While walking into our museum have you ever noticed and wondered about that painting we have hanging on the opposite wall?
His name is Alonzo Jay Edgerton. And while you may think that he is displayed solely for his very fashionable beard, he was also a very important citizen of Dodge County. General Edgerton was a United States Senator and a Pioneer of Dodge county.
Alonzo Jay Edgerton arrived in Mantorville in 1855, with his wife, of five years, Sarah Curtis. He practiced law for 23 years here in Dodge County, except for when he served his country. In 1862 he entered the army as Captain of Company B, 10th Minnesota Infantry and was promoted to Colonel two years later. In the summer of 1865 he was promoted to Breveted Brigader-General in the district of Louisiana.
“…He was not only cool and courageous in the hour of danger, but very popular with the soldiers under him…”
– Pg 405 of The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Minnesota Volume, 1879
Shortly after arriving in Dodge County, General Edgerton was elected Prosecuting Attorney, where he served for one term. He was also elected to the state senate in 1858 and again in 1876.
In 1871 General Edgerton was appointed as the first Minnesota Railroad Commissioner for four years. While in this post he was described as the “people’s commissioner, gaurding with the utmost faithfulness their interests, without doing injustice to the railroad corporations” (Pg 405, The United States Biographical Dictionary). In the spring of 1878 he moved to Kasson, where he still practiced law.
“His dignified presence, and his easy and conciliatory manners, combined with great earnestness and sincerity, strongly and favorably impress a jury; hence his success as an attorney-at-law”
– Pg 405, The United States Biographical Dictionary
General Edgerton later moved to South Dakota where he served as Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court of Dakota for four years and resided there until his death in 1896.
He was also a Knight Templar among the Masons and held offices in both the Grand Chapter and the Grand Lodge.
Now that you know a little more about General Edgerton we hope that you will stop by the museum and meet him in person!