Second from Left, East Side: Powers

This window covered the entire glass section, and depicted the white robed Jesus as the compassionate Friend and Healer who stood on the stone pavement under the shadowed, columned portico. With His right hand upheld in blessing, He was looking down at a sick, old man who was half reclining on a drab mattress at His feet with his hands pressed together in supplication as he looked up with pleading eyes to Jesus. Through the folds of his blue garment that had partly fallen onto the pavement, could be seen the iron rods with grap­pling ends that supported the mattress on which his friends had carried him to Jesus to be healed. A golden sunset glow permeated this vicinity and illumined a narrow roadway curving between stone buildings from which two men had emerged – a little ways apart – and were hurrying along the roadway until the nearer man, in bright blue garments, reached the place directly across from the portico where, with turned head as though listen­ing, he observed the scene being enacted. The central motif of the oval traceries section above is that of a golden cross, encircled with a narrow band of gold mosaics against a reddish-brown background; its side spaces were of bright yellow mosaic and each was centered with a sparkling gem of green.

At the lower section of the window, the name “Powers” is inserted in a frame-like mosaic of red against a background of cream, tan and white. The identical adjoining name space is filled by a row of five-leaved cream blossoms. The idea may have been an afterthought to use only one family name to the window.

Nelson C. Powers was born in Canastota, New York, on May 12, 1816, of well-to-do parents. He began his education in the local schools, and his grades proved that he was an apt student. He entered the Liberal Institute at Clinton, New York (now Hamilton College), and finished the four year’s course in three years. He immediately began the study of medicine under Doctors V. W. Mason and D. E. Hurd of Canastota. Then he went to Woodstock, Vermont, and lastly to the Geneva Medi­cal College, from which he was graduated in 1839 at the age of twenty-three. [The Geneva Medical College was founded as a department of Geneva College – now Hobart – in 1871. Hobart disbanded GMC and sold its library, anatomical specimens, and other tangible assets to Dean John Towler, who donated these materials to the new Syracuse University on condition that the trustees immediately establish an AMA-approved medical school. Thus the Syracuse University College of Medicine came into being on December 4, 1871, and eventually it became Upstate Medical University.]

Dr. Powers, with his charming and well educated wife and two children, arrived in Syracuse in 1852 to make his home. With his keen sense of humor, kindliness and friendly approach, he made sincere and lasting friendships. His medical knowledge and skill was recognized and he soon had a lucrative practice. He was revered by the rich and the poor. Like thinking men of his generation, Dr. Powers took part in the changing political scenes: First, he was a Democrat, then a Free­Soiler, and finally as a Republican he became prominent and dependable as a counselor and held the respect of all parties. Owing to his press­ing medical duties, he would not accept any political office, but often presided over caucuses and conventions. He believed in Civil Rights for all men and was naturally im­pressed with the leadership of the Rev. Samuel J. May. He worked happily with him in the Church of the Messiah, of which he was a Trus­tee for many years.

His medical profession added extra worthwhile ways for he and his wife to help in civic charities among the sick and destitute. His daughter Harriett L. married Charles P. Snow, a member of a like wealthy and influential Unitarian family. Their generous contributions, with those of others, made it possible for this church to take a lead­ing role in any civic undertaking. There were three generations of Powers-Snow families who were staunch and dependable workers in the church and community. Dr. Powers died of a heart attack on August 14, 1875.