Edward Millspaugh Madden was born
in 1818 near Searsville, in the
town of Crawford, Orange Co., N.Y.
His ancestry were Scotch-Irish, Huguenot, and German.
Until he was nearly nine years of age he attended the common
schools of the neighborhood, these being the only
educational advantages that he ever had. When he was
about nine years old the family removed to the village of
Walden, in the town of Montgomery, where he entered a
cotton-mill as an apprentice.
He worked the first year for seventy-five cents a week,
boarding himself. Being badly treated by one of his
bosses, young Madden ran away in the year 1833. The
same day he obtained employment as an apprentice in the
tin-shop in the village of Montgomery. He left there
in 1839, when about twenty years of age, and bought out a
small tin-shop located in a little building then standing in
the west end of what is now the Holding House, in the
village of Middletown. His cash capital at this time
was, all told, just $133, which he had earned by overwork at
In 1842 he entered into partnership with Elisha P. Wheeler,
John F. France, and Joseph Lemon, all now deceased.
The firm build the foundry now owned by Mr. A. L. Vail.
Mr. France died in 1847. Messrs. Wheeler, Madden, &
Lemon continued business until 1851, when Mr. Lemon sold his
interest to Wheeler & Madden.
In 1853 the firm built the Monhagen Saw-Factory, on King
Street, adjoining to the foundry, in connection with the
late Josiah Bakewell, who had become a member of the firm.
In 1854 the foundry business, in which Mr. Madden was a
partner, was sold to Messrs. Joseph Lemon and Silas R.
The saw manufacturing business was continued by the firm
previously mentioned until 1860, when Mr. Bakewell left the
concern, and Mr. Wm. Clemson was admitted as a partner, and
still continues connected with it. The business has
grown to such proportions that in 1866 the present extensive
were erected. In 1868, Thomas D. Roberts and Lemuel
Wheeler (son of E. P. Wheeler) were taken in as members of
the firm. Mr. Roberts died in 1872, and Mr. Lemuel
Wheeler in 1874. In 1880, Wm. K. Stansbury was
admitted into the firm.
In 1863 the then firm built a factory and begun the
manufacture of files, which is still carried on and known
as the Eagle File-Works.
Mr. Madden is president on
the concern, his nephew, Mr. Isaac P. Madden, and Mr. J. T.
Cockayne being the managers.
In the year 1862, immediately after the capture of
Confederate envoys, Mason and Slidell, from a British
steamer, apprehending that this would lead to a war with
England, and thereby prevent the importation and greatly
enhance price of steel, the form of Wheeler, Madden, &
Clemson begun the manufacture of this article , having
previously imported all the steel used by them.
In 1877, Mr. Madden, in connection with Mr. James H. Norton
and Mr. C. C. Messerre, established the Union Printing
Company of New York City, which business still continues,
and of which he is the president.
In 1843, Mr. Madden was married to Eudocia M. Robinson,
daughter of Rev. Phineas Robinson, a Presbyterian clergy.
Six children were the fruit of this marriage, three of whom
are now living, - Charles Carroll, Edward M., Jr., and Ella.
Mr. Madden has always taken a lively interest in political
affairs, local as well as State and national. Hi was
originally a Democrat, and his first vote for President was
cast for Martin Van Buren. In 1854, on the passage by
Congress of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, allowing slavery to be
extended over the Western Territories, Mr. Madden, with many
other Democrats throughout the country, protested against
this action, and in 1855 he aided in the preliminary steps
which led to the organization of the Republican party in
1856. He has ever since continued a steadfast and
influential member of that party.
In the fall of 1855 there was a bolt in the Democratic
Senatorial Convention of this district, growing out of
aggressions of the South and the actions of Congress upon
the slavery question. The Free-Soil portion of the
convention, in Mr. Madden's absence, nominated him for the
office of State senator, to which he was elected.
Although frequently thereafter urged to become a candidate
for office, he refused until 1868, when he accepted a
nomination by the Republicans for member of Assembly in the
Second District of Orange County, having just previously
declined a unanimous nomination for representative in
Congress. Although the district is usually carried by
a large majority, Mr. Madden came within a half-dozen votes
of an election.
In 1871 he was again prevailed upon to take the nomination
for State senator, and was elected by a larger majority,
notwithstanding the district is strongly Democratic.
In 1873 he was re-nominated and elected again. The
nomination for the office was again tendered him in 1875 and
in 1877, but was declined, as was nomination again for
member of Congress. In 1879 he accepted a nomination
again for the State Senate, and was returned for the fourth
time to that body by a large majority.
Mr. Madden has always held it to be the duty of every
citizen to attend the primary meetings of the party to which
they belong, and he is seldom absent from these meetings.
He has been delegated to attend numerous County, Senatorial,
State, and National Conventions. There is probably no
one within the limits of this county who has oftener been
called upon for such representative service. He was a
member of Republican National Convention at Baltimore in
1864 which gave Abraham Lincoln his second nomination.
He declined a nomination as a delegate to the National
Convention of 1868. In 1876 he was a member of the
Republican National Convention at Cincinnati which nominated
Rutherford B. Hayes.
Mr. Madden drafted and secured the passage of the bill for
public-school system of Middletown, and for many years was
an active member of the school board of that place, until
increasing business cares caused him to decline further
service in that capacity. Senator Madden was also the
author of the bill providing for construction of the
Middletown Water-Works. He was the first and is now
the president of the board. He also interested himself
in obtaining the charter for the Middletown Savings-Bank,
and was instrumental in securing the necessary legislation
to set it in operation. While he has been a member of
the Senate he has secured much important legislation for the
benefit of the New York State Homeopathic Asylum for the
Insane at Middletown, and no small degree of success of that
institution is due to the effective aid that he was thus
enable to render it. Mr. Madden was appointed by the
Governor one of the commissioners to locate the Hudson River
Asylum for the insane, which is at Poughkeepsie.
When the project of the Middletown and Crawford Railroad was
first broached, connecting, as it proposed, the place of his
birth and the place where his active business career has
been passed, Mr. Madden at once took hold of it which the
companion of his boyhood days and life-long friend, Maj.
Daniel Thompson, made it a success. The road was
constructed much more economically than many similar
undertakings. Mr. Madden has been vice-president of
the company since its organization, Mr. Thompson being the
president and manager.