Edward Sanderson

Edward Sanderson

Edward, the second son of John and Margaret (Whitfield) Sanderson, was born 14 March 1929 in Great Barrington, Berkshire County Massachusetts. When he reached the age of majority he went to Ohio and then came to Milwaukee around 1847 where he purchased a small mill with his brother William, which later was expanded and became the Phoenix Mills. (See more about the E. Sanderson & Co. Mill).

Edward’s enterprise and business energy kept even pace with the rapid growth of Milwaukee. In 1880 he was considered the oldest miller in Milwaukee owning the second largest flour manufacturer in the city. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce from its organization, and was active in its leadership, serving as Vice President in 1868 and as President in 1869. He was one of the leading counselors and political mangers of the Republican party, and possessed not only confidence of his political co-workers, but the respect of the political foes.

In a biography of Alex Mcd. Young, I found a reference to Edward:

Milwaukee at the time was one of the primary wheat markets of the country and Mr. Young was associated in the trade with Alexander Mitchell. Peter McGeoch, Ed Sanderson, Philip Armour, Angus Smith and other prominent at that day.

Being the owner of the second largest flour mill in the city, Edward had large amounts of grain shipped in to Milwaukee for use at the mill. We imagine excess was shipped out by boat to other areas on the great lakes. (see also Daniel O’Driscoll and the shipping industry).

Marriage and Death

Mr. Sanderson was married in 1856 to Miss Elizabeth Byron. daughter of William H. Byron, of Milwaukee. She was born 14 Feb 1838 in Painesville, Lake, Ohio. Elizabeth died 2 Sept. 1901 at the age of 63. Edward died 20 May 1889. Traditionally the family holds private funerals. Edward was so popular that the privacy restriction originally requested by the family was withdrawn and the his many friends were invited to pay their respects. Edward and Elizabeth have a very large monument in Forest Home Cemetery. There is a full size Christ at the top of it.

Art in Milwaukee

In 1888, a year before Edward passed, an event of great importance occurred in Milwaukee, the founding of the Layton Art Gallery by Frederick Layton. Its original trustees included Edward Sanderson and the following men: Messrs, Frederick Layton, George Dickens, John L. Mitchell, James Clinton Spencer, Frances B. Keene, B.K. Miller, William P. MacLaren, William Plankinton, and Jereome R. Bringham. All these men were civic spirited men and interest that their city should have an art gallery and that appreciation of art be created in the public taste as one of the finer things in life.[1]

Those under the care of Edward

After the death of William Sanderson, Edward’s brother, Edward was appointed guardian of his minor children, William and John Howard. Edward and Elizabeth’s children were:

  • Emma Louise Sanderson was born on 5 Feb 1857. She died on 30 Apr 1858.
  • Margaret Sanderson was born on 4 Mar 1861. She died on 27 Apr 1892 at the age of 31 in Asheville, Buncombe, North Carolina. Margaret Sanderson was the wife of Captain Otto W. Budd. They had two children.
  • Henry Byron Sanderson was born about 1859 and died on 24 Feb 1927 at the age of 68 in Towson, Baltimore, Maryland. He married Alice Kane. They had three children.
  • Elizabeth Sanderson was born about 1864. She married Harry Cushman and lived in Albany, N.Y..
  • Caroline “Carrie” Sanderson was born in Jan 1869. She married Mr. Berry (also seen as Barry). He died before 1900. They had one child.

[1] Bruce, William George, History of Milwaukee City and County, Vol. 1. pg 691

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