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Disston Saws


Monhagen Saw Works - Middletown, N.Y.

Wheeler, Madden & Bakewell
Wheeler, Madden & Clemson

  Edward Millspaugh Madden - Partner   10 of 21  

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 his trade.

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. Martin. 

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.

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