Biography - Samuel Alden

S. E. ALDEN was born in Hartford, Conn., December 15, 1819, and when nine years old, moved with his parents to Madison County, N. Y. When fourteen years of age, he began learning the carpenter and joiner's trade with his father, and remained in Cazenovia, Madison Co., N. Y., till he was twenty-one years old. In 1843, he went to New York, where he worked as a journeyman until 1851, when he took the Panama route to California, where he worked for a mining company as machinist and pattern-maker; he also prospected for a time, and afterward engaged as contractor and builder in San Francisco and Marysville, Cal., where he remained in business thirteen months, and the end of which time he returned to Cazenovia, N. Y. In 1855, he left Cazenovia and came West to Litchfield, Ill. His first work in Litchfield was on the buildings of the Terre Haute & Alton R. R., on which he worked two years, during which time the present depot was erected; he then went into business on his own account as a contractor and builder, and constructed many of the first buildings of Litchfield; he carried on business in the city and county principally until 1878, when he became foreman carpenter for the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad, and remained in that position three and a half years; he built the Montgomery County Court House in 1865, and a Methodist Episcopal Church at Hillsboro some time before. In Cazenovia, N. Y., in 1842, he married Cynthia H. RUSSELL, born in Connecticut July 6, 1824, third daughter of Jesse and Mary (ANDRUS) RUSSELL, natives of Connecticut, of Puritan stock, and parents of four sons and five daughters, all living save one; the RUSSELLs were for many generations strict Presbyterians and stanch Whigs; Jesse RUSSELL, father of Mrs. ALDEN, a blacksmith, and very skillful in his trade, was a fifer in the war of 1812, under Gen. Jackson; in 1825, he made a trip to Western New York, purchased a farm and sowed some grain, but became discouraged and returned to his old home in Connecticut; in 1828, however, he returned with his family and settled at Cazenovia, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. ALDEN have four daughters, Mr. ALDEN is a descendant of one of the Pilgrim fathers; three brothers came over in the Mayflower by the name of ALDEN - John, Ezra, and one, name unknown, who died soon after landing; Ezra, the grandfather of our subject, was a well-to-do farmer, and lived at Greenwich, Mass.; he had six sons and three daughters; his second son, Samuel, the father of subject, was born near Greenwich, Mass., in August, 1793; he was a carpenter and joiner by trade, and worked at it at Hartford, Conn., until 1828, when he moved to Cazenovia, N. Y., where he died in January, 1854; his wife, Fanny ANDRUS, born in 1791, died December 1, 1874; they were the parents of three sons and three daughters, of whom our subject, Samuel E., is the eldest. The ALDENs were Presbyterians and Whigs.

Extracted 19 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1882 History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois, Part 2 Biographical Department, pages 124-125.

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