Ariel Edgerton, son of Ariel and Edna (Huntington) Edgerton.
Abigail Proctor Keyes, daughter of Abel and Esther (Smith) Keyes.
Ariel Edgerton Jr. was born in Norwich, Connecticut on June 8, 1789, the son of Ariel and Edna (Huntington) Edgerton. During his childhood, Ariel’s parents removed from Connecticut to Brookfield, in Orange County, Vermont. Ariel grew up in Brookfield, where he worked on his father’s farm and attended the local district schools.
In the Fall of 1811, Ariel settled in nearby Northfield, Vermont, where he married on November 28, 1913, Abigail Proctor Keyes, daughter of Capt. Abel and Esther (Smith) Keyes of Putney, Vermont. Ariel and Abigail had a family of eight children – five daughters followed by three sons. Ariel’s marriage and the births of his eight children recorded in the Old Town Records of Northfield (Book 1A, pages 357 and 308).
Ariel Edgerton was well-educated and was frequently listed with the courtesy title of Esquire. Upon his arrival in Northfield, he taught district school on the east hill, and continued to teach for a number of years in various locations. His primary business was that of a merchant. In 1815, he built a house and store in the center of town, his store being the first commercial structure in town. In 1824, he bought a grist mill on the east hill from Judge Paine, which he operated for some five years, and then in 1829 opened a chair factory in the south village, which was in business about five years.
Ariel Edgerton was a strong advocate for the cause of temperance. At a meeting held in his home during the Winter of 1826, he spoke to a group of about forty townspeople on the “use and abuse of intoxicating beverages”. And in 1828, he led a movement to establish a Temperance Society in Northfield. He was elected the first President of the Society, and at its first meeting delivered an address, which was later published in the Montpelier Watchman.
The household of Ariel Edgerton was recorded in the 1830 Federal Census of Northfield, Washington County, Vermont (pg. 316), with the following enumeration:
1 male “of 30 and under 40” (Ariel);
1 male “of 5 and under 10” (son Charles);
2 males “under 5 years of age” (sons John and Joseph);
1 female “of 30 and under 40” (wife Abigail);
1 female “of 15 and under 20” (daughter Almira);
2 females “of 10 and under 15” (daughters Laura and Olive); and,
2 females “of 5 and under 10” (daughters Cynthia and Abigail).
About 1835, Ariel removed from Northfield and settled in Quechee (Hartford Township), Windsor County, Vermont, where he resided for the remainder of his life.
The household of Ariel Edgerton was recorded in the 1840 Federal Census of Hartford, Windsor County, Vermont (pg. 417), with the following enumeration:
2 males “50 and under 60” (Ariel and ?);
4 males “20 and under 30” (?);
4 males “15 and under 20” (son Charles and ?);
2 males “10 and under 15” (sons John and Joseph);
1 female “40 and under 50” (wife Abigail);
1 female “30 and under 40” (?);
38 females “20 and under 30” (?); and,
9 female “15 and under 20” (?).
Ariel Edgerton died at Quechee, Vermont on September 20, 1859, aged 70, and was buried at the Hilltop Cemetery there. His widow, Abigail, later went to live with her eldest son, Charles Bester Edgerton, in Ironton, Ohio, where she died on January 5, 1887.
In 1904, Ariel and Abigail’s youngest son, Joseph Keyes Edgerton, had their remains exhumed (from Hartford, Vermont and Ironton, Ohio, respectively) and transferred to Northfield, Vermont where they were re-interred in the family plot in Elmwood Cemetery. A tall four-sided monument there contains inscription for three generations of this family. The Northfield burial permit (dated June 14, 1904) for Ariel Edgerton states that he died at Quechee on September 21, 1859, aged 70, of “senile decay”, and that his remains were to be transferred from Hartford, Vermont.
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