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Alfred Peck Edgerton, son of Bela and Phebe (Ketchum) Edgerton.                                                        PHOTO

 

born:

January 11, 1813; Plattsburgh, Clinton Co., NY.  (GI)

died:

May 14, 1897; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.  (GI)

buried:

Lindenwood Cemetery; Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN.  (GI)

 

married:

February 9, 1841; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.

 

Charlotte Dixon, daughter of Charles and Lucy (Sage) Dixon.                                                                              PHOTO

 

born:

June 1, 1816; Portland, Middlesex Co., CT.  (GI)

died:

January 1895; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.  (GI)

buried:

Lindenwood Cemetery; Fort Wayne, Allen Co., IN.  (GI)

 

Children:

  1. Henry Hicks, b. January 1, 1842; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.
  2. Cornelia Augusta, b. February 4, 1843; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.
  3. Frances Delord, b. September 1, 1844; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.
  4. Alfred Peck, b. April 12, 1846; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.
  5. Charlotte Elizabeth, b. October 1, 1847; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.
  6. Ann Eliza, b. June 4, 1849; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.
  7. Arthur, b. February 7, 1852; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.
  8. Dixon, b. July 28, 1857; Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH.

 


The following biography of Alfred Peck Edgerton is provided by Ms. Ann McRoden Mensch, professional historical genealogist at the Allen County Public Library, as excerpted from the publication, Valley of the Upper Maumee River, with Historical Account of Allen county and the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The Story of Its Progress From Savagery to Civilization, Vol. II  (Madison, Wis.: Brant & Fuller, 1889; pp. 33-34).  Our thanks are extended to Ms. Mensch for sharing her research into this notable branch of the Edgerton family.  Those researching Allen County families are strongly recommended to Ms. Mensch’s excellent website – Allen County, Indiana –  History <-> Genealogy.

 

“Hon. Alfred P. Edgerton, a notable citizen of Fort Wayne, who has been prominent in the political history of Indiana and Ohio, was born at Plattsburg, Clinton county, N. Y., January 11, 1813, the eldest son of Bela and Phoebe (Ketchum) Edgerton, who were married at Plattsburg, March 24, 1811.  His father, a descendant of Richard Edgerton, one of the original proprietors of Norwich, Conn., was born in New London county, Conn., September 29 [sic], 1787.  He was a lawyer by profession, a graduate of Middlebury college, a member of the assembly of New York from Clinton county for several years, and died at Fort Wayne, September 10, 1874.  His wife, Phoebe Ketchum, was born at Livingston Manor, N. Y., March 27, 1790, and died at Hicksville, Ohio, August 24, 1844.  Mr. Edgerton, after graduating from the Plattsburg academy, took the editorship of a newspaper in his native town in 1833, but in the fall of the same year removed to New York city and engaged in commercial pursuits.  He removed to Ohio in the spring of 1837, and became the representative of the American land company and Hicks & Co., and established an office at Hicksville, where 107,000 acres of land were sold by him to settlers.  He became the owner, himself, of nearly forty thousand acres, which were mostly sold by him to settlers on liberal terms.  In 1845 he was elected to the Ohio state senate from a large territory which embraced nearly ten of the present northwestern counties.  He immediately took an active part on the side of the democratic minority, and showed himself a master of the important financial questions which were the subject of discussion in the senate by the ablest men of the state.  Becoming prominent by a debate with the Whig leader, he was mentioned as a candidate ofr the governorship of the state, and he was alluded to by a leading democratic journal as "an able and talented statesman; while faithfully adhering to sound democratic principles, his unimpeached private character, high sense of honor and sterling integrity as a gentleman, have commanded the respect of his most bitter opponents."  So even and consistent has been the long career of Mr. Edgerton, that this early expression regarding him, may still be truthfully quoted as an estimate of his character.  In 1850, after a brilliant career in the state senate, he was elected to the United States house of representatives, and re-elected in 1852.  He was second on the important committee of claims during his first term and chairman of the committee on his second term.  On the floor his arguments commanded the respectful attention of his associates.  From 1853 to 1856 he held the important position of financial agent of the state of Ohio, at New York.   In 1856 he was chairman of the committee on organization of the democratic national convention held at Cincinnati, and subsequently he was one of a committee selected by the legislature of the state of Ohio, to investigate the frauds uon the state treasury.  In 1857 Mr. Edgerton removed to Fort Wayne, but retained his citizenship in Ohio until 1862.  He became lessee of the Indiana canal, associated with Hugh McCulloch and Pliny Hoadgland, in 1859, and held the position of general manager of the division from the state line to Terre Haute until 1868.  In January 1868, he was nominated by the Indiana democratic state convention for lieutenant-governor, Thomas A. Hendricks being at the head of the state ticket, which was defeaated, it will be remembered, by 861 votes.  Other political positions he filled prior to the latter date were those of delegate to the Baltimore convention of 1848 and the Chicago convention of 1864, but since 1868 he has not taken an active part in politics.  In 1872 he was tendered the nomination for governor of Indiana by the O’Connor democrats, but declined to endorse that movement.  He was for many years a member of the school board of Fort Wayne, and resigned that position to accept the appointment of civil service commissioner tendered him by President Cleveland.  This office he held until 1888.  The latter position, like all others, was filled by him in a manner satisfactory to his party, and his constituents, with whom he has always been popular.  In private life Mr. Edgerton is an accomplished and genial gentleman, and during his residence in Fort Wayne, has been held in high esteem by the whole people.”

