On August 10, 1833, John Eggleston Walden died. He was the first white man to die in Almont Township.
John Eggleston Walden was born June 27, 1796 in Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York. He was the sixth child and first son of Nathan Walden Jr. and Mercy Eggleston Walden.
Sometime before 1819, Josiah Sleeper and his second wife, Anna, moved to Murray, Orleans, New York. Even though they are in different counties, Murray and Ogden, New York are only a few miles apart. John met and courted Lydia Graves Sleeper – Josiah’s youngest daughter. John and Lydia were married in May 1820 in Ontario County, New York – probably in Canandiaqua since that is where John was living. They settled in Canandaiqua, Ontario, New York.
Their first child, Frederick Lafayette Walden was born in Canandiaqua on January 3, 1821. Frederick was followed by Augustus Russell Walden on September 14, 1822, Eliza Mercy Walden on November 13, 1824, Jerome Bonaparte Walden on February 21, 1826, George W. Walden on October 29, 1826, and Helen Amelia Walden on January 31, 1831 – all born in Canandiaqua, New York. According to the 1830 U. S. Census for Bloomfield, New York, John and Lydia had moved from Canandaiqua to Bloomfield, Ontario, New York. Helen’s birth in Canandaiqua was likely the result of the availability of better care than she could receive in Bloomfield.
In 1826, Lydia’s father, Josiah Sleeper, and step-mother, Anna, moved to Washington, Macomb County, Michigan. Being only about seven, their son, David, – Lydia’s half-brother – also moved with them.
On July 9 1832, John Eggleston Walden purchased property in Section 34 (near his brother-in-law Elijah Sanborn). On the same day, he also bought property in Section 32 of Mayfield Township. After constructing a cabin and outbuildings, John moved Lydia and their six children to the farm. At the time of the move, Lydia was pregnant with their seventh child. John Wallace Walden was born in Almont on December 3, 1832.
Unfortunately, John Walden died on August 10, 1833, leaving Lydia with seven children and a farm to run.
John was the first white man to die in Almont Township. He was buried in the Goodrich Cemetery on Kidder Road in Bruce Township, Macomb County. At that time, Goodrich Cemetery was not only the nearest cemetery but also the only one.