Names Index
Portrait Index

   PHILO WALDEN, a successful business man of the village of West Eaton and a representative of one of the pioneer families of the county, was born April 14, 1833, in the town of Otego, Otsego County. He is a son of John and Roxie (Pane) Walden, the former of whom was born in Vermont in 1798, and the latter in Massachusetts. They were married in 1816 in Vermont, and came to the State of New York soon afterward, settling in the town of Otego. There the father selected and cleared a piece of timber land, and spent most of his life on this farm. He was a typical pioneer, sturdy, industrious, and honest, and lived to the great age of eighty-eight. He died at West Eaton, at the home of his daughters, his wife having died on the home farm in the town of Otego, at the age of seventy-six. They were both members of the Baptist church, and in politics he was a Democrat. Their family consisted of sixteen children, fourteen of whom grew to mature years, and four of whom are still living, namely: Roxanna, wife of Stephen Westcott, residing in Oswego County; Sophronia, wife of Frank Westcott, residing in the town of Eaton; Philo, the subject of this sketch; and Deloss, residing in the town of Eaton. John Walden, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Vermont, and in middle life left home and never returned. He had started on a journey to New York City, but it was reported that he was robbed and killed.
   Philo Walden was reared and partly educated in Otsego County, attending the district school as long as he could learn anything there, and then a select school for three months. At the age of seventeen he started out in life on his own account, walking the entire distance from his home in Otsego County to the town of Eaton, Madison County, through the deep mud of March. At first he worked in West Eaton at fourteen dollars per month, continuing thus engaged for one year, and then began to learn the trade of carpentry. This trade he industriously followed two years, and then went to the northern part of Wisconsin, where he engaged in fur-trading with the Shawnees, Chippewas, and Oneidas. Returning to Madison County in 1858, he remained one summer in the town of Eaton, and in 1859 went to Kentucky, where he busied himself in putting up stemmeries for curing and drying tobacco. In the winter of 1859-60 he went to Canada, and again engaged in the fur-trade, remaining there until March of the latter year, then, in partnership with his father-in-law, engaged in the hotel business in West Eaton; but on account of the almost immediate death of the latter, which occurred March 28, 1860, he abandoned the hotel, and went to the oil regions of Pennsylvania, remaining there until 1861. Then, again returning to the town of Eaton, he engaged in selling goods and in buying wool for the firm of J. E. Darrow & Co., continuing in their employ two years, when he bought an interest in the firm. Since then he has been engaged in various kinds of business, and is also quite an extensive dealer in real estate in Brooklyn, N. Y. Mr. Walden has been an extensive traveller in the interests of his business, and has thus broadened his experience and widened the circle of his acquaintances. He has several times journeyed over the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern States. He is well informed on current events, and keeps pace with the progress of the times.
   Mr. Walden was married in 1854 to Mary Ann Wellington, daughter of Calvin and Jane Wellington. She died in 1862; and in 1869 Mr. Walden married Ann Wellington, a sister of his first wife. She died March 5, 1885. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, a good wife, and a worthy woman. In politics Mr. Walden is a Democrat, but is not an office-seeker. He is a most successful business man, and one of the leading citizens of the county. From this brief narrative of his career it is evident that he is self-made, in the best sense of the word, as he has accumulated a handsome property by his own good management and unaided exertions, and has established a reputation for probity and honor second to none.

1999- All rights reserved.