Charles Ralsey Sumner was born in Gilbertsville, N.Y. on March 12, 1852 to Charles and Mary Jane (White) Sumner. He attended Rochester public schools and graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A in 1874.
He received his medical education at the New York Homeopathic Medical college where he graduated in 1877 and established his medical practice in Rochester along side his father.
From 1894 until 1900, Dr. Sumner served as the health commissioner of Rochester, and joined the visiting staff of the Rochester Homeopathic Hospital where he served as the Vice President of the Medical Staff from 1901-1902. Dr. Sumner was the president of the Rochester Academy of Medicine from 1902 until 1905 and president of the Rochester Homeopathic Hospital Medical Staff in 1903 and 1904.
Dr. Sumner’s association with the Homeopathic Hospital lasted for a quarter century as a member of the visiting staff from 1900, then as an Attending Physician from 1912 through 1918 and as a consulting physician from 1919 until 1926. Doctor Sumner died of colon cancer on January 28, 1928.