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Correspondence of Alfred Peck Edgerton and Alonzo Jay Edgerton



154 West Berry St., Fort Wayne, Ind.

Jany. 9th, 1883.

Hon. A. J. Edgerton


          My Dear Sir: –


     I was particularly pleased to receive your letter of 3rd. inst, and I thank you for your good opinion of the two addresses I sent you.

     I have no doubt we are descended from one common ancestor, Richard Edgerton, one of the Original proprieters of the nine mile square, bought of the Mohecan Indians in 1659, or which is now the town of Norwich, Conn.  A very full account of the 35 original proprietors and many of their descendants is given in Chancellor Walworth’s “Hyde Genealogy” two large volumes containing together 1446 pages published in 1864 by J. Munsel, Albany, N.Y., and also in the published proceedings of the Bi-centennial celebration of the settlement of Norwich in 1859.  At that meeting, my father was present.  He died here in 1874, at my home, 87 years old.  A brief sketch of his life will be found in Appleton’s Annual Cyclopedia for 1874.  P. 650.

     My ancestors were, 1st. – Richard Edgerton, above named, Married Apl. 7th, 1653. Mary Sylvester at Saybrook, removed to Norwich in 1660.  From this Richard Edgerton, without doubt came all the Edgertons in this Country.  2nd. – his third son, Joseph, married Experience Pratt at Norwich and their third son was Elisha Edgerton, born Nov. 23rd, 1719; married Zeriah Abel, Dec. 31st, 1744 and 4th, Elisha Edgerton, oldest son of Elisha, was born Nov. 23, 1753, married March 23rd, 1775, Emma Peck, born Oct. 14th, 1754.  5th. – Bela Edgerton (my father) 3rd son of Elisha, was born Sept. 28th, 1787, married March 24th, 1811, Phebe Ketchum born March 27th, 1790.  Of my ancestors in the direct line, I have a full account.  Your ancestors must be from the elder sons of Richard, or from the sons of Joseph, my ancestor being the 3rd. son.

     Margaret Post was the common ancestor of Chancellor Walworth and of our family.  Besides the remote relationship, the Chancellor’s first wife was my first cousin, being the daughter of my mother’s sister.  Sydney Edgerton a member of Congress from Ohio, and afterward Governor of Montana (although his name does not appear in the “Hyde Genealogy”) is, beyond question, of the same Edgerton blood, for he had my father’s face.

     Of my father’s family there were three sons and one daughter.  I am the oldest, born at Plattsburgh, Clinton Co., – N. Y. Jan. 11th, 1813.  I came from New York to the West in 1837.  I send you “An Old Settlers” address, which will give you some account of my movements and the causes.  I was in the Ohio Senate in 1845, – 6, – 7, and was a member of the 32nd and 33rd Congress, and Chairman of the Com. of Claims.  Since leaving Congress I have kept out of politics, or have been kept out, as R. B. Washburn says, “because I was not on the right side”, the side he wanted me to take in 1854.  I was in Congress in 1854 and voted against the Kansas and Nebraska bill, in all its forms, and yet accepted a nomination for Congress from the Dem. party, and was completely “snowed under”.  Then I resided in Ohio, near the Indians line, 24 miles from here, where I yet have my country residence.  I removed to the City in 1857.  My brother Lycurgus Edgerton was my father’s next son, born Oct. 28th, 1815.  He was a merchant in New York of the firm of Jno. Steward & Co., L. Edgerton & Doane, Edgerton, Rogers & Hatch & L. Edgerton & Co., my son being the Company.  My brother died on the cars Nov. 8, 1878 between Ogden and Salt Lake City, on his way with J. Cook to conclude the purchase of the Horn Silver Mine.  His family was then and are now residents of France, his daughter marrying there.  His only son died Dec. 6th, 1882 on a Steamer in the Indian Ocean on his way to Shanghai, China, in the interest of a French Banking House in London, with which he was engaged.  He was a young man of fine promise, 25 years of age, he lived in my family five years, from 1869 to 1874.  My youngest brother is Joseph K. Edgerton of this City, a lawyer, land-holder and manufacturer.  He was a member of the 28th Congress from this District, and defeated as a candidate for the 39th Congress.

