Allen Wardner

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Allen Wardner
Allen Wardner.jpg
Vermont State Treasurer
In office
October, 1837 – October, 1838
Preceded by Augustine Clarke
Succeeded by Henry Fisk Janes
Personal details
Born (1786-12-13)December 13, 1786
Alstead, New Hampshire
Died August 29, 1877(1877-08-29) (aged 90)
Windsor, Vermont
Political party National Republican
Spouse(s) Minerva Bingham
(Married 1814, died 1841)
Children George
Profession Businessman

Allen Wardner (December 13, 1786 – August 29, 1877) was a Vermont banker, businessman and politician who served as State Treasurer. He was also the father-in-law of Attorney General, Secretary of State and United States Senator William M. Evarts.

Early life[edit]

Allen Wardner was born in Alstead, New Hampshire on December 13, 1786.[2] His family moved to Windsor, Vermont in 1800 and Wardner was trained as a store clerk and merchant.[3] He is presumed to have attended the United States Military Academy in 1809, but there is no record at the school of Wardner having attended. One possible explanation is that he attended sessions with a tutor in preparation for taking the entrance exam, but did not take the exam. Whether he attended West Point or was educated elsewhere, he returned to Vermont in 1809 or 1810 to begin a business career.[4]

Military service[edit]

In 1810 Wardner joined the Jefferson Artillery, a Windsor militia unit made up of Democratic-Republicans, in anticipation of the War of 1812. In 1825 the Jefferson Artillery took part in the parade and reception for Lafayette during the stop he made in Woodstock, Vermont as part of his tour of the United States. Wardner served in the unit for several years, and attained the rank of Captain. Afterwards, he was frequently referred to as “Captain Wardner.”[5][6][7]

Business career[edit]

Wardner operated a successful store, first as the junior partner of Dr. Isaac Green, and later as the senior partner of his brother, Shubael Wardner. He also became involved in banking, including serving on the board of directors of the Windsor Bank, and President of the Ascutney Bank.[8][9]

In addition to his mercantile and banking interests, Wardner was involved in several other ventures, including constructing the Ascutney Mill Dam to supply water power to mills and factories in Windsor, woolen mills, and construction and operation of the Cornish–Windsor Covered Bridge between Windsor and Cornish, New Hampshire.[10][11][12]

Start of political career[edit]

By now an Anti-Mason, Wardner served in the Vermont House of Representatives in 1831 and 1834.[13][14][15][16]

In 1832 he was appointed to the committee which oversaw construction of the second Vermont State House.[17]

In the 1830s he was also a member of the committee which oversaw operations at the Vermont State Prison in Windsor, and served as one of the state’s Commissioners of the Deaf & Dumb, responsible to ensure that those with physical and mental disabilities who required assistance at state expense received it.[18][19]

From 1834 to 1835 Wardner served on the Vermont Governor’s Council.[20]

In 1835 Wardner was an original incorporator of the Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad.[21]

State Treasurer[edit]

In the 1837 election the incumbent State Treasurer, Augustine Clarke, received the most votes, but fell short of the majority required by the Vermont Constitution. Clarke was an Anti-Mason and his party’s popularity was on the wane. In cases where no candidate receives a majority, the Vermont General Assembly is empowered to elect a candidate.[22]

The legislature was split between Democrats, Whigs and Anti-Masons, and failed to choose a winner. Governor Silas H. Jennison, an Anti-Mason who had run with Whig support, then appointed Wardner, who served from October, 1837 until October, 1838. He was succeeded by Henry Fisk Janes.[23][24]

Later life[edit]

Wardner remained active in business and banking, and also served in government positions including a term in the Vermont House in 1842 and a position on the board of directors of the Vermont State Prison.[25][26]

In 1848 Wardner was an incorporator of the New Hampshire Central Railroad.[27]

Following the death of his wife he began to withdraw from active management of his business ventures, turned over their management to one of his sons and retired in the late 1840s.[28] He became a Whig after the Anti-Masonic Party dissolved, and joined the Republicans when that party was founded in the 1850s.

