Congdon Connection

I have been going back into my genealogy and finding relatives that I can run through for Revolutionary War information. Like Alice and the rabbit hole, I have fallen onto more interesting facts.


Last nights quest found me researching on the Congdons. The Congdons branch off from my Burgess line, Joseph and Thankful Snow Burgess. Thankful Snow was my connection back to the Pilgrims, as my 6th great grandmother. Joseph and Thankful had a large family of 10 from 1724, to 1744. I focused in on their daughter Hannah Burgess born 1726 in Massachusetts and died in 1785 in Armenia, New York. Hannah married Robert Ransom and they had a daughter Thankful born in 1758.


Thankful would marry Thomas Satchwell and they would have a daughter Mary born in 1799, still in New York. Mary married Hannibal Congdon and had a son Sylvester Laurentus Congdon, my 3rd cousin 4 times removed. Sylvester married Laura Jane Adgate and they had 6 children, 3 that lived beyond childhood. Sylvester died at the young age of 42 leaving Laura with 3 teenage children.


Sylvester and Laura’s oldest son Chester Adgate Congdon would go on to leave quite a footprint in Minnesota. At 28 years of age he had completed his education, studied law, became a lawyer, moved to Minnesota and married Clara Hesperia Bannister who was born in California. They would start a family and have 6 children. Chester would build a large home on a 14 acre tract of land on the shore of Lake Superior for his family and name it “Glensheen”.  Glensheen was valued at $854,000 during its construction in 1908, today’s value putting it around 30 million dollars.


Not only did Chester succeed at being a lawyer but became involved in development of iron mines in Minnesota and copper mines in Arizona.. From all accounts Chester was a well liked and respected man, not to mention brilliant at amassing a fortune.


Chester joined his brother Albert in Washington State and was instrumental in the building of the Yakima Valley canal in 1889. Fruit orchards that were owned and irrigated with the new canal system still belong in the family. He would also build an eighty room family  home in Yakima, Washington, ”Westhome” known to the local residents as Congdon Castle.


  1. #1 by Bobbie Sue on October 16, 2008 - 11:22 pm

    If you ever get a chance to visit the Glensheen Mansion, you should. It is positively spectacular. Through the line you were related to an incredibly intelligent man. I have some photos of the mansion at this link if you would like to view them. It is amazing.

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