Fortunate is the man who has back of him an ancestry honorable and distinguished, and happy is he whose lines in life are passed in harmony therewith. In person, character and in talents Mr. Edwards is a worthy scion of his race. Though his life has been one rather of modest reserve than of ambitious self-seeking, he has displayed excellent business ability and has won an honorable place among the business men of Troy. He belongs to a family that has left its impress upon the annals of the nation since an early period in the history of the country. The line of descent on the paternal side can be traced back eight generations in America to William Edwards, who settled in Hartford, Connecticut, about 1645, and married Agnes Spencer. Their son, Richard Edwards, became a merchant of Hartford and wedded Elizabeth Tuttle, of New Haven. Rev. Timothy Edwards, a son of Richard and Elizabeth Edwards, was graduated at Hartford in 1691, and had won the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts when twenty-two years of age. He became pastor of a church at East Windsor, Connecticut, in 1694, and remained as the beloved leader of his congregation until January 27, 1758 when he was called to his final rest, at the age of eighty-nine years. In the same year occurred the death of his renowned son, Jonathan Edwards. In 1711 he went as chaplain with a force of colonial troops on an expedition against the French in Canada. Perhaps no member of the family had been more highly honored than Rev. Jonathan Edwards, whose name is closely associated with the leadership of one of the mighty religious movements of the country. He was graduated in Yale College in 1720, at the age of seventeen years. For twenty-three years he devoted his life to the work of the ministry, and, beginning in 1727, he was for a few years co- pastor with his grandfather, Rev. Stoddard. He then became pastor at Northampton, Massachusetts. In 1744 he preached so strenuously against the immoralities of the church that those who were guilty persecuted him until, in 1750, they secured his dismissal. His real worth, however, commended him to the trustees of Princeton College, and he was in that year called to its presidency, where he served until his death, in 1758. He was associated with the work of revival conducted by the Rev. George Whitfield, and known to history as "the great revival of 1740 and 1742." Robert Hall says: "I consider Jonathan Edwards the greatest of the sons of men. He ranks with the brightest luminaries of the Christian church, not excluding any country or any age since the apostles." Sir James Mackintosh said of him: "This remarkable man was the metaphysician of America. His power of subtle argument, perhaps unmatched, certainly unsurpassed among men, was joined, as in some of the ancient mystics, with a character that raised his piety to fever heat. His treatise on "The Nature of True Virtue," and other works, elicited high praise from Lord Kairnes, Dugald Stewart and Sir William Hamilton, and were read throughout America and Europe. Timothy Edwards, a son of Rev. Jonathan Edwards, was married September 25, 1760, to Rhoda Ogden, of New Jersey, and died in 1813, at the age of seventy-five years. His sister Esther became the wife of Rev. Aaron Burr, president of the New Jersey College, at Princeton, and was the mother of Aaron Burr, vice-president of the United States. Another sister, Mary, became the wife of Timothy Dwight, long the honored president of Yale College, and a brother of Pierpont Edwards, who was United States district judge for Connecticut. Jonathan Edwards, a son of Timothy and Rhoda (Ogden) Edwards, was born October 10, 1764, and died August 31, 1832. He married Lucy Woodbridge, November 20, 1788, and their son, Matthias O., who was born April 8, 1793, and died June 25, 1843, wedded Sarah Bradley, October 12, 1815, and became the grandfather of our subject. His wife was born February 29, 1796, and died January 5, 1832. Jonathan O. Edwards, the father of our subject, was born at Binghamton, New York, August 13, 1825, and, in 1838, accompanied his father to Youngstown, Ohio. His death occurred in Troy, August 4, 1897. He enjoyed a national reputation as a breeder of merino sheep and short-horn cattle. He devoted his attention to sheep raising until 1879, and then entered into partnership with his sons, Ogden and Allen, in the breeding of short-horn cattle, this relationship being maintained until 1888. His herd carried off many prizes at the state fairs. He was married, May 19, 1859, to Joanna W. Allen, who was born at Ellsworth, Ohio, March 8, 1827, and belonged to a family not less honored and prominent than the Edwards family. The first of the name in America were Samuel Allen and his wife, Ann, who left their home in Bridgewater, Somerset county, England, in 1620, and came to America, locating at Braintree, Massachusetts, ten miles southeast of Boston. Seven generations of the family have since resided in the new world. They came from sterling English stock, and have been