Palmer, Edwin Franklin
Age: 26, credited to Waitsfield, VTVITALS
Birth: 01/22/1836, Waitsfield, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Hope/Village Cemetery, Waterbury, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
(Linda Welch Collection)
Edwin Franklin Palmer was born in Waitsfield, Vermont, 22 Jan., 1836, son of Aaron & Sarah (Thayer) Palmer. Aaron Palmer was a farmer, settling on one of the large farms on Waitsfield Common. Aaron's own father was one of the earliest settlers in Waitsfield and established a farm on what became known as "Palmer Hill."
E. F. Palmer was of a family of eleven children, all of them were natural students and encouraged by their parents to obtain an advanced education. Four of the sons graduated Dartmouth College. Mr. Palmer attended school at Northfield Academy and in the fall of 1858, entered Dartmouth College, graduating with the Class of 1862. At Waitsfield on 25 Aug., 1862, he enlisted in the Union Army in Company "B" of the 13th Vt. Volunteer regiment. He was promoted to sergeant. He was commissioned second lieutenant 4 Nov., 1862, and mustered out with his company, 21 July, 1863.
He was author of the book, "The Second Brigade or Camp Life By A Volunteer," which he published by himself in 1864 about his own experiences, and which was widely received and acknowledged as a fine work.
He returned from the war and in 1864, began the study of law in the office of Governor Paul Dillingham. He was admitted to the bar and settled in Waterbury, Vermont. He was a highly successful attorney and argued many cases before the Vermont Supreme Court. He represented Waterbury in the legislature 1880, 1888 and 1896. From 1880 to 1888 he was a reporter of the Supreme Court and published eight volumes of the State reports. In 1888 he was elected States Superintendent of Education, and again in 1890. He made two exhaustive reports which marked a new epoch in the education affairs of Vermont and from where the commencement of Vermont's modern education system must be dated. It was largely through his influence and efforts that the "town system" of education was adopted. He took the post when the public schools of Vermont were at a low ebb. He labored with marked ability, painstaking industry and conscientious fidelity to improve them and the system upon which they depended.
He raised the standard of scholarship for teachers, equalized the burdens of taxation for schools, increased attendance, lengthening the terms of school and gave superintendents more power to govern their respective school districts with support from the state.
His brother Orman C. became a prominent educator himself in Yakima, Washington, and the brothers shared their ideas about how to improve their states' commitment to public education. Attorney Palmer was a member of the Congregational Church for 49 years and a member of the Dillingham Post G.A.R. He also was noted for being a prominent speaker on political and education matters.
Edwin married in Guildhall, Vt., 15 June, 1865, Addie D. Hartshorn. They had seven children together, four of whom were living in 1914. Three little daughters, Annie, Alice, and Mabel died within four years of each other.
Attorney Palmer died at the hospital in Waterbury, Vermont, Thursday morning, 9 o'clock, 8 Oct., 1914. He was survived by his wife, four sons, Edwin F. Jr. of Waterbury, John H. of Dorchester, Massachusetts; Robert W. of Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Charles C. of Warren, NH. Also, two grandchildren. His funeral was held on Sunday afternoon, 2:30 p.m. at his late home on Union Street with Rev. W. L. Boicourt, pastor of the Congregational Church officiated, assisted by Rev. W. E. Douglass, pastor of the Methodist Church. Rev. Douglass spoke of Mr. Palmer "as a soldier and an education, a friend, lawyer and a professional man." The bearers were the four sons with honorary bearers of G. S. Bidwell, J. W. Moody, E. W. Huntley, and J. K. Fullerton.
Contributed by Linda M. Welch, Dartmouth College.