Harris Edgerton, son of Curtis and Amy (Harris) Edgerton.
Adelia M. Edgerton, daughter of Joshua and Lovisa (Post) Edgerton.
Harris Edgerton was born August 20, 1839 at Berlin, Michigan, the youngest son of Curtis and Amy (Harris) Edgerton. He made his living primarily as a blacksmith, a trade he may have learned from his elder brother, Duncombe Edgerton. Harris resided successively in Almont, Michigan (Lapeer County), Waverly, New York (Tioga County), Steubenville, Ohio (Jefferson County), Atlas, Michigan (Genesee County), Columbiaville, Michigan (Marathon Twp., Lapeer County) and finally Brutus, Michigan (Maple River Twp., Emmet County).
Harris Edgerton’s wife was his first cousin, Adelia M. Edgerton, daughter of Joshua and Lovisa (Post) Edgerton. Adelia was born at Whitehall, Vermont on November 6, 1838. According to Harris Edgerton’s Civil War Pension Application (file #101118), Harris and Adelia were married at Waverly, New York on October 20, 1861; however the 1900 and 1910 Federal Census enumerations (see below) indicate that the correct year of the marriage was probably 1857, which tallies well with the birth of their eldest son in December of 1858.
Harris and Adelia (Edgerton) Edgerton reportedly had six to seven children. To date, five of the children have been identified: William Edward, born at Steubenville, Ohio on December 17, 1858 (married Sarah Ann Lauthers); Katherine A., born at Steubenville, Ohio on March 31, 1863 (married Loren A. Maxfield); Harry E. (twin), born at Marathon, Michigan on October 6, 1878 and died there on December 22, 1878; Etta May (twin), born at Marathon, Michigan on October 6, 1878 (married first Wirt Levi Hoard and second George Washington Aurand); and George L., born at Marathon, Michigan in 1888 (died young).
Harris Edgerton, “aged 24”, enlisted on November 16, 1863 at Urbana, New York for service in the Union Army. He served as a private in G Company, 22nd New York Cavalry Regiment. The 22nd Regiment fought in battles throughout Virginia between December 1863 and June 1865. Harris Edgerton was discharged on disability at Baltimore, Maryland on June 8, 1865 (see New York: Report of the Adjutant-General). Harris Edgerton applied for a Civil War Invalid Pension on January 4, 1866, citing his service in the 22nd New York Cavalry, G Company (see National Archives Pension Applications; Application #101118, Certificate #108816). Included in the pension application was the following affidavit given by Harris’ employer, John Marr, attesting to Harris’ disability from his military service (transcript courtesy of Diane Hosler):
“I was well acquainted with claimant before his enlistment in the army. He worked for me at blacksmithing for four years previous to his said enlistment. He was then a strong healthy tough man. He left my place about six months before his enlistment. After his discharge from the army he came back to me in such a sickly condition that I would not hire him but gave him the use of a fire in my shop to earn what little he could on his own account. He remained in this way for six or seven months before I would engage him. He was afflicted with a number of bad sores on his back and hips which incapacitated him from doing much work. I should say that for the first six or seven months he ws only able to work only about half the time. Even after I employed him I only kept him as an odd man – putting him on light work and reparing jobs, he being unable to do horse shoeing and heavy work. He worked for me at this time about two years after which he moved away to some other locality and I have only seen him from time to time since. He has never during my knowledge of him since his return from the army been a well and healthy man as he was before his enlistment.”
Harris’ Civil War Pension File (#108816) also contains the following affidavit given by Mrs. Adelia Edgerton relating to Harris’ disability (transcript courtesy of Diane Hosler):
“I am the wife of Harris Edgerton. I was with him at the Jarvis Hospital. I went to the Hospital on or about the fifteenth of May 1865. I found him sick with Typhoid fever. After I had been at the hospital about a week sores apeared on his back and left hip. Gangrene soon made its appearance in these sores. I helped to nurse him and quite often dressed these sores until he was discharged. I also took care of him until these sores were healed. We left the Jarvis Hopsital on the eleventh of June 1865 started for Michigan got as far as Steubenville Ohio here he was obliged to stop. I took him to the house of Mrs. Elizabeth Abercrombie (she is now dead) there he was treated by Dr. Toffen and Fisher the former is dead & the latter we are unable to find. He was unable to leave the above said place until about the last day of July 1865 arrived at Almont Mich the first day of August 1865.”
