THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   H. M. AYLESWORTH, Esq., an honored resident of Leonardsville, some time District Attorney of Madison County, was born January 23, 1841, in Burlington, Otsego County, N. Y. The paternal grandfather of this distinguished legal advocate, Elhanan Aylesworth, who was born in Providence, R.I., August 31, 1772, when he came to the State of New York, stopped for a short time at Hoosick, near Albany, N.Y., proceeding thence by ox-team to Burlington, N. Y., where he began a clearing in the forest, and there made his home until the time of his death, October 17, 1857. The ancestors of the family were originally from England.
   The father, named Perry, was reared on the farm, but received an academic education, and early developed a taste for literature. He had also a natural bent for mechanics. Having no inclination for agricultural pursuits, he did comparatively little in that line. He was married March 29, 1836, to Miss Luna Norton DeLong, daughter of James DeLong. She reared three children: Homer E., who died in 1886; our subject; and Nelson O. At the time of marriage Mr. Perry was engaged in teaching, which vocation he followed for some years. Later he returned to the farm, and took care of his parents in their last days. The year of his death he had been on a visit to Illinois, and on his return home unfortunately fell from the train at Thorold, near Niagara Falls, C. W., and was instantly killed. This was indeed a tragic ending for this gifted gentleman. He at one time held a license to exhort in the Methodist church, but on account of the opposition of his family did not take up the ministry as a calling. The mother is still living, at the age of eighty-three.
   Our subject remained at home until his fifteenth year, having finished a course at the public schools and at the Cooperstown Seminary. At that age he went out to Central Illinois, and commenced teaching at a place four miles from Springfield. This school was composed of eighty-six scholars, and had the reputation of having the "hardest" set of boys in that section, whose exploits in running the school were the talk of the country. For one so young the new preceptor developed remarkable ability as a teacher, both in government and in the art of imparting knowledge, and won laurels for himself which brought him into prominence. He was probably the youngest teacher who had ever managed so unruly a public school, compelling obedience and commanding the respect of his pupils as well. After teaching in this country in various schools for some years, he finally returned to Otsego County, New York, where he resumed his studies at the Cazenovia Seminary and at Cooperstown Seminary. He was also a private pupil under Professor Homer Anderson, A.M.
   Having made up his mind to become a lawyer, he first entered the office of George S. Graham, of Burlington Green. Finishing his course of study with S. S. Morgan, of West Winfield, N. Y., he was admitted to the bar in October of 1865, the general term at Syracuse, N.Y. He opened an office in Bridgewater, N. Y., where he remained one year. He then went to Brookfield, N. Y., for a short time, and in the fall of 1867 removed to New Berlin, N. Y., entering into partner- ship with Hon. Henry Bennett, one of the most gifted lawyers of his day, who had just retired from a successful Congressional career, and continued with him until the death of Mr. Bennett, and then practised alone and in partnership with Hon. H. H. Harrington until 1873, when he retired from active work for a year. In 1875 he went to Leonardsville, where he has since remained. During three years of this time he was District Attorney of Madison County, and discharged the responsible duties of that important office with marked ability and success.
   At twenty years of age Mr. H. M. Aylesworth married Miss Lucinda Bradley, daughter of Horatio Bradley, of Hartwick, Otsego County, N. Y. They have one son, Elmer B., and one daughter, Minnie E. Elmer B. married Miss Grace Sampson, and has two children. Minnie E. is a graduate of Cazenovia Seminary and the Utica Conservatory of Music, and is now at the head of the Musical Department of Downer College at Fox Lake, Wis. This young lady has achieved considerable reputation as an elocutionist, and is also attracting attention in musical composition, in which she shows great ability.    The wife of Mr. Aylesworth died July 17, 1887, deeply regretted by her large circle of friends and mourned with intense grief by her husband and family. Mr. Aylesworth is as skilled in literature as in the law, and many exquisite bits of poetry have emanated from his facile pen. He takes a front rank in the Masonic Order, having been a member since 1865. He has been Master of Western Star Lodge, No. 15, and is now a member of Phoebus Lodge, No. 82, of New Berlin; Warren Chapter, No. 22; and Norwich Commandery, No. 46. The record of this gentleman is truly interesting and instructive. Beginning the world for himself at the age of fifteen, he has battled successfully with the difficulties of life, he has won recognition as a man of letters and advanced culture, while as a legal advocate he stands admittedly at the head of the bar in his county.

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