distinguished in this country for their religious zeal and piety, their patriotism and their love of justice and freedom. Samuel Allen, a representative in the second generation, was town clerk of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, in 1660. He had a sister, Sarah, who became the wife of Lieutenant Josiah Standish, a son of Miles Standish. Samuel Allen, the second, married Sarah Partridge, and her son, Samuel, the third, was married, in 1685, to Rebecca Clark, by whom he had a son, Joseph Allen, who was born at Bridgewater, Massachusetts, in 1693. In 1701 he removed to Norwich, Connecticut, and, in 1729, married Rebecca Fuller. Their son, Asahel Allen, was born in 1743, and was married, in 1765, to Desire Eames. She was a most patriotic woman, who did all in her power to aid the colonists, and gave her son and husband to the army that fought for the liberty of the nation. Enoch Allen, a son of Asahel and Desire Allen, married Betsy Witter, a daughter of Deacon Asa Witter, and they had a son, Asa W. Allen, the maternal grandfather of our subject. Asa Allen compiled and published a history of the Allen family, which was printed in Salem, Ohio, in 1872. It contains a fine portrait of the author and much valuable information concerning that family. Asa Allen was born in Windham, Connecticut, in 1795, and was a member of the militia company commanded by Captain Charles Perkins and stationed at Lisbon, Connecticut, for service in the war of 1812. They assisted in the successful defense of Stonington Point, in August, 18l4, when the British fleet attacked that place. Mr. Allen married Sophia Hopkins, of Edmeston, New York, in 1818, and it was their daughter Joanna that became the wife of Jonathan O. Edwards. The another was the daughter of Chauncey Hopkins, of Bennington, Vermont, and granddaughter of General Ebenezer Walbridge, an officer in the French and Indian war, and in the Revolutionary war, who took an active part in the battles of Bennington and Ticonderoga, and aided in the capture of Burgoyne. He settled in Ellsworth, Ohio. Ogden Edwards, the son of Jonathan O. and Joanna W. (Allen) Edwards, is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, his birth having there occurred on the 29th of August, 1860. He attended the public schools of his native town and completed his education in Rayen College. He is now associated in business with his brother, Allen Edwards, who was born December 19, 1861. Our subject is the resident member of the firm of Edwards Brothers, flour and grain merchants of Troy. One sister, Mrs. Catherine Gordon, was born August 16, 1866. His brother, Allen, was married July 30, 1890, to Emma Connor, of Ada, Ohio, and they have one daughter, Catherine, born July 2, 1891. Allen Edwards resides in McGuffy, Ohio, and is superintendent of the Scioto Land & Improvement Company, which owns four thousand acres of marsh land. On the reclamation of this tract fifty thousand dollars have been expanded, and the portion drained forms a part of the richest section of Ohio. About ten thousand acres are under cultivation and one hundred thousand bushels of onions are grown in a single season, while five hundred acres are planted to corn. The Edwards brothers are largely financially interested in this enterprise. The flour and grain business which they own at Troy and which is conducted under the personal management of our subject was established in 1890, at which time Ogden Edwards disposed of his extensive stock raising interests at Youngstown, Ohio, where he had been engaged in breeding shorthorn cattle with his father, and removed to Troy. From the beginning the business in Troy has been attended with a high grade of success. The firm owns and operates a splendid modern flouring mill and two elevators, and annually ships thousands of barrels of flour, feed and meal to all parts of the state. The reputation of their Daisy Patent and Lily Patent flours is second to none. The two elevators have a capacity of seventy- five thousand bushels and the mill has a capacity of one hundred barrels per day. The enterprise has become one of the most important in Troy, adding materially to the commercial activity of the city. Ogden Edwards was married, in 1893, to Miss Kate King, of Warren, Ohio, a daughter of J. F. King, one of the extensive stock raisers of this state. Two sons, Jonathan Ogden, born April 2, 1895, and Elmore King, born August 10, 1897, blessed their union. The family are members of the Presbyterian church, and in accordance with the political belief and traditions of the family, Edwards is a Republican. His social qualities gained him the warm friendship of a large circle of acquaintances, while in business he sustains an unassailable reputation. He possesses a most progressive spirit and unerring foresight and sagacity and strong determination, and these qualities have enabled him to gain a leadership as the head of one of the leading productive industries in this section of the state.
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