Alson Cornelius Chittenden

Is your surname Chittenden?

Research the Chittenden family

Alson Cornelius Chittenden's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Alson Cornelius Chittenden

Birthdate: (38)
Birthplace: Westbrook, Middlesex, Connecticut, USA
Death: 1883 (37)
Immediate Family:

Son of Albert Cornelius Chittenden and Patience Lavinia Chittenden
Husband of Agnes Hill
Father of Rodney A. Chittenden and Walter R. Chittenden
Brother of Richard Handy Chittenden; Rev. Albert Jerome Chittenden; Newton Henry Chittenden; Adelaide Lavinia Chittenden; Caroline Dency Turner and 4 others

Managed by: JZ
Last Updated:

About Alson Cornelius Chittenden

Alson C. Chittenden Source: Memorial Record of S.W. Minnesota, 1897 - Submitted by Gary Boomgaarden

Hon. Alson C. Chittenden has long been one of the most prominent factors in the upbuilding and development of southwestern Minnesota. In the past ages the history of a country was a record of wars and conquests; today it is the record of commercial activity, and those whose names are foremost in its annals are the leaders in business circles. The conquests now made are those of mind over matter, not of man over man, and the victor is he who can successfully establish, control and operate extensive business interests. Our subject is unquestionably one of the strongest and most influential men whose lives have become an essential part in the history of southwestern Minnesota. Tireless energy, keen perception, honesty of purpose, genius for devising and executing the right thing at the right time, joined to every day common sense guided by resistless will powe, are the chief characteristics of the man, and these have been exercised not only for his own benefit but have been an important factor in promoting the welfare of the community with which he is connected. Mr. Chittenden comes of a family of long and honorable identification with American interests and history. The first of the name to brave the dangers incident to an ocean voyage in the early days was William Chittenden, who was born in the parish of Cranbrook, Kent county, England, in 1594. He was married in his native land to Joanna Sheaffe, daughter of Dr. Edmund and Joanna Sheaffe, who were born in Cranbrook. Crossing the Atlantic only a few years after the Mayflower brought the first colonists to Massachusetts, he became a resident of the colony of Connecticut, and died at this residence in Crooked lane, now State street, Guilford, Connecticut, in February, 1660. An item appeared in the New Haven colonial records, which says: "An inventory of the estate of William Chittenden, of Guilford, deceased, was presented, amounting to six hundred and seventy seven pounds, sixteen shillings, and seven pence, and proved in court February 21, 1660, on oath of his widow." William Chittenden was one of twenty five who left England in 1639 to seek religious liberty in New England. The members of this colony were mostly from the counties of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. They sailed May 20, 1639, and were seven weeks on the water, landing at New Haven, July 10, 1639. The progenitor of the Chittenden family was prominent in colonial affairs and was one of six selected to make first purchase of land for the colony, and, with Governor Leete and two others, recieved full power and authority to act for the colony in buying, selling, etc., and in all matters pertaining to "civil government of the plantations until a church is gathered among us." He was also the pricipal represenative of the military forces, bearing the title of lieutenant. While in his native land he had served in the English army against the Netherlands and in the Thirty Years war, and had reached the rank of major. He was a magistrate of the plantation and a deputy of the general court until his death. Other members of the family were prominent in affairs of the state, and several representatives of the name proved their valor and loyalty by faithful service in the cause of American independence in the Revolutionary war. The next in line of direct descent to our subject is Nathaniel Chittenden, who married Elizabeth, dauther of Thomas and Martha (Fletcher) Stevens. Their son, Nathaniel Chittenden Jr., was married January 6, 1725, to Lucy Nettleton, wh died in July, 1762. His death occurred in Killingworth, Connecticut, in August, 1792, when he had reached the age of sixty one years. His son, also named Nathaniel, was the great grandfather of our subject. He married Mehitable Beebe and died in Winthrop, Connecticut, June 11, 1820, aged eighty eight years, while his wife died November 25, 1805, aged seventy two. Their son Cornelius Chittenden, grandfather of our subject was married December 29, 1771, to Rachel Porter, of Tolland, Connecticut. He died in Westbrook, that state, the place of his birth, December 2, 1858, aged ninety two years, and his wife passed away November 5, 1848, aged seventy eight years. The father of Marshalls popular mayor was the Rev. Albert C. Chittenden, who was married July 9, 1835, to Miss Lavinia Jones, a daughter of Asa Jones. He aided in organizing the first Wesleyan church at Westbrook, was ordained elder in 1847 and served as local preacher until 1859, when he removed to Ripon, Wisconsin, where he joined the Congregational church. Later he went to Colorado, where he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in Boulder City, March 13, 1878, when he had reached the age of sixty six years. The Chittenden family is noted for its scholarly tastes and its devotion to literary pursuits. Among the children of Rev. Albert C. Chittenden are several who have contributed to the literature of the country a number of valuable writings, while others have attainted eminence in professional life. One brother of our subject, Richard H., was graduated at New Haven Law School and at the celebrated Heidelberg University of Germany and now is a leading attorney in California. He enlisted in the Seventy first New York Regiment, was at the battle of "Bull