Friday, July 3, 2015

Aloney Lyman Rust (1876-1951)

Portrait from the Plattsburgh Daily Republican, October 29, 1937.

   A practicing physician for over four decades in the Franklin County, New York area, Dr. Aloney Lyman Rust was a two time candidate for the New York State Assembly from Franklin County. Born in Chateaugay, New York on September 15, 1876, Aloney Lyman Rust was one of five children born to Dr. Elisha Aloney and Louisa Lyman Rust. His family relocated to the neighboring town of Moira when Aloney was a child and he would go on to attend the Franklin Academy at Malone.
   Following in his father's vocation, Rust decided upon a career in medicine and subsequently enrolled at Syracuse University, from which he earned his medical degree in the class of 1900. Shortly thereafter he began work at the St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse, but remained here a short time, returning to Moira to take over his father's medical practice. After a short period there Rust removed his practice to the nearby town of Brushton and married here on October 19, 1904 to Litz Dustin (1874-1963), with whom he would have two childrenPhyllis (1906-1996) and Gordon E. (1909-1977).
    Aloney L. Rust continued the practice of his profession in Brushton for several years, and in 1909 made his first foray into political life, being the Democratic candidate for the state assembly in November of that year. Sadly Rust did not fare well in that year's election, with Franklin County voters electing Republican nominee Alexander McDonald by a majority of 1,300 votes. An electoral result from that contest was published in 1910 New York Red Book and is shown below.

Rust's middle initial is mistakenly given as "W" in this 1910 Red Book electoral result.

  Following his rather lopsided defeat at the polls, Aloney Rust removed his practice from Brushton to Malone in 1913. He remained here for the remainder of his life and became widely known throughout that area as:
"A fine example of the old time country doctor. Traveling by horse and buggy, he attended his patients about the countryside, even operating when necessary. He had the distinction of officiating at the first confinement case in the Alice Hyde Hospital."
   Nine years following his first assembly candidacy, Aloney Rust reentered the political arena when he was again put up as the Republican assembly nominee from Franklin County. Although he was dealt another loss (losing to Democrat Warren Thayer by a vote of  5,277 to 2,313) one can see the results weren't as overwhelming as they were nine years previously! After this defeat Rust refrained from further assembly candidacies but reemerged on the local political scene in 1937 and 1946 when he was a candidate for Franklin County coroner.
   During the 1940s Rust was selected to serve as chairman of the Franklin County Selective Service Board and continued in this role until stepping down because of health concerns in 1950. In 1947 he retired from the active practice of medicine and three years later was honored by the New York State Medical Society for his fifty-year career in the medical field (which, according to his estimation, saw him deliver 1,400 babies!)
    Aloney Lyman Rust died at his Malone home on July 1, 1951 at the age of 74. He was survived by his wife and two children and was later interred at the Morningside Cemetery located in Malone. This cemetery is also notable for being the resting place of former U.S. Representative and state senator William Almon Wheeler, who would experience further distinction when he was elected as Vice-President of the United States in 1877, serving under Rutherford B. Hayes.

                                                 Aloney Rust during the time of his first assembly candidacy.

From the Chateaugay Record, July 6, 1951.

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