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John Edgerton Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Edgerton

Scope and Content of the Collection

Forty-two pocket diaries kept by Michigan and New York State farmer John Edgerton that contain scanty entries with many misspellings. The diaries run from 1867 to Edgerton’s death in 1912, with the years 1872, 1875, 1885 and 1890 missing. Sparse content of diaries consists of daily activities on the farm and recordings of his health, the weather, his visitors, and trips to neighboring towns and places. Included is a small collection of personal business letters and documents, mostly dealing with building and land transactions in Michigan and in Chicago, where his agent was his cousin Walter C. Newberry. Also, a few letters from Edgerton’s brother Charles, his daughter Grace’s autograph book, and a group of early images, undated and mostly unidentified.


  • Creation: 1867-1912



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The John Edgerton Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The John Edgerton Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of John Edgerton

Michigan and New York State farmer.

John Edgerton, the son of Ezekiel and Maria Parker Edgerton, was born in Sangerfield, Oneida County, New York in 1829. He worked as a farmer in Manlius and Bridgeport, New York, and then in the 1880s was farming in Michigan, near Traverse City and Owosso. In 1900 he was living in Minoa, New York, near Syracuse, and he died there in 1912. Apparently Edgerton moved from New York State to several locations in Michigan, and then back to New York again, where the Edgerton family is still prominent in the Syracuse area. He was married to Jane Terwilliger and had two daughters. Edgerton was a cousin of Walter Cass Newberry of Chicago, who served as Edgerton’s agent in banking and real estate transactions in the city.


2 Linear Feet (5 boxes)


Collection of small diaries kept between 1867 and 1912 by Michigan and New York State farmer and real estate speculator John Edgerton. Includes letters, bank transactions, receipts and other material relating to Edgerton’s investments in buying and selling stocks, buildings and land primarily dealing with Walter C. Newberry in Chicago, Illinois. Also a small group of mostly unidentified images and a girl’s autograph book.


Arranged by type of material.

Collection Stack Location

1 14 5


Purchase: Benjamin Katz, 2006.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith, 2008.

Inventory of the John Edgerton Papers, 1867-1912
Virginia Hay Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 08/18/2011: Revisions, additions, and updates were made.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States