Term: Edgerton, Benjamin Hyde 1811 - 1886
surveyor, civil engineer, railroad promoter, b. Saybrook, Conn., brother of Elisha W. Edgerton (q.v.). He studied surveying in Buffalo, N.Y., and in the early 1830's moved to Green Bay where he was employed on the U.S. government surveys. In 1835 he journeyed to Milwaukee and was employed by Solomon Juneau (q.v.) as an engineer; with Joshua Hathaway, he surveyed the older sections of Milwaukee's east side and named many of the streets. In 1835 he was chosen as a member of the territorial "Rump Council" that met at Green Bay (Jan. 1836) to provide an interim government for Wisconsin between the separation of the territory from Michigan and the appointment of a territorial governor. Returning to Milwaukee, he held local political offices and was a member of the first harbor committee (1842) and served as alderman (1847-1848). Edgerton was later most prominently identified with the promotion and construction of Wisconsin's railroads, chiefly the Milwaukee and Mississippi R.R. (the first Wisconsin railroad to reach the Mississippi, later part of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul). He also helped construct railroads in various other states. Wis. Mag. Hist., 4; Milwaukee Evening Wis., Dec. 10, 1886; WPA field notes.
View a related article at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.
[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]