Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!
Willennar Genealogy Center’s “Extraordinary Hoosiers” Project focuses on four individuals from DeKalb County History: Olympian Don Lash, circus founder M. K. Houlton, medical pioneer Bonnell Souder, and Egbert Mott, the first practicing lawyer in DeKalb County (and the focus of today’s #TBT.)
Egbert Benson Mott was born in Duchess Co., New York, on July 23, 1795. He was the son of James Mot, a farmer and Revolutionary War soldier, but he didn’t follow in his father’s footsteps, pursuing a career in law instead of agriculture.
Around 1824, the family moved from New York to Pennsylvania, and it was there that Egbert must have met Mary Winterbottom, an Englishwoman whose family had moved to the United States when she was a child. She was teaching school in Providence, Pennsylvania when they met.
The two had much in common; the 1885 History of DeKalb County notes that Egbert “found in [Mary] one who could sympathize with him in his preference for substantial literature, history, biography, science, etc., as well as in a wholesome liking for such works of standard fiction as had been given to the world fifty or sixty years ago.”
They were married on December 30, 1830.
For a time, they lived in Ohio, where they had five children: Egbert Jr., Reginald, Sheridan, Grenville, and Julia. But in 1843, they moved to the Auburn area, in hopes of it being a promising place to practice law. In fact, Egbert was the county’s very first practicing lawyer! He and Mary spent the rest of their days in the area. Their home was known as “Greenhurst,” which is where Bridgewater stands today.
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