|Birth: ||Oct. 6, 1849|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Nov. 19, 1920|
Hamilton Harris Judson was born in Sherburne, NY, October 6, 1849, and died at his home in Farmington, MN, November 19, 1920, aged 71 years.
At the age of eight, he moved with his parents and brothers to Beaver Dam, WI, where he lived until 1865, when the family moved to Hastings, MN, and a short time after to Farmington.
He married May 16, 1875, to Lucy A. Parker of Castle Rock, MN. Three children were born to them: Florence Belle (McDonald), Dora Mae (Michel) and Stella, who would later all assist him in the post office.
He was in the mercantile business until he became postmaster in 1884. He received his commission from President Arthur August 10, but did not enter upon the discharge if his duties until the 25th of the same month. He served in this capacity until April 6, 1914, thereby completing almost thirty years of service, during which he missed one-half day of work. Judson worked seven days a week, arriving at the post office at seven in the morning and locking up and leaving for home at ten o'clock at night. Every day he waited for the nine p.m. mail train that had the heaviest amount of mail, and spent an hour at the office sorting it. Before "Rural Free Delivery," Judson kept the post office open late into the evening during the harvest season to accommodate the area's farmers. A postal inspector once asked him why he didn't set up a cot and sleep at the office.
Judson proved so efficient and faithful in performing his duties that both democratic and republican administrations would not listen to a change in appointment at the expiration of his term.
Due to Judson's work ethic and reputation, Congress elected to make Farmington the second community in the nation (and the first in Minnesota) to attempt the "Rural Free Delivery" experiment. On January 1, 1897, free rural mail delivery was established in Farmington, and was a great success.
In 1909, the patrons of Farmington's post office wished to honor Judson on his 25th anniversary as postmaster. Without his knowledge a banquet was planned and a silver loving cup purchased. Plans had developed so far that the loving cup was ready to be engraved when Judson found out about the banquet and the honor to be bestowed upon him. He would have no part of it and all efforts to persuade him otherwise proved futile.
Thirty years of hard work took its toll on Judson, and he retired as postmaster in March 1914. After his retirement as postmaster, Judson worked for Farmington's electric company and shortly thereafter developed rheumatism. The illness gradually grew worse and forced him to retire again in 1919 and to remain at home. Despite the best medical attention, the disease accelerated and took his life in November 1920. "Hamilton Harris Judson, although modest of manner and declining in accepting honor where honor was due," wrote the Dakota County Tribune, "was the greatest of all our citizens."
Two years after his retirement the model postal road, a modern highway, was opened (largely due to Judson's success with Rural Free Delivery). Known as the Capital-National Highway, it extends south from Winnipeg, Canada, to St. Paul, on to Farmington and then to New Orleans, Louisiana. Quickly renamed the Jefferson Highway (after which the Jefferson Bus Company got its name), the road carried more traffic than any other road in the state.
In August 2006, the citizens of Farmington requested Congress to enact legislation to designate the Farmington post office as the Hamilton Harris Judson Post Office. The official dedication ceremony took place on June 23, 2007. H. H. Judson was also nominated for and chosen as one of the Minnesota 150 -- 150 people, places or events that shaped the state of Minnesota and the nation -- for the Minnesota Sesquicentennial in 2008.
"He paid out in efficiency each moment as it was given him; was true to his friends and duty and never gave up the task until the hand of death took him from life..."
Roswell Judson (1806 - 1891)
Lucy Maria Babcock Judson (1817 - 1891)
Lucy Alice Parker Judson (1853 - 1927)*
Dora Mae Judson Michel (1876 - 1928)*
F. Belle Judson McDonald (1877 - 1952)*
Stella Maria Judson (1886 - 1965)*
Created by: Laurie
Record added: Jan 14, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8277123