In the 1850s Wardner was active in the American Colonization Society, which opposed slavery and advocated having African-Americans relocate to communities in Africa and South and Central America.[29]

Death and burial[edit]

Wardner died in Windsor on August 29, 1877.[30] He was buried in Windsor’s Old South Church Cemetery.[31]


In 1814 Wardner married Minerva Bingham, who died in 1841.[32] They had 12 children, seven of whom lived to adulthood. They included: George, Edward, Henry, Helen, Charlotte, Elizabeth, and Martha.[33]

Helen Wardner was the wife of William M. Evarts.[34]

Several descendants named their sons after Allen Wardner. These namesakes include Allen Wardner Evarts (1848-1920), a New York attorney. He was the son of William M. Evarts and Helen Wardner.[35]

Allen Wardner’s descendants also included another son of William M. Evarts, Maxwell Evarts. Maxwell Evarts (1862–1913), was a New York City and Vermont attorney, banker and business executive.[36]


  1. ^ Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, Journal of Convention Proceedings, 1836, page 6
  2. ^ The Banker’s Magazine, Death notice: Allen Wardner, October 1877, page 328
  3. ^ Hamilton Child, Gazetteer and Business Directory of Windsor County, Vt., for 1883-84, Volume 1, 1884, page 280
  4. ^ Society for Industrial Archeology, Industrial Archeology magazine, Volumes 1-6, 1975, page 56
  5. ^ Jay Read Pember, A Day with Lafayette in Vermont, 1912, page 6
  6. ^ Gazetteer and Business Directory of Windsor County, page 283
  7. ^ Benjamin Silliman, The American Journal of Science and Arts, Volume V, 1822, page 323
  8. ^ Katherine E Conlin, Wilma Burnham Paronto, Stella Vitty Henry, Chronicles of Windsor, 1761-1975, 1977, page 122
  9. ^ Gazetteer and Business Directory of Windsor County
  10. ^ Vermont General Assembly, Acts and Laws Passed by the Legislature of the State of Vermont, 1833, page 76
  11. ^ William Henry Child, History of the Town of Cornish, 1911, page 216
  12. ^ Lewis Cass Aldrich, Frank R. Holmes, History of Windsor County, Vermont, 1891, page 329
  13. ^ Henry Swan Dana, History of Woodstock, Vermont, page 261
  14. ^ Vermont General Assembly, Journal of the Vermont General Assembly, 1831, page 4
  15. ^ E. P. Walton, Records of the Governor and Council of the State of Vermont, Volume VIII, 1880, page 161
  16. ^ Ulster County (N.Y.) Whig, Voice of Vermont: Democratic Anti-Masonic State Convention, March 16, 1836
  17. ^ Zadock Thompson, History Of Vermont, Natural, Civil And Statistical, 1842, page 130
  18. ^ E. P. Walton, Records of the Governor and Council of the State of Vermont, Volume VIII, 1880, page 189
  19. ^ E. P. Wardner, Records of the Governor and Council of the State of Vermont, Volume V, 1877, page 437
  20. ^ E. P. Walton, Records of the Governor and Council of the State of Vermont, Volume VIII, 1880, page 161
  21. ^ Vermont Supreme Court, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Vermont, Volume 24, 1853, page 466
  22. ^ Vermont Secretary of State, Vermont State Treasurers, 2011, page 1
  23. ^ Vermont General Assembly, Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Vermont, 1837, page 130
  24. ^ Vermont Secretary of State, Legislative Directory, 1896, page 164
  25. ^ Bishop & Tracy, Printers, Vermont General Assembly, Journal of the Vermont General Assembly, 1846, page 257
  26. ^ Chronicles of Windsor, page 245
  27. ^ Boston and Maine Railroad, Boston and Maine Railroad System, Volume II: Statutes of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont Relating to Boston and Maine Railroad, 1902, page 703
  28. ^ Gazetteer and Business Directory of Windsor County, page 280
  29. ^ American Colonization Society, The African Repository, Volume 50, page 320
  30. ^ Vermont Vital Records, 1720-1908, death record for Allen Wardner, retrieved January 10, 2014
  31. ^ Allen Wardner at Find a Grave, retrieved January 10, 2014
  32. ^ New Hampshire, Marriage and Divorce Records, 1659-1947, marriage record for Allen Wardner and Minerva Bingham, retrieved January 10, 2014
  33. ^ History of Windsor County, Vermont, page 919
  34. ^ American Bar Association, Annual Meeting Proceedings, Volume 24, 1901, page 624
  35. ^ Yale University, Sixth Biographical Record of the Class of 1869, 1895, page 59
  36. ^ New York City Bar Association, Year Book, 1914, page 197
Political offices
Preceded by
Augustine Clarke
Vermont State Treasurer
Succeeded by
Henry Fisk Janes