Run" and afterward went to the front as captain in the First Wisconsin Cavalry. He is famed as a campaign orator and has delivered many addresses in both English and German during the presidential campaigns. He also published an exposition of Goethe's Faust, and is also the author of several speeches, essays and poems which have been published and widely read. Another brother, Rev. Albert J. Chittenden, of the Wesleyan Methodist church, wrote a satirical poem, entitled Candidating Fair. A third brother, Henry N., served through the late war, holding the rank of adjutant, and has since published a history of his regiment. He is now a lawyer of note in California. Rev. E. P. Chittenden, who belongs to the same family, is the author of an elaborate work entitled Pleroma, a Poem of the Christ. He is a very scholarly gentleman, and is the present pastor of the Episcopal church in Winona, Minnesota. The life work of Hon. Alson C. Chittenden has been no less important than that of his brothers, though in some respects it is less conspicuous; and it is with pleasure the we begin the task of depicting his career and noting the salient points of his character which have made him the successful business man and honored citizen of his adopted state. He was born in Westbrook, Connecticut, July 29, 1845, and at the age of twelve years came to the west with his parents, the family locating near Ripon, Wisconsin, where he attended school. At the age of twenty one he went to Milwaukee, where he was bookkeeper in a commission house for three years, and in 1869 arrived in Minnesota. For seven years he carried on a general store at Atwater and then went to Boulder, Colorado, where for eighteen months he engaged in the insurance business and in loaning money. Returning to Minnesota he opened a general store in Marshall, one of the first large business houses in the place, and has since conducted an excellent trade here with only a short interruption, when he devoted his time and engergies to other enterprises. In 1885 he sold out and for two years had the state agency for Grant Memoirs, the sale of the work being in the hands of two hundred agents, of whom he had entire supervision, while the volumes disposed of amounted to two car loads. Mr. Chittenden then returned to Marshall, purchased two stocks of goods, valued at thirteen thousand dollars each, and again engaged in merchandising here. Once more selling out, at the end of three years, he spent sixteen months in California with his family, and while there erected a fine store building in Redlands, which he now rents. When he again took up his residence in Marshall he identified himself with the mercantile interests of the city and is now successfully conducting a large department store. He carries a very complete, extensive and carefully selected stock, which enables him to secure a very liberal patronage, while his honorable dealing and known reliability enable him to retain the support of those who once give him their business in his line. He is also a stockholder in the Lyon County Bank. One of the most active and influential business men in the entire county, his identification with commercial interestss has brough to him a handsome competence and at the same time has promoted the material prosperity of the community. He has always been a stanch Republican in politics. He was married on the 1st of June, 1872 to Agnes Hill, who was born in Edinburg, Scotland, and at the age of nine years, in 1856, came to America with her parents, John and Agnes (Reed) Hill, of Leith, Scotland. Locating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the father and mother spent there, their remaining days. He aided in the organization of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of that city and was a prominent business man. Both he and his wife died at the age of seventy one years, and of their family of eight children six are yet living. One brother is a retired dry goods merchant. Mr. Chittenden and his wife are faithful members of the Congregational church, and he is an active member of the Sons of the American Revolution and of the order of Knights of Pythias. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Chittenden number four children; Rodney A., who is in partnership with his father; Walter R.; Florences, who is receiving a liberal education in music; and Ella A. One of the highest testimonials of Mr. Chittenden's individual worth and the confidence reposed in him was displayed in January, 1896, when he was elected mayor of Marshall, in which position he is now most acceptably discharging his duties the devolve upon him. Marshall is one of the most beautiful and progressive little cities of the west, noted for its lovely homes, magnificent surroundings, its excellent business houses, its industries and its many evidences of culture and refinement. In all its appointments it is entirely up with the times, and few places of its size can boast such advantages, natural and acquired. It is situated on a plateau of rich land on the banks of the Redwood river, a historic spot which was ravaged by the Indians in 1862. Mr. Chittenden, since taking upon himself the administration of its public affairs, has been the promoter of many improvements, and is always an advocate of progress and of every measure that is calculated to advance the educational, social or moral welfare of the community. That he is one of the most popular citizens is evidenced by the fact that he was elected on a "No License" ticket at a time when there five saloons in the town, each paying one thousand dollars into the city treasury. They were all arrayed solidly against him, and the contest was one of right against might. Mr. Chittenden won the election by a handsome majority and his course since taking the oath of office has shown that the confidence reposed in him has not been betrayed.

view all

Alson Cornelius Chittenden's Timeline

July 29, 1845
Westbrook, Middlesex, Connecticut, USA
November 22, 1873
Age 28
May 6, 1880
Age 34
Age 37
Age 37