     I am not a professional man, and my business has been entirely in real estate, in which I have dealt extensively.  I have refused to accept my political office, and have contented myself, as far as public positions are concerned, with the Presidency of the Board of Education of this City, which I have held without opposition for about 15 years; but while not accepting any office or seeking any, I have maintained my right to condemn and denounce the follies to say in the lease, of my own party, and I assure you that this has given me political business enough.

     I send you two addresses which I happen to have at hand, both delivered at my old Ohio Home, at Hicksuth, Defiance Co. – Ohio.  There is an old citizen of Ft. Wayne, resident at Yankton, Lot S. Bayless, formerly in the land office here.  A very kind hearted old gentlemen and one of earliest settlers here.  Should I ever go to Yankton I would call upon you surely, and should you ever pass this way, toward Washington to the Senate, when Dakota becomes a State, you will find an “Edgerton” who believes in man’s highest humility, and who thinks that entertaining his friends is one of them.  In the hope that we may know each other better, I am,

Yours very truly,

A. P. Edgerton.



Territory of Dakota,

Supreme Court, Yankton, July 16, 1883.

Hon. A. P. Edgerton,

     My Dear Sir: –


     I have delayed answering your very kind and interesting letter of Jan. last in hopes of getting fuller data in reference to my father’s family.  My grandfather’s name was Roswell Edgerton.  He was born at Norwich, Conn., on March 14th, 1767.  He had three brothers named respectively Ebenezer, Andrew and Joshua, also one sister who was married to a man named Fitch or Fisk.  One of my cousins thinks that he has heard that my great grandfather’s name was Ebenezer, but this is not very authentic.  My grandfather removed from Norwich, Conn., to Vermont (possibly as a boy in his fathers family) and was married at Stamford, Vermont in 1790.  He lived for a while at Stamford and Bennington Vermont and possibly at Burlington, VT., and settled in Rome, Oneida Co., New York 1797 or 1798, where my father was born.  My grandfather had a large family of children, the three eldest were born in Vermont, the others in Rome, Oneida Co., New York.  I was in Chicago two months ago and tried to find “Chancellor Walworths Hyde Genealogy” to which you referred me, but was unable to find it in the public libraries of that City.

     I shall be under great obligations to you if you can help me with any further information.  Rest assured that I shall be most happy to accept of your kind invitation to stop off in Ft. Wayne, at some time.


Yours very truly,

A. J. Edgerton



[NOTE:  In the following letter, Mr. Edgerton cites information from Reuben H. Walworth’s, Hyde Genealogy (J. Munsell, Albany, New York, 1864), regarding the family of Eleazer (not “Ebenezer”) Edgerton and Sarah Hyde.  Much of this information is incorrect and has been noted as such.]


Ft. Wayne, Ind., Aug. 6th, 1883.


