Martin D. Westley was born near Stavanger, Norway, November 2, 1873 and came to Griggs County with his parents in 1882.  He attended school in Sverdrup Township in his early years, and later attended Red Wing Academy in Minnesota.  He taught school to finance his further education and attended Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Jefferson Medical College (now Temple University) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Westley established a medical practice in Cooperstown in 1904 and practiced here more than forty years.  He served as an officer in the Army Medical Corps in Europe in World War I and was discharged with the rank of captain.

He married a Cooperstown teacher, Miss Eva Hutchinson, in February 1911.  She died in June 1913.  He married Margaret Hutchinson January 1, 1915.  She died in 1971.  Dr. Westley died in 1946.

The Westleys were active in community life.  He was a member of the school board, served as Cooperstown's first Scoutmaster, and was active in military, fraternal and professional organizations.  Mrs. Westley was first president of the Cooperstown library board and was a founder of the Cooperstown chapter of P. E. O. They were members of the Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Westley's children: 

Richard O. , Winnetka, Illinois

Bruce, Lexington, Kentucky

Dr. Kent, Little Falls, Minnesota and Mrs. Donald (Ruth Ann) Buck, State Center, Iowa.  There are 19 grandchildren.

Dr. Kent Westley practiced in Cooperstown in his father's old office, for a short time, following the death of the elder Dr. Westley.




A Humble Tribute in Memory of

Dr. M. D. Westley


Now, the last page in his life's book turned,

The volume closed, and put away,

We who have read have newly learned

That our full hearts have words to say: 

Words for this man who touched every life

Within reach and need, and gently healed. 

His years, each a chapter of courage, strife,

Struggles, and sacrifice he concealed. 

His early manhood saw pioneer days –

He watched his home town, country grow. 

He rode the horse and buggy ways. 

In winter braved the blinding snow. 

Deep-rutted roads and rains in spring

Would challenge him, but never won

And wanting sleep could never bring

This man to leave his work undone. 

Ideals, the highest shining kind,

Were his always, for fellow men:

These, in an eager, able mind,

Made him a noble citizen,

One who gave, in act and thought,

Beyond his practice, so he could see

Molded of standards that he taught,

A strong upright community. 

And now the book his life portrayed

Has closed.  Yet will his living part

Be wondrously as it was played,

Immortalized in every heart.

- Dorothy Herigstad Whitaker.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976  Page 87


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