Biography of Thomas Markley Trego


THE medical annals of Albany contain the names of not a few physicians who are well skilled in the profession, especially in some of its specialties. And among those who deserve to be included in this list of accomplished men is Dr. Thomas M. Trego, of No. 5 Ten Broeck Street. On the 31st of August, 1847, he first saw the light of day in the city of New York. He is the only surviving son of James and Maria Trego. His ancestry can be traced back for more than two hundred years. His father, who was born in Pennsylvania on the 1st of January, 1815, is of the eighth generation and descends in a direct line from his ancestor, James Trego, who was one of the oldest of three brothers and sons of Peter and Judith Trego, who were born in France about the years 1650-5. Being Huguenots and of French extraction, they escaped to England in 1685 during the persecution, and there formed part of the noble colony of William Penn, emigrating with him to this country, and finally settled in Chester county, Penn. Dr. Trego’s parents are still living at New Baltimore, N. Y. The maiden name of the doctor’s mother was Maria Houghtaling, who was born in Greene County, N. Y., on the 29th of December, 1814, and who is the oldest daughter of the late Thomas C. Houghtaling, Esq., of Albany County, N. Y. This gentleman was born in Greene County, N. Y., on the 24th of September, 1791, and was a descendant from a genuine Holland Dutch family. His mother, Kathrine Van Bergen, was a descendant of Gen. Salisbury, of Catskill, and was born in Greene County, N. Y., in the year 1760. Mr. Houghtaling’s ancestors were amongst the earliest settlers of that county. They were all tillers of the soil, and like most of their nationality were firm and unyielding adherents to the tradition of their forefathers. The same may be said of the ancestry on Mr. Houghtaling’s mother’s side, which were of the Van Derzees. The earliest ancestor of this name occurs as grantee in a conveyance, now lying before us, and bearing date April 23, 1652, by ” Richard Nicolls, governo and generall und his Royal Highness James Duke of York, and Albany, etc., of all the territoryes in America.” This curious old document, beautifully written in the old style of orthography, grants to ” one Storm Albertsen, of Beverwick (now Albany), a piece of land situate in Beverwick,” etc. This deed or conveyance has been for many years in the possession of Mrs. Trego, the doctor’s mother. Storm Albertsen, mentioned above, was an ancestor of Storm Van Derzee, the grandfather of Albertsen, or Albert Van Derzee, whose only daughter, Elizabeth, was the wife of Thomas C. Houghtaling, and the mother of Mrs. Trego. She was born in Greene County, N. Y., May 10, 1783. They were also amongst the first who settled in that county. They were mostly farmers and owners of large tracts of land, especially in the northern portion of the county. The derivation of the name ”Storm” is worthy of notice here. Tradition tells us that the first Christian name Storm was given to a child born of Van Derzee’s parents on board a ship during a terrible “storm” while on her voyage from Holland to this country.

In the spring of 1852 the parents of Dr. Trego removed from the metropolis to the little village of New Baltimore on the west bank of the Hudson, where his boyhood was spent in attending the common school of the place, and amidst rural, healthful scenes. Though taking considerable interest in the sports and pastimes of other boys of his age he did not neglect his school books, in which he found still greater pleasure than in manual exercise. He was always of a studious habit, and his progress in the pathway of learning was consequently more rapid than the majority of boys. When he was nearly fifteen years of age his parents sent him to the Brooklyn Boys’ academy, an excellent institution for the more thorough mental training and discipline of youth. After remaining there a year he was prepared to take a step higher in the course of study, and in the fall of 1865 was placed in the grammar school connected with Rutgers college, New Brunswick, N. J. Carefully improving the intellectual opportunities there offered he was, after a year’s study, thoroughly fitted to enter the freshman class of the college. He was now in an old and honored institution where sound learning and a high order of scholarship were brought within the reach of the true, aspiring student. And after diligently pursuing his studies during the full course of four years he graduated with honor in 1870 in the class which celebrated the college centennial.