 

The household of Alfred P. Edgerton was recorded in the 1850 Federal Census of Hicksville Township, Defiance County, Ohio (pg. 87; dwelling #1169; family #1169; enum. August 23, 1850), as follows:

 

Alfred P. Edgerton

35

b. NY

merchant     $16,000 real estate

Charlotte

31

b. CT

 

Henry

8

b. OH

 

Frances

6

b. OH

 

Alfred

4

b. OH

 

Charlotte

3

b. OH

 

Ann E.

1

b. OH

 

Catherine Ford

40

b. NJ

 

Mary J.

13

b. OH

 

 

The household of Alfred P. Edgerton was recorded in the 1860 Federal Census of WayneTownship, Allen County, Indiana (dwelling #2118; family #2123; enum. July 26, 1860), as follows:

 

Alfred P. Edgerton

44

b. NY

Supt.    $250,000 real estate / $40,000 personal estate

Charlotte D.

40

b. CT

 

Henry H.

18

b. OH

Secy Gas Co.

Frances D.

15

b. OH

Student

Alfred

14

b. OH

 

Charlotte

12

b. OH

 

Ann E.

10

b. OH

 

Dixon

3

b. OH

 

 

The household also included several individuals listed as “hired help”.

 

The household of Alfred P. Edgerton was recorded in the 1870 Federal Census of Fort Wayne (Ward 4), Allen County, Indiana (pg. 343; dwelling #213; family #225; enum. June 18, 1870), as follows:

 

Alfred P. Edgerton

53

b. NY

land operator    $250,000 real estate / $172,000 personal estate

Charlotte D.

51

b. CT

$25,000 real estate

Frances D.

25

b. OH

Student

Anna Eliza

20

b. OH

 

Dixon

12

b. OH

 

Alfred P. Edgerton Jr.

24

b. OH

 

Minnie

22

b. NY

 

Bella Edgerton

84

b. CT

lawyer

 

The household also included several boarders, as well as the family of Alfred’s daughter and son-in-law, Charlotte and Satterlee Swartwout.

 

The household of “Alford P. Edgerton” was recorded in the 1880 Federal Census of Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana (pg. 642; dwelling #84; family #97; enum. June 5, 1880), as follows:

 

Name

Rel.

Age

Bp

F Bp

M Bp

Occ

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alford P. Edgerton

 

63

NY

CT

NY

 

Charlotte

wife

59

CT

CT

CT

keeping house

Dixon

son

22

OH

NY

CT

at home

Henry H.

son

38

OH

NY

CT

 

Junita

d-i-l

36

PA

PA

PA

 

Henry H.

son

11

OH

OH

PA

at school

Benjamin P.

son

4

OH

OH

PA

 

 

The household also included three servants.  At the time of this census, the family was residing at 154 West Berry Street, adjacent to Alfred’s daughter, Frances (Edgerton) Alvord, whose family was enumerated just previously on the census roll.  The family of Alfred’s son, Henry Hicks (that is, daughter-in-law Junita and grandsons Henry H. Jr. and Benjamin) were also enumerated in the 1880 Federal Census in the household Junita’s father, Benjamin Patton, in Hicksville, Defiance County, Ohio.

 

In 1883, Alfred P. Edgerton exchanged correspondence with his distant cousin and fellow politician, Alonzo Jay Edgerton, then of Yankton, South Dakota.  A portion of the correspondence (comprising three letters) was filed with the papers of Judge Albert Edgerton (1815 – 1896) at the Minnesota Historical Society.  (How these letters came into the possession of Albert Edgerton is not known.)  The letters reveal a good deal of genealogical information regarding the families and ancestries of Alfred and Alonzo.  A transcript of this correspondence is attached.

 

The congressional biography of Alfred Peck Edgerton is as follows:

 

“EDGERTON, Alfred Peck, (brother of Joseph Ketchum Edgerton), a Representative from Ohio; born in Plattsburg, N.Y., January 11, 1813; was graduated from Plattsburg Academy; engaged in newspaper work for a brief period, and later in commercial pursuits in New York City; moved to Hicksville, Ohio, in 1837; manager of the American Land Co., and engaged in opening new land for settlement in northwestern Ohio, near Hicksville, 1837-1852; member of the State senate in 1845 and 1846; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses (March 4, 1851-March 3, 1855); chairman, Committee on Claims (Thirty-third Congress); financial agent of the Board of State Fund Commissioners of Ohio in 1853, with residence in New York City; moved to Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1857; general manager of the Wabash & Erie Canal 1859-1868; unsuccessful candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio in 1868; chairman of the United States Civil Service Commission in 1885; died in Hicksville, Defiance County, Ohio, May 14, 1897; interment in Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Ind.”