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Below is a family biography included in Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1903.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Hon. Franklin B. Galbraith, M. D., one of the most prominent citizens of Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, who was distinguished both as a statesman and physician and surgeon, died in Pontiac February 21, 1903.

Dr. Galbraith was born near Port Huron, Sanilac County, Michigan, December 26, 1840, and came of honorable and substantial ancestry. His grandfather, John Galbraith, was born near Glasgow, Scotland, and later became a resident of Canada, where his son, the father of our subject, Dr. John Galbraith, was born and where he married Nancy Humphrey, who was also of Canadian birth, but of Irish ancestry. Dr. John Galbraith was for many years a practicing physician in Sanilac County, Michigan, where he died in 1880. The mother of Dr. Galbraith passed away in 1878. The parental family comprised seven children. One son, A. G. Galbraith, was a soldier in the Civil War and was captain of the 22nd Reg., Michigan Vol. Inf., he underwent all of the horrors of war, was wounded at the battle of Chattanooga and lay for 17 months in the terrible prisons of Libby and Andersonville, finally being sent home on parole but dying soon after from the effects of his terrible experiences.

In his early youth, Dr. Franklin B. Galbraith attended the schools in the vicinity of his home, but at the age of 13 years accepted a clerical position in a village store. His inclinations were in the direction of medicine and he was only 17 years old when he entered the medical department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. There he was graduated at the age of 21. In 1860 he went to New York and attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons, from which he was graduated in the following year; immediately after, he commenced his practice at Lexington, Michigan, where he remained until the succeeding October when he was commissioned assistant surgeon of the 10th Reg., Michigan Vol. Inf., and in April, 1862, he was sent to Tennessee. On account of failing health, Dr. Galbraith resigned and returned to Port Huron, where he took charge of the practice of Dr. C. M. Stockwell, who went into the army. In 1863 Dr. Galbraith was appointed surgeon of the Board of Enrollment, with headquarters at Pontiac, and at a later date was commissioned surgeon of the 31st Reg., Michigan Vol. Inf., which, however, did not go out as an organization, but was broken into fragments which went to replenish other organizations already in the field. He was transferred to the 4th Reg., Michigan Vol. Cav., and with that organization went to the front and participated in active warfare. Dr. Galbraith remained until almost the close of the war, and after his resignation was accepted located at Pontiac, to which city, its people, its development and its varied interests, he devoted the remainder of his life.

For over 30 years Dr. Galbraith was an honored citizen of Pontiac and was thrice chosen mayor of the city. His election was considered a triumph by his Republican friends, but his wise, just and economic administration of municipal affairs brought him the support of all factions. In 1889 he was his party’s choice for the State Senate and was elected from the Fourteenth Senatorial District by a large Republican majority. His attitude in the Senate was characterized by the same dignity, sincerity and thoroughness that had marked him as a physician and a soldier. Although he was thoroughly identified with the Republican party, he pursued a policy so manly and consistent that he seldom felt the lash of party criticism. Through all the stress of public life, Dr. Galbraith retained his love of literature and a devotion to the acquisition of knowledge which had been a characteristic of childhood. His attention was ever claimed by good books, literary excellence on any subject and by all those discoveries which have placed his profession on such an exalted plane. He was an honored member of the Oakland County Medical Society, the State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. His fraternal associations included the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, and Pontiac Lodge, No. 21, F. & A. M.

Dr. Galbraith was united in marriage in 1865 to Marie Smith of Pontiac, who, although a native of New York, has passed almost her entire life in Oakland County. The two children born to this marriage are: Grace G., and Dr. Stuart E., the latter of whom graduated in 1891 from the Michigan Military Academy at Orchard Lake, and from the medical department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1899, and is now engaged in medical practice in Pontiac.

The death of Dr. Galbraith brought grief to a large circle outside his own bereaved family. His personality was strong and of him it may be truly said as of another: “He earned honor and respect in public life as well as affection and veneration in private.”

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published in 1903. 

View additional Oakland County, Michigan family biographies here: Oakland County, Michigan Biographies

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