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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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OBED EDSON, was born in Sinclairville, Chautauqua county, February 18, 1832. He is a descendant of the seventh generation, from Samuel Edson, who was born in England, in 1612, came over to Salem, Mass., in the year 1638 or 1639, and afterwards became an original proprietor, and first settler of Bridgwater, Plymouth county, Mass. His father Judge John M. Edson, was born in the town of Eaton, Madison county. New York, July 30, 1801. He came to Sinclairville in 1810, with his step-father, Samuel Sinclair, from whom that village derives its name.

Obed Edson obtained his education at the common schools and Fredonia academy. He in 1851 commenced the study of law in the office of Hon. E. H. Sears, in Sinclairville; in 1853 he attended the Albany Law university; was admitted to the bar, April 8, 1853, and since that time has followed the practice of his profession at Sinclairville, Chautauqua county. He commenced practice as a partner of Judge E. F. Warren; at a later period for a few years, was a co-partner of C. F. Chapman. He has at intervals, followed the business of civil engineering. When eighteen years of age, he served as chairman on the New York & Erie railroad, the year before its completion to Dunkirk. He has since been engaged in the survey of several railroads in New York and Pennsylvania. He ran the locating line of the Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh railroad, in the State of New York, in 1867.

He was for several years supervisor of his native town, and has held at different times, various other official positions in the town and county. In 1874, he was elected to the Assembly from Chautauqua county, and is the only democrat that has ever been chosen to fill that position, in its second assembly district.

Mr. Edson, has been a contributor to The Continent, The Chautauquan, and other leading magazines; generally upon historical subjects. He first gathered and collated the facts respecting the expedition of Colonel Daniel Broadhead, which was sent against the Indians of the Upper Allegheny river by General Washington, during the war of the Revolution, to operate in conjunction with General Sullivan. Mr. Edson prepared a full history of this expedition, which was published as the leading article, in the November number of the magazine of American History, for the year 1879. He is one of the founders of the Chautauqua County Historical Society, and has made to it, many original contributions, usually of a historical, geological, or archeological nature. He is the author of several local histories, among which is a portion of Young’s History of Chautauqua county, and all of that part of it which relates to its Indian, French, and early history.

He was married May 11, 1859, to Emily A. Allen, the daughter of Hon. Caleb I. and Emily E. (Haley) Allen. She was born in New London, Connecticut, November 27, 1835. The children of Obed and Emily A. Edson, were born in Sinclairville, and are: Fanny A., born April 28, 1860; married John A. Love, who is a banker in Sinclairville; John M., born September 29, 1861, married Alma B. Green — he lives at New Whatcom in the State of Washington, and is a printer and publisher; Samuel A., born September 15, 1863, died November 16, 1872; Mary U., born September 11, 1865, died November 27, 1872; Hannah, born February 15, 1869, died December 10, 1881; Walter H., born January 8, 1874; Ellen E., born April 21, 1875, died March 31, 1887; and Allen O., born September 3, 1880, died January 16, 1882.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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