. Lewi, of whom nine are married. Of the six sons, two have followed their father's profession. One, Dr. Maurice J., practices in New York and is the secretary of the State Board of Medical Examiners, and the youngest, Dr. William G., is in practice in Albany where he is a member of the Albany Hospital staff and a lecturer in the Medical College. One son, Theodore J., is a pharmacist; Isidor is a writer on the staff of The New York Tribune, and Edward J., and Franklin L. are in business. Of the eight daughters the oldest, Wilhelmine, married Dr. Herman Bendell, who was a student in Dr. Lewi's office, and Martha Washington married Dr. Alois Donhauser, who was a graduate of the Albany Medical College and died in Albany while in charge of the United States Signal Service in that city.

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