The Post-Journal

Dr. Harold Blaisdell

Funeral services for Dr. Harold A. Blaisdell will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church with the Rev. George H. Tolley officiating.

Dr Blaisdell was a veteran of World Wars I and II and held the rank of captain in the Naval Reserve. For almost forty years he had been one of Jamestown’s leading surgeons and highly respected in the community for many activities.

Dr. Blaisdell was born in Cherry Creek April 25, 1897, the son of Alfred H. and Bertha Emmaline Waite Blaisdell. His father was a prominent farmer and a leader in the Grange for a long time.

Three years after his graduation from Cherry Creek High School in 1914, Dr. Blaisdell enlisted in World War I and served overseas in France with the 105th Field Artillery, 27th New York Division, seeing active service in the battles at St. Mihiel, Meuse Argonne and others.

He served 11 months overseas and returned in 1919 to resume studies at the University of Buffalo where he received his medical degree in 1923. He served his internships a hospitals in Rochester, New York City and Yale University Hospital in New Haven, Conn.

In 195 Dr. Blaisdell came to Jamestown with his wife, the former Florence Phillips of Conewango, and entered private practice, first in the office of the late Dr. George Cottis and later opening his own office engaging in the field of surgery, with a high degree of success.

He was a life member of the American College of Surgeons, a past president of the Chautauqua County Medical Society, a member of the American Medical Association and the N.Y.S. Medical Society. H was on the staffs o Jamestown General and W.C.A. Hospitals.

Following World War I, Dr. Blaisdell held a first lieutenant’s commission in the Medical Corps of the army for 15 years, but in October 1941 he transferred to the Navy’s Medical Reserve with the rank of lieutenant commander. On October 27 of that year he was ordered to active duty at the Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Va., and thus entered the service more than a month before Pearl Harbor.

Subsequently Lt. Comdr. Blaisdell served in Alaska and then was assigned to sea duty aboard the carrier USS Cabot. Earl in 1944 he was promoted to commander and after separation was advanced to captain in the Naval Reserves. For some time prior to his return to civilian practice he was chief of surgery at Camp Shelton, Norfolk, Va. He served four years and 10 months when he returned to Jamestown in 1945 to resume private practice.

But his busy career as a surgeon did not keep him from taking a prominent part in many areas of community service. A director of the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce for several years, he served as president in 1937-1938. He was a member of the First Baptist Church and was formerly chairman of the church trustees. He also was formerly a director of the Jamestown Y.M.C.A.

A Republican, Dr. Blaisdell was one of the delegates from the former First Assembly District to the Republican State Conventions in 1936 and 1938.

He has been an active member of Ira Lou Spring Post, American Legion. He was a former post commander and served as grand medical officer of the New York State Department, 40 & 8, the fun-making branch of the Legion.

Dr. Blaisdell as a member of Mt. Moriah Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons.; Western Sun Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Jamestown Commandery, Knights Templar; and Ismailia Temple of Shriners of Buffalo.

Since 1930, Dr. Blaisdell has held a private pilot’s license and has been one of the city’s most ardent flying enthusiasts. He was one of the first local citizens to own a plane. He was a leader in the movement that resulted in the building of the Jamestown Municipal Airport and was a member of the first municipal airport commission.

Dr. Blaisdell took a keen interest in Jamestown High School football and other sports for many years, serving as volunteer medical officer for the squad, a familiar figure with his doctor’s bag on the football field. In recognition of his services, he was elected to honorary membership in the school’s “J” Club.

A year ago, Dr. Blaisdell received a citation from the Chautauqua County YMCA for his Christian service to youth in the community, not only for being the Jamestown High School football team’s physician for more than 30 years, but for becoming the personal friend of many of the boys, guiding them in choice of career and helping them in various ways.

The surgeon delighted in outdoor sports, in fishing, hunting and golf, and gave his leisure moments to these activities. He resided at the Hunt Road address for a little more than 10 years, and previously for 15 years in the former Cyrus Jones’ home at Canterbury Road and Fairmount Avenue, the red brick landmark now owned by William Whittle, a home that was built about 1890.

Dr. Blaisdell was a beloved surgeon, whose contacts with people in all walks of life made him known in almost all homes of Jamestown residents.

His warm personal side, his friendship and thoughtfulness shone forth in all of his activities, not least in his professional services, which made him a genial favorite among the thousands of his patients, as well as among his associates in the medical field.

Especially notable was the part he played in advancing those activities which he felt were for the well-being of the community.

He was currently president of the Sportsman’s Club, one of the early members of the Union Club a member of the Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club and the Jamestown Ski Club. He was on the board of directors of the Jamestown Boys Club, Jamestown Girls Club, and Chautauqua County Boy Scout Council.

He served as camp advisor for the YMCA. He had taken an active part in the Chautauqua County Blue Shield Medical Service as a member of the board for many years.

Besides his wife, Mrs. Florence L. Phillips Blaisdell, he is survived by a son, Dr. William P. Blaisdell of Oklahoma City, Okla.; two daughters, Mrs. Charles Smith (Betty Lou) and Mrs. Richard Henderson (Cynthia), both of Boulder, Colo.; a brother, Dr. Roger Blaisdell of Wellsville; two sisters, Mrs. Walter Johnson of Largo, Fla., and Mrs. Alice Law of Jamestown; 10 grandchildren, Blaisdell Scott Smith, Warder Smith, Charles Smith and Amy Smith of Boulder, Colo.; Cydney Henderson, Julia Henderson and Thomas Henderson, also of Boulder; Susan Blaisdell, Stephen Blaisdell and Robert Blaisdell of Oklahoma City, Okla. A sister, Mrs. Leah Bryan of Watervliet, active in public health work in New York City, preceded him in death.

Dr. Blaisdell’s son, Dr. William Blaisdell, is completing his five year surgical residency in July of this year in Oklahoma City and has been accepted on the staffs of both Jamestown General and W.C.A. Hospitals. He returns to Jamestown July 1 to practice surgery, his office at 513 Pine Street.

Henderson-Lincoln Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.

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