Naturally inclined to the study of medicine from boyhood, he found no difficulty on graduation from college in gratifying his early tastes. His whole mind was in fact wrapped up in this science, and it was with feelings of entire satisfaction that in the autumn of 1870 he commenced the study of medicine in the office of the late distinguished Dr. S. O. Vanderpool of Albany. It is hardly necessary to say that his studies were here directed by a master mind in the medical profession. Young Trego understood this, and for eighteen months he improved the rare opportunity thus offered by laying the foundation of a substantial superstructure of medical knowledge. On the appointment of Dr. Vanderpool as health officer at quarantine, New York, about this time, he continued his studies in the office of the now venerable and renowned Dr. Thomas Hun, and his son, the late Dr. Edward R. Hun, of Albany, And here for nearly a year and a half he was steadily increasing the stock of his medical acquisitions. Dr. Trego may be said to have been highly favored during his student life by having enjoyed the instructions of learned and eminent teachers. On leaving the office of the Drs. Hun in Albany he entered that of Dr. Thomas M. Markoe, of New York, and while there he attended lectures in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating from that celebrated institution in 1874. About a year before he received his medical diploma he was appointed resident physician in St. Peter’s hospital, Albany, and after finishing his studies in New York he returned to Albany and resumed his work in the hospital. Faithfully and skillfully discharging the duties of this responsible trust with honor and credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of Madam Paula, the lady superior, and the medical staff, he resigned the position in the fall of 1875, and opened an office for the general practice of medicine on Second Street in this city. Thus fully prepared by a long course of study, investigation, experience and observation, and by a natural adaptation to his chosen field of labor, he started off with comparative ease on a road toward popularity and success. He was intimately acquainted with the science of medicine in all its branches, especially in its latest researches and advancements and the best modes of treatment as adopted in the Allopathic school. From the first his practice steadily increased until he became one of the leading and favorite physicians in the city.

There is one specialty in which Dr. Trego has greatly excelled, and that is the diseases of children, hundreds of whom he has treated with remarkable success. His skill in this particular branch was so marked, that at the suggestion and recommendation of Dr. Edward R. Hun he was appointed his successor as attending physician at the Child’s hospital, founded by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Doane of Albany. About the same time he became one of the attending physicians of the Albany Orphan society, and of the Babies nursery, now established on Washington Avenue in the new building which is the gift of Mrs. Stanford, the wife of ex-Gov., and now U. S. Senator, Leland Stanford, of California, whose early home had been in Albany. Dr. Trego is also one of the attending physicians of the St. Margaret’s home for infants, where babies under one year old are cared for. Besides this, he is one of the attending physicians of the Home for Aged Men, on the Troy road – an institution which owes its existence and continued prosperity to the wakeful benevolence of Mr. James B. Jermain of this city, who has contributed over $40,000 to it, and of which he is now the honorary president. In 1881 Dr. Trego was appointed physician to St. Agnes’ school for young ladies. He is also connected with the dispensary of the Albany City hospital.

In the summer of 1878 Dr. Trego, accompanied by his father, crossed the Atlantic for the double purpose of recreation and pleasure. He visited London, Edinburg, Paris, Antwerp, Belgium and numerous other famous places. He was particularly interested in visiting the various noted hospitals abroad, as well as in looking upon the noble works of the great masters in sculpture and painting, which adorn the galleries of the old world. Possessing a cultivated taste for the fine arts he there found many things to please his eye and call forth his admiration. Returning home after an absence of several months, he immediately set about attending to the daily calls of his patients.

Politics do not usually enter largely into the life of the physician, and while Dr. Trego is not an active warrior in this field, yet it must be said, that like his father, he has always been a pronounced democrat. In 1878 he was appointed by Mayor Banks one of the district physicians, while in 1887 he received the appointment from the board of supervisors as coroner’s physician for the city and county of Albany. He is also a member of the Albany County Medical society.

In 1881 Dr. Trego married Jessie, the youngest daughter of George W. Carpenter, Esq., superintendent of the Albany Water works. But after a married life of about fourteen months, this happy union was sadly terminated by the sudden demise of Mrs. Trego, the circumstances of which are still fresh in the memory of many of our citizens.

Seeking to promote the physical welfare of the public in the exercise of his best skill in the relief of pain and suffering among both young and old, and in also advocating whatever tends to advance the moral and social condition of the people, Dr. Trego, now in the prime of life and in the midst of an active professional career, has already gained no little distinction among those great and brilliant names which shine as stars in the firmament of the medical world.



Noted living Albanians and state officials , A series of biographical sketches. 1891.

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