Ayott, Alexander P. – 1st NY & 93rd NY Infantry

Alex AyotteAlexander P. Ayott, born in Quebec in 1835, immigrated to Vermont with his uncle as a young lad when his parents died.

Having been raised by his uncle in Wells, Vermont, he was married at age 23 to Caroline Woods, the 15-year-old daughter of Samuel Woods and Minerva Goodspeed. Although they had a one-year-old child when the Civil War broke out, Alex decided to enlist, asking the grandparents to take in Caroline and baby Jessie.

Living near the Vermont/New York state line, the closest place to enlistment was Troy, New York, so Alex joined Co. C of the 2nd Regiment of NY Infantry. During the early part of the war he was injured and sent home to recover. During this interval his daughter Effie was born. Even with two children, Alex decided to re-enlist after he had recovered. He joined Co. I of the 93rd NY Infantry and served to the end of the war.

The family was reunited, with the addition of Leon in 1866, and Alex took up blacksmithing. In 1876 his 33-year-old wife died, and three years later he lost his first born, Jessie. His own health was at risk, having picked up TB while serving in the war. When he heard about an opening for a blacksmith at Fort Buford in Dakota Territory, he decided to leave the children with their grandparents again and head out west where the air was clean.

Before leaving Vermont he met the daughter of his mother-in-law’s sister, who was visiting from Chicago. They traveled together as far as Chicago, making plans to marry.  Then he went on to Dakota where he worked at the fort for several years before going back to Chicago to marry Georgiana Brown. His two children came from Vermont for the wedding, afterwards traveling together to Fort Buford where they settled into their new lives.

Effie helped Georgiana run a hotel and Leon became a cowboy, while Alex was blacksmith for the fort. Several years later they moved across the state line into Montana Territory, where Alex used his right as a Union veteran to homestead 160 acres, choosing land on the Yellowstone River, where he built a home, establishing the town of Ridgelawn. He became Deputy US Marshall, capturing horse thieves and keeping the peace.

In 1892 his health worsened and the family, with two new daughters, moved back to the Chicago area, where Alex died later that year. He is buried in Town of Maine cemetery with a Civil War marker.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.