Page 18 - Cornelius Hedges Story
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5 The Cornelius Hedges Story

                        Chapter 2
       The Indefatigable Cornelius Hedges

     It is necessary to become familiar with the life of this outstanding
Montana Pioneer. Knowledge of his life will help in appreciating his
philosophy on life and place in proper context.

    The book “Progressive Men of the State of Montana” sums up
Cornelius Hedges best.

    “Judge Cornelius Hedges - among the prominent men whose lives
and characters are familiar to almost every householder in Montana,
Judge Hedges stands out clear and sharp. The lives of some shine out
as grand examples of prosperity and success achieved through the
various channels of industry; by wonderful accomplishments in the
realms of scientific research; in the forum, or through the medium of
special qualities which leave an impress upon the tablets of memory
that will live forever.”1

    In reviewing the life of Judge Hedges the latter thought seems
particularly appropriate. He is not the man who seeks to blazon his
deeds for personal gratification, or from motives of ambition to
perform some act that would mark him for a time as a central figure.
On the contrary, he is recognized as a splendid type of that manhood
which the infinite Creator made it possible for all men to be.

    To those who know him best, and for years have watched the
growth and development of that inward greatness which is his and is
felt when in his presence, though unseen, the beauty of his character
is more thoroughly understood and the marvel is that nature seldom
makes a man like him.

    Cornelius Hedges was born on October 28, 1831, at Westfield,
Massachusetts, in the Connecticut River valley near Springfield.
His parents, Dennis and Alvena Noble Hedges, were both of sturdy
Puritan stock that had originally settled the Connecticut valley in the
mid-seventeenth Century. During his boyhood and adolescent years,
as in later years, he was more fond of reading, studying and learning
than of exerting himself on manual labor. Thus he was not inclined
to learn farming and blacksmithing, the trades and occupations
of his father. He was educated in the public schools and the local
“academy” in his home town of Westfield. 2
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