OSWEGO COUNTY - It’s difficult to wave a stick in Northern Oswego County without pointing to a Yerdon.
The Yerdon family is a prominent part of Oswego County, having been in the county since about the mid-1800s. They also try to serve their community, as shown in the most recent Nov. 5 general election.
A total of five Yerdons were elected to office — three re-elected to their positions and two elected for the first time.
Michael G. Yerdon and Herbert G. Yerdon are brothers who were elected to the Oswego County Legislature. Michael will represent District 1, which covers Sandy Creek, Boylston and Redfield. Herbert was elected legislator from District 2, representing the towns of Orwell, Albion, Williamstown and a part of the town of Richland.
A number of county officials say they will be the first siblings to serve on the legislature at the same time.
Other Yerdons elected were Kern