EDWIN WHITFORD, born in the town of Brookfield, N.Y., December 29, 1825. Long before the Declaration of Independence was signed, and while yet the colonies were loyal to the mother country, the great-grandfather of our subject, Joshua Whitford, went from Connecticut into the wild and uncultivated region of Rensselaer County, and settled at a place then called Petersburg, but which is now known as Berlin. There the grandfather, who was also named Joshua, was born in 1755, and in 1794 took up a tract of timber land lying between Leonardsville and Brookfield, being one of the earliest recorded settlers of the place. This very farm is now owned by the great-grandchildren of the family. The grandfather lived on this place until his death, and is buried in the plot of ground on the farm which was laid out for a burial-site. William Whitford, father of Edwin, remained at the homestead for many years, living for a short time on an adjacent farm, but returning to the old home, and residing here until his death, in the year 1850. He married Miss Hannah Clark; and there were four children born to them: Clark M.; Silas, deceased 1892; Calvin; and Edwin, our subject. The mother died in 1860, at the age of seventy-four.
Edwin Whitford received a fine education in the district school and in the Brookfield Academy, and until twenty-one years old remained at home on the farm. When he became of age, he commenced teaching school, following this occupation in the winter and running his farm in the summer. For two years he was a preceptor in the Brookfield Academy, and then for eight years taught in the district schools near by. He then purchased a farm, and went in strongly for agriculture. In 1871 he purchased a grist-mill in Leonardsville, which he managed for eight years, but still attended to his farm, and had his present beautiful home built. When he disposed of the mill, he bought thirty acres of land between Leonardsville and Brookfield, and began the culture of fruit, to which he still gives a great deal of attention. In the year 1849 he married Miss Ruth J. Crandell, daughter of Kilburn and Ruth Crandell. They have two children, Abert and Allie A. The son, Abert, married Ella J. Edwards in 1872. They have four children--Ernest C., O. Benjamin, Edwin, Jr., and Paul A. The daughter, Allie A., was married to W. E. Phillips in 1883. Two children have been born to them--Ruth L. and Kent Whitford. These families reside in Leonardsville. Mr. Whitford is the proprietor of the lumber-yard and saw-mill. Mr. Phillips is the Superintendent and Treasurer of the Leonardsville Canning Company.
The whole family are Seventh-day Baptists, Mr. Whitford's father having been a Deacon in that church for many years. The subject of our sketch has been a member of the church for more than a half-century, and superintendent of the Sabbath-school and chorister for twenty years. He still continues to hold, as he has held for a number of years, the office of Church Clerk. While Mr. Whitford cast his first vote for John C. Fremont, and has always been a firm believer in the principles of the Republican party, seeing the evils that unlimited license in the liquor traffic has done to the youth of this country, he is an active worker in the temperance cause, and leans very strongly toward the Prohibitionists.
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