Sarah Hubbard Curtis, daughter of Asahel Benham and Emily M. (Hubbard) Curtis. PHOTO
Alonzo Jay Edgerton was born at Rome, New York on June 7, 1827, the eldest son of Lorenzo and Margaret (Palmer) Edgerton. He was educated at the Lowville Academy in Lowville, New York and then attended Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut, graduating in 1830. After teaching for a short time, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1855. He then commenced his practice at Mantorville, in Dodge County, Minnesota, where he resided for the majority of his lifetime.
The household of Alonzo J. Edgerton was recorded in the 1860 Federal Census of Mantorville Village, Dodge County, Minnesota (dwelling #137; family #168; enum. June 14, 1860) as follows:
In 1862, Alonzo J. Edgerton enlisted with Company B of the 10th Minnesota Infantry Regiment for service in the Civil War. He was commissioned a captain in the company on August 21, 1862 and was promoted to Full Colonel on January 25, 1864. The 10th Infantry was active in the Indian campaigns of 1862 and 1863, and then moved south, where they were active for the remainder of the War. Alonzo J. Edgerton was mustered out of the company on January 25, 1864, at which point he was commissioned an officer in the 67th U. S. Colored Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General on March 15, 1865 and subsequently commanded the 65th U. S. Colored Infantry Regiment. He was mustered out of service on January 8, 1867 and returned to Minnesota.
Alonzo Jay Edgerton was one of the most influential political and military figures in Minnesota during the latter part of the 19th century. He was a member of the first State Legislature of Minnesota, served as railroad commissioner from 1871 – 1874, was president of the board of regents for a time, and was twice elected president of the South Dakota Constitutional Convention – in 1885 and 1889. In 1876, he was a presidential elector for Rutherford B. Hayes and in 1881 was elected to fill the Senate vacancy left by Senator William Windom when he was appointed to the President Garfield’s cabinet. On November 19, 1889, Alonzo was appointed United States District Judge for the district of South Dakota, a position which he held until his death.
The household of “A. J. Edgerton” was recorded in the 1870 Federal Census of Mantorville Village, Dodge County, Minnesota (dwelling #47; family #45; enum. June 18, 1870) as follows:
The household of Alonzo J.
Edgerton was recorded in the 1880 Federal Census
of Kasson Village,
The household also included two servants, Erasmus Peterson and Maggie Marner.
The household of Mrs. Sarah (Curtis) Edgerton was
recorded in the 1900
Federal Census of St. Paul,
According to the above
census record, Sarah was the mother of nine children, seven of whom were
still living. Sarah E. was listed as a
“stenographer”. The family was residing
In 1883, Alonzo J. Edgerton
exchanged correspondence with his distant cousin and fellow politician,
Alfred Peck Edgerton, of
Alonzo Jay Edgerton died at Sioux Falls, South Dakota on August 9, 1896. Several obituaries were published in the newspapers of the time – notably The New York Times,The Saint Paul Globe and The Daily Huronite. His widow, Sarah, survived him a number of years. She later went to live in the city of St. Paul, where she died on December 18, 1918. Alonzo and Sarah are buried in the same plot at Evergreen Cemetery in Mantorville. A joint monument erected to their memory bears the following epitaphs:
The congressional biography of Alonzo Jay Edgerton is as follows:
“EDGERTON, Alonzo Jay, a Senator from Minnesota; born in Rome, Oneida County, N.Y., June 7, 1827; pursued preparatory studies; was graduated from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., in 1850; settled in Mantorville, Minn., in 1855; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1855 and commenced practice in Mantorville; prosecuting attorney of Dodge County; member, State senate 1858-1859; during the Civil War served in the Tenth Minnesota Volunteer Regiment 1862-1867 and was brevetted brigadier general; railroad commissioner 1871-1875; member, State senate 1877-1879; moved to Kasson, Minn., in 1878; appointed as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William Windom and served from March 12 to October 30, 1881, when a successor was elected; appointed chief justice of the Territorial Supreme Court of Dakota; upon the admission of South Dakota as a State into the Union was made United States judge of that district; served as president of the constitutional convention of South Dakota; died at Sioux Falls, S.Dak., on August 9, 1896; interment in Evergreen Cemetery, Mantorville, Minn.”
We are greatly indebted to Mary M. Sherman of
Original Source Documents:
1860 Federal Census – household of Alonzo Jay Edgerton; Mantorville Village, Dodge Co., MN.
1870 Federal Census – household of Alonzo Jay Edgerton; Mantorville Village, Dodge Co., MN.
1880 Federal Census – household of Alonzo Jay Edgerton; Kasson Village, Dodge Co., MN.
Obituary – Alonzo Jay Edgerton; The New York Times – Tuesday, August 11, 1896.
Obituary – Alonzo Jay Edgerton; The Saint Paul Globe – Monday, August 10, 1896.
Obituary – Alonzo Jay Edgerton; The Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) – Tuesday, August 11, 1896.
Obituary – Alonzo Jay Edgerton; The New Evening Post – Monday, August 10, 1896.
Obituary – Alonzo Jay Edgerton; Rome Semi-Weekly Citizen – Tuesday, August 11, 1896.
Death Certificate – Mrs. Sarah Hubbard (Curtis) Edgerton; Minnesota State Death Certificates, certificate #31506.
Gravestone photo – Alonzo Jay Edgerton & Mrs. Sarah Hubbard (Curtis) Edgerton; Evergreen Cemetery; Mantorville, Dodge Co., MN.