Ebenezer Walden

1777 - 1857
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Ebenezer Walden

Chosen mayor in 1838 for a one-year term.

After the war of 1812, Walden built the first brick building in Buffalo, replacing his burned home at Main and Eagle Sts.

A later house at southwest corner of Main and Edward Sts.


Walden-Myer Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery


Ebenezer Walden was born in 1777 in Massachusetts. In 1799 he graduated from Williams College, then made his way to Oneida County, NY, where he studied law. That same year he journeyed to Buffalo to become s Buffalo's first lawyer and the only lawyer west of Batavia, NY

In 1810 he purchased land at the east corner of Main and Eagle Streets that would be used as his residence.

In 1812, Walden married Suzanna Marvin, who was 17 years younger than he; they had four children.

Walden invested heavily in real estate, owning what became known as Walden Farm at what is now Fillmore and Walden Avenues.

In 1830, Lewis Allen bought five acres from Walden at the southwest corner of Delaware and North Sts. and east of Bowery Street (Now Irving Place) for use as the North Street cemetery [Photo]. The cemetery land was across the street from land that Walden leased during the War of 1812 for the Buffalo Barracks, the front portion of what later became the Wilcox Mansion. Walden became one of Buffalo's wealthiest citizens.

When the village was burned by the British in December 1813, Walden was one of the few to stay behind to try to save as many lives as possible. He was eventually captured with a small group of citizens, including Dr. Cyrenius Chapin.

Sarah Lovejoy was the only woman killed in the defense of Buffalo when it was burned by the British. She was trying to defend her home, got into an altercation with Indians fighting alongside the British, and was stabbed to death on the doorstep of her house. When the troops left in the afternoon, Ebenezer Walden and women neighbors carried her body into the house and placed it on her bed. When the destruction of the village was completed the next day, her house was burned with her body in it, so her gravestone in Forest Lawn Cemetery is most likely a cenotaph. (Source: "A Field Guide to Forest Lawn Cemetery")

Walden was one of the investors in the ill-fated Bank of Niagara in 1815. He was the first president of a the first fire and marine insurance company in Buffalo in 1830.

Walden became the first judge of Erie County Court in 1823.

In 1831, Walden was one of the select committee of 18 citizens that drafted a new charter that redefined the village as a corporation to be known as the city of Buffalo. He became the first Alderman for the fifth ward.

In 1838, the Common Council chose Walden as mayor.

Walden died in 1857. His body is in the Walden-Myer mausoleum in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Main text source: Rizzo, Michael, Ebenezer Walden Biography
Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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