Stephen Decatur A Namesake

Stephen Decatur Wilbur is a name that conjures the true story and lore of the naval officer of the 18th and early 19th centuries, Stephen Decatur. It is a safe assumption that a man born in 1841 would still receive his name from such a hero, and that may be partly true in the case of our Stephen. 

However, The Binghamton Press writes in 1874, as S.D. Wilbur is a candidate for the office of NY State Western District School Commissioner, that he was named for Dr. S. D. Hand.

Stephen D. Hand was the son of a farmer and decided when he was young to educate himself for a different career. He becomes a teacher and then continues on to become a medical doctor. Ultimately, he settles in Binghamton during the late 1830s . After about a decade of practicing traditional medicine of the time, Dr. Hand turns to homeopathy for treating patients. Although he has critics, most of whom are allopathic doctors, he remains popular with and trusted by his patients. He is also an early sympathizer with the anti-slavery movement. 

That fine man impressed Abram and Mary Wilbur enough to name their son after him. No doubt, Dr. Stephen Decatur Hand was familiarly named after the Commodore who made the Barbary coast safe for decades. 

Stephen D. Wilbur lives up to the example set by Stephen D. Hand with a lifetime of dedication to education, community, and country.

Advertisements