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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Charles C. Edwards

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 62-63 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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The village of Fort Plain suffered an irreparable loss in the death of the late Charles C. Edwards, who was for many years one of its foremost merchants and leading citizens. The son of James and Catherine (Nellis) Edwards, he was born at Ephratah, New York, November 3, 1850, where his father was engaged in farming for many years before he moved to Montgomery county and continued his agricultural pursuits near this village. Both parents were natives of the Empire state.

Charles C. Edwards spent his boyhood on the paternal farm near Ephratah and was educated in the schools of that place. As a young man he came to Fort Plain, where he entered the employ of C. Y. Edwards, a cousin, as a clerk in his dry goods store. Ere long, however, he became associated with his brother in the management of a men's furnishing business that for many years bore the name of Edwards. After two years of partnership with his brother under the firm name of J. K. & C. C. Edwards, Charles C. Edwards became the sole proprietor of the establishment and continued so until his death on the 29th of November, 1915. In twenty-three years of business life in this village Mr. Edwards built up an enviable reputation for business sagacity and integrity and was generously patronized by the people of Fort Plain and the surrounding territory, who thus expressed their faith in reliability of his goods and appreciation of the courteous treatment always extended to the customers in the house of Edwards.

Mr. Edwards entered heartily into the public life of the village, rendering his service by sitting several terms each on the village board and the school board. His political affiliations were with the republican party, but he was ever a citizen first and a partisan afterward, considering the general good before matters of party expediency. During his entire life Mr. Edwards took a deep interest in the work of his church, the Dutch Reformed church of Fort Plain, in which he held an official position for forty years. He was elected deacon in 1875, and elder in 1888, in addition to which he held nearly every other office within the gift of the congregation. Nowhere, perhaps, was his sound judgment and generous service of more value than in the Dutch Reformed church, and assuredly his death was nowhere more keenly felt than by its congregation, whose members had long looked upon Mr. Edwards as wise counselor and helpful friend.

On January 23, 1884, Mr. Edwards was united in marriage to Miss Blanche Raymond of Jonesville, daughter of Emmett and Elizabeth (Cramer) Raymond, both natives of New York. The father was born in Saratoga county on a farm and lived in his native county, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death at the early age of thirty-two, in January of 1861. Mrs. Raymond was born in Washington county and survived her husband for many years, passing away in September, 1883, at the age of fifty-one. Mrs. Edwards was born at Ballston Lake, Saratoga county. She comes of Revolutionary stock and as a descendant of some of the men who bore arms for the colonies in the war against Britain she belongs to the Daughters of the American Revolution, as do her two daughters. Of the two children born to Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, Blanche was married to Walter Heisler, the pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church of Fort Plain, while Elizabeth became the wife of E. W. Bellinger of Canajoharie.

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