Hon. A. J. Edgerton,

     My Dear Sir: –


     Your letter of the 14th of July has remained unanswered because I have not had access to my Library here since its receipt.  I have been at my country home at Hicksuth, Ohio.  My family are descended from Richard Edgerton, one of the original proprieters of Norwich, Conn., or the nine miles square bought of the Mohuan [sic] Indians in 1659.  His wife was Mary Sylvester and he was married as Saybrook in 1653.  The nearest I can reach to you from the slight examination I have been able to make of “Chancellor Walworths Hyde Family” is this:  Sarah Hyde married Ebenezer [sic] Edgerton, fourth son of Joshua Edgerton and Ruth Kingsbury.  That Joshua Edgerton born 26th Feb. 1707 at Norwich, was the third son of Samuel Edgerton and Alice Ripley of Norwich, and grandson of Richard Edgerton and Mary Sylvester of Saybrook and afterward of Norwich.  His mother Alice Ripley, (born Sep. 17th, 1683 at Hingham, Mass., who married 18th Apl. 1703, Samuel Edgerton and died 18th Dec., 1768 at Norwich, (where her husband died June 7th 1748) was the eldest daughter of Joshua Ripley of Hingham and Hannah Bradford, who were married Nov. 24th 1682 and removed to Norwich in 1691.  Ebenezer [sic] Edgerton a son of Joshua, settled at Bennington, Vermont, with his wife, where he died Oct. 12th, 1819 [sic], and she died June 16th, 1824 [sic].  They had seven children.  Uriah, born 12th Oct., 1780, married March 10th 1801; Lydia Fay (born Jan’y 12th, 1781.)  They had seven children, two sons only.  Fay, a physician, died unmarried Apl. 18th 1832.  The other son, Daniel Warren [sic] Edgerton, born Feb. 26 1816, had two children, Mary born 1844, Adaline born in 1846.  Of the seven children of Ebenezer [sic] Edgerton, six were girls.  Uriah, the only son; all born at Bennington.  Anna married Erastus Taylor and died at Cooperstown, N.Y.  Celinda married Fred Davis [sic] and died at Schenectady.  Sarah married Zebulon Gibbs.  Louisa married Stephen Whipple.  Lucretia died unmarried May 8th [sic], 1858, at Grand Rapids, Mich.  Hannah, born May 10th, 1785 was the prolific one.  She married Stephen Hinsdale Jany. 18th, 1807.  He was a Merchant and manufacturer; born at Bennington, removed to Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1836.  They had eight children all born at Bennington.

     There was another Joshua Edgerton, born Nov. 12th, 1735 [sic], married July 31st, 1760. Elizabeth Hyde, born 19th of Sept, 1739.  They had a son James born Nov. 24th 1761, and other children, among them Anne Edgerton, their youngest daughter, born June 6th, 1776; who married Eber Hyde, her second cousin, (born May 13th, 1772) Nov. 6, 1793.  I mention this Eber Hyde because he removed to Warren, N. Y. Oneida Co., I think and there followed him, Hydes and Edgertons.  Among them, my father’s oldest brother Elisha, who died at Taberg, I believe.  He afterwards removed to Wisconsin.  Benj. Hyde Edgerton of Milwaukee is his son.

     There is no doubt we are from the same common ancestor, Richard Edgerton.  The original settlers of Norwich intermarried in various ways.  Edgertons, Hydes, Ables, Sills, Fitches, Dorris, Griswolds, Tracy, et al.

     My father’s brother Elisha married a Hyde and his sister Mildred, now the only one living of his brothers or sisters, married a Hyde.  She yet lives at Norwich, 94 years old.  My father died at 87, here at home in 1874.  See Appleton’s Annual Cyclopedia 1874, obituary notices.

     I have given you all I can at this time, and that is so hurriedly done that it must be as unsatisfactory to you as it is to me.  By writing to the publishers, J. Munsell, Albany, you may get a copy of Chancellor Walworth’s book.  It will be very interesting to you and doubtless show your ancestry.  The reason why my own immediate family is so easily traced, is that Chancellor’s wife was my first cousin, and I always made his house my stopping place at Saratoga.  Thus, frequently brought together, I knew of his purposes in his Hyde Genealogy, and gave him all information I possessed concerning our branch of the family.

     I hunted out Joshua, particularly because I found a Joshua in Chancellor’s book, as one of the names in your letter.  I don’t know that I ever shall go to Dakota, as I am not west-ward bound, – but if you ever go to Washington, the Ft. Wayne road from Chicago is the best, and then I shall be happy to see you, and if I should unfortunately be absent, my brother, Joseph K. Edgerton, also Ex-member of Congress, and a resident here, will make a stop agreeable to you.

Yours truly,

A. P. Edgerton



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