Azariah Walton was born in Chesterfield, N.H., August 20, 1784. His family were of English extraction. But little, however, is known of its history previous to the birth of our subject. Like most of the youth of that day, his opportunities for education were extremely limited, and his knowledge was obtained from the bitter school of experience. He early evinced a decided taste for mechanics, learned the trade of blacksmith, and became an expert machinist. To this fact is attributable his emigration to Jefferson County previous to the War of 1812. At this time Brownville was building, and he was engaged to superintend the construction of the cotton-mills at that place. He remained at Brownville unil the year 1824, when he removed to Theresa, where he engaged in merchandising until 1828, when he received the appointment of collector of customs for the port of Alexandria Bay, which office he held for nineteen years.

        He became engaged in general merchandising and lumbering, and, being a sagacious and shrewd business man, was successful. In 1845 he purchased, in company with Chesterfield Pearson, all the islands in the American channel of the St. Lawrence river fromn the head of Wells island to Morristown. Many of the smaller ones he sold at a nominal sum, but the major portion he was in possession of at his death, which occurred June 10, 1855. Mr. Walton was a man possessed of most of the cardinal virtues, and his social qualities were of a high order; he possessed in an eminent degree the faculty of making every one about him as happy as himself, and it is still the delight of many who knew him intimately to relate anecdotes showing his proverbial good nature. May 29, 1810, he married Miss Mary Gilson, who was born November 15, 1791, by whom he had ten children, four of whom are living. All in all, Mr. Walton was a noble specimen of that race of pioneers who years ago laid the foundation for the present wealth and enterprise of Jefferson County.

From History of Jefferson County, New York: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & co., 1878. p. 274
© 2001, Rock Island Lighthouse Historical & Memorial Association