The household of Harris Edgerton was recorded in
the 1870 Federal
Census of Atlas,
The household of Harris Edgerton was recorded in
the 1880 Federal
Census of Columbiaville (
The household of Harris Edgerton was recorded in
the 1900 Federal
Census of Marathon,
According to the above census record, Adelia was the mother of seven children, two of whom were still living. Harris’ occupation was listed as “farmer”.
The household of Harris Edgerton was recorded in the 1910 Federal Census of Maple River Township, Emmet County, Michigan (pg. 188; dwelling #98; family #96; enum. April 25, 1910), as follows:
According to the above census record, Adelia was the mother of six children, two of whom were still living. Harris’ occupation was listed as “blacksmith”.
The following biography of Harris Edgerton is excerpted from A History of Northern Michigan and its People (Perry Francis Powers & Harry Gardner Cutler; Chicago, Ill.: The Lewis Publishing Company; 1912; Volume II, pp. 713-714):
“Harris Edgerton was a child at the time of his parents’ immigration from New England to the wilds of Michigan, and his father, Curtis Edgerton, became one of the early settlers of St. Clair county, this state, where he reclaimed a farm from the virgin forest and where both he and his wife passed the residue of their lives. There Harris Edgerton was reared to adult age under the sturdy discipline of the pioneer farm, and his educational advantages in his youth were limited to the somewhat primitive schools of the locality and period. As a youth he went to Almont, Lapeer county, where he served an apprenticeship to the blacksmith trade, and later he removed to the state of New York, where his marriage was solemnized. Shortly afterward he established his residence in Steubenville, Ohio, where he was engaged in the work of his trade until the early ‘60s, when he returned to New York state, where he soon afterward subordinated all other interests to go forth as a loyal soldier of the Union. In the ciiy of Rochester he enlisted as a private in the Twenty-second New York Volunteer Calvary, with which he proceeded to the front and with which he took part in a number of the important engagements marking the progress of the great conflict. His enlistment was for a term of three years "or during the war," and he continued at the post of duty until his health became so impaired as to incapacitate him for further service, under which conditions he received his honorable discharge, in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. He then returned to Steubenville, Ohio, and after his recovery he returned to Almont, Michigan, where he was engaged in the work of his trade for a period of about three years. His field of endeavor for the next three years was at Midland City, Midland county, and he then returned to Lapeer county and engaged in business at his trade in the village of Columbiaville, where he continued to maintain his home about eighteen years, at the expiration of which he located in the village of Brutus, Emmet county, where he has since been actively engaged in the work of his trade and where he is a citizen who commands the unqualified confidence and esteem of the community. His life has been one of consecutive industry and he is a man of strong character and sterling qualities. He has served two terms as clerk of Brutus township, is a stalwart in the camp of the Republican party, and is affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.”
The following obituary for Mrs. Adelia M. (Edgerton) Edgerton was published in the Flint Daily Journal on Saturday, July 6, 1912 (transcript courtesy of Diane Hosler):
“Mrs. Edgerton Dead -- Complication of Diseases Caused Death of Columbiaville Woman.
Mrs. Delia M. Edgerton, aged 73, wife of Harris Edgerton, Minnesota avenue and Richfield road, died Saturday morning of a complication of diseases. Mr. and Mrs. Edgerton came here from Columbiaville. Mrs. Edgerton was a member of the Baptist church of that village. Beside her husband, Mrs. Edgerton leaves two children.”
The following obituary for Harris Edgerton was printed in the Petoskey Evening News on Friday, February 5, 1915 (transcript courtesy of Diane Hosler):
“Harris Edgerton father of ex-sherriff William Edgerton
was found dead in bed Fri. morning at the Edgerton home at Brutus. The body will be taken to
Original Source Documents:
1870 Federal Census – household of Harris Edgerton; Atlas, Genesee Co., MI.
1880 Federal Census – household of Harris Edgerton; Columbiaville (Marathon Twp.), Lapeer Co., MI.
1900 Federal Census – household of Harris Edgerton; Marathon, Lapeer Co., MI.
1910 Federal Census – household of Harris Edgerton; Maple River Twp., Emmet Co., MI.
Death Certificate – Mrs. Adelia M. (Edgerton) Edgerton; Michigan State Death Certificates, #1912-256.
Death Certificate – Harris Edgerton; Michigan State Death Certificates, #1915-63.
Gravestone photo – Harris Edgerton; Aventine Cemetery; Flint, Genesee Co., MI.
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