Edgar F. Belden

Aggie C. Reynolds

Transcribed from newspaper clippings, most have unknown dates or newspaper name.

Life of Edgar F. Belden

Edgar F. Belden was born on the 15th of July, 1846, at Richford, on the family homestead, which has always been his place of residence. His parents were Wm. F. Belden and Miranda L. Belden.

Wm. F. Belden, when about five years of age, moved with his parents, Capt. William Belden and Phoebe Belden, from near Lenox, Mass., to Richford and purchased the farm on which the family have since lived, and which then formed a part of the so-called Boston Purchase. The present home was built in 1855 and is the second house which has stood over the same cellar.

Edgar F. Belden was educated in the public school at Richford, the Brookside seminary at Berkshire, and the Dryden Academy.

In 1862, his elder brother, Eugene C. Belden, enlisted in the 137th regiment of New York volunteers, and after two years service was killed July 20, 1864, at the battle of Peachtree Creek, near Atlanta, Ga. This event exercised a great influence over the life of Edgar F. Belden, who from that time was actively associated with the veterans and after the organization of the G.A.R. was made an honorary member of Belden Post at Richford, and helped to support it, and to continue its Decoration Day services.

In early life he assisted his father in the operation of a sawmill and threshing mill. In later years he engaged in mercantile pursuits, but in the spring of 1891, he withdrew from all such activities, and from that time his life was spent upon his farm.

He was a progressive farmer and in 1892 purchased a small hand separator for the use of his own dairy. This led gradually to the establishment of a creamery largely patronized by the farmers of that vicinity, which he operated until his death.

From his boyhood he was connected with the Congregational Church at Richford, and at the time of his death was one of its deacons, the church clerk and a member of the choir. For many years he had been a faithful and active worker in all church affairs.

In 1894 he was elected treasurer of the Northern Tioga Agricultural Society, and held that office and performed its duties continuously until his death.

In 1901 he was elected Supervisor for the town of Richford, and was re-elected at each successive election. He was careful and accurate in his accounts and honorable in all his dealings.

On the 31st of December, 1867, he was married to Eliza A. Patch, who now survives him.

They had four children:

Arthur E. Belden, who has been for the past year vice principal of the Newark Valley High School;

William P. Belden, an attorney, of Ishpeming, Mich.;

Clarence F. Belden, who died of diphtheria at the family home, October 26, 1890, aged 15 years and six months, and

Alice M. Belden, who is now attending Syracuse University.

Mr. Belden is also survived by his mother, Mrs. Miranda L. Belden, who is 84 years old, one brother, Oscar E. Belden, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and three sisters, Mrs. D. P. Witter of Berkshire; Mrs. O. S. Randall of Kingston, Pa., and Mrs. J. L. Bovee of Richford.

Funeral Service:

The funeral of Edgar F. Belden, who died at Syracuse, Thursday, April 2nd, was held at the family residence last Saturday afternoon.

The Board of Supervisors was represented by Stephen L. Ball of Berkshire, Wm. E. Simmons of Newark Valley, Otis S. Beach of Owego, Minor D. Watkins of Spencer, and Fred G. Horton, clerk of the Board, of Owego.

Eleven members of the Newark Valley band attended in a body. There was also a large attendance of friends and relatives from this and neighboring towns.

The display of flowers was a splendid tribute to Mr. Belden, and showed the affection and high regard in which he was held by his friends. The casket was covered and banked with beautiful roses, carnations, lilies, violets, smilax and ferns, from the florists of Syracuse, Auburn, Ithaca, Cortland, Owego and Elmira. Among the larger floral pieces, was a splendid harp made of roses, lilies, tulips and narcissus, from Mr. And Mrs. W. G. Pierce, of Richford, a large wreath of enchantress carnations and foliage from the Board of Supervisors and clerk, a lyre of roses, lilies and carnations from the Newark Valley band, a large wreath of cream colored roses and lilies, from Henry, Mary, Edward, Josephine and Robert Patch and Mr. and Mrs. Charles O. Mayor; a wreath of purple violets from William Burlingame Belden, grandson of the deceased; an ivy wreath from Mrs. Richmond Pratt of Clifton Springs; a large pink and white potted azalea from Mr. and Mrs. L.H. Curtis of Syracuse.

There were also beautiful tributes from the Northern Tioga Agricultural Society, the faculty of the Newark Valley High School, the choir of the Congregational Church of Richford, the Kings Daughters, of which circle he was an honorary member, and from numerous friends and relatives.

The services were conducted by Rev. H. A. Ottman of Richford, who spoke appropriately and eloquently of the useful and active life Mr. Belden had lived, and of the loss the community had suffered by his death. Miss Pearl Prentice of Berkshire sang, unaccompanied, "Sometime We'll Understand." The bearers were Oscar E. Belden of Grand Rapids, Mich., brother; O. S. Randall of Kingston, Pa; D. P. Witter of Berkshire, and J. L. Bovee of Richford, brothers-in-law, and J. D. Joslin of the Newark Valley band, and Stephen Ball of the Board of Supervisors.

After the services Mr. Belden was placed in the hearse drawn by his own favorite gray team, and taken to Evergreen cemetery at Berkshire, where after a brief ceremony, he was laid to rest in the family lot.

Among those present from out of town were: L. H. Curtis, Syracuse; J.F._____of Elmira; Oscar E. Belden, a brother, Grand Rapids, Mich; Wm. P. Belden, son, Ispeming, Mich.; Miss Susie Richardson, Owego; Mrs. John Kennedy, Dryden; Mrs. Sylvia Caldwell, Cortland; Mrs. Lena Joslin, Newark Valley; Ms. And Mrs. O. S. Randall, Kingston, Pa.; Loren Curtis, Syracuse.

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