Edward Augustus Atwater

Edward Augustus Atwater was born April 20, 1839, in Cheshire, New Haven County, Connecticut, the son of the Rev. Samuel (b. 1812-1859) and Susan Emerette (Sanford or Preston, b. 1811 or 1818-1851).

Edward’s parents were both born in Cheshire and quite possibly married there as well, probably in September of 1837. His father Samuel was an ordained minister living in Ravenna, Ohio in 1841. According to one source sometime between 1839 and 1841 Edward moved from Connecticut to Ravenna, Ohio, along with one Rev. Edward Elias Atwater (b. 1816) and Rebecca H. (Dana, b. 1819). However, by 1850 Edward was attending school with three of his younger siblings and living on a large farm with his parents Samuel and Susan in Cheshire, Connecticut (his father owned some $4700 worth of real estate). Next door lived his grandparents Florian and Aurelia; they owned $5000 worth of real estate.

In 1860 Edward was probably working as a book (?) agent and living with Hannah Atwater (b. 1827), who was head of the household and owned $6000 worth of real estate, and several of his younger sisters (Emerette, Mary and Sarah) in Cheshire, Connecticut. (In 1860 there was a Susan E. Atwater, b. 1816 in Vermont, who was Principal of the Fairfield Seminary in Orange, New Haven County, Connecticut in 1860; or she may have 54 years old and living the Atwater family in Plymouth, Litchfield County, Connecticut.)

Edward stood 5’10”, with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 21 years old and probably working as a farmer in Kent County when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. He was absent sick in the hospital in September and October of 1862, and discharged for chronic diarrhea on November 12, 1862, at Fort McHenry, Maryland.

It is not known if Edward ever returned to Michigan. He did, however, return to Connecticut and on April 20, 1864, married Connecticut native Julia L. Hills (1843- 1918) in either Farmington or Torrington, and they had at least seven children: Edith Lois (b. 1866), Frederick Hills (b. 1867), Preston H. (b. 1869), Mary C. (b. 1873), Edward A. (b. 1878), Ruth Gertrude (b. 1881) and George E. (b. 1883).

Soon after they were married Edward and Julia settled in Cheshire where he lived out the rest of his life, working as a farmer. In 1880 Edward was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Cheshire.

In 1889 he applied for and received a pension (no. 633,652), drawing $25.00 per month in 1918.

Edward was probably residing in West Cheshire when he died of heart failure on April 29, 1908, and was buried in Hillside cemetery in Cheshire.

His widow was residing in West Cheshire in May of 1908 when she applied for a widow’s pension (no. 649413).