Page 22 - Cornelius Hedges Story
P. 22

9 The Cornelius Hedges Story

                     Looking West

    Immediately after their marriage, Cornelius and Edna moved
from New England to Independence, Iowa. This move was
undoubtedly influenced by the fact that his sister and brother-in-
law, Margaret and Asa Smith, were residing in that town18, along
with Hedges own urge to find a place to provide a good home for his
family in a developing area where opportunity abounded.

    He set up a law practice, and shortly thereafter obtained the
Independent Civilian, which he edited and published to provide &
supplementary income to his lawyer’s fees.19

    Their first child, Wyllys A. Hedges, was born there on July 3,
l857, and on June 3, l860, yet another child, Dennis H. Hedges,
graced their happy home.

    The first of his long and illustrious Masonic career started here in
Independence, when he was made a Master Mason in Independence
Lodge #87, on the eve of his 27th birthday, October 27, l858.20

    Late in l860, the Hedges returned to New England, where
Cornelius resumed teaching, in the Sally Lewis Academy at Berlin
near Edna’s home at Southington, Connecticut. Sorrow entered their
home in l862 with the death of their younger son, Dennis.21

    The entries of February, 1863, in his journal, chronicle the return
of Cornelius to Iowa, where he pursued his law practice and again
published the Independent Civilian, but his family was still in New
England.22 Edna and Willy arrived by train in Independence on April
3, 1863. Immediately, preparations began for the occupation of a
new home on April 8. On that same day, he recorded:
“Took supper in the new home – Edna, Willy and myself - warm
biscuits, custard pie, ginger cake and green tea. It was the happiest
meal that I have eaten for years.”23 He was a devoted family man!

    At Independence, a problem came into focus which was to
plague him most of his life, “making ends meet” financially. A major
cause of this was his kindly nature and benevolence. Cornelius Jr.,
better known among friends and family as Toby, was to say after
his father’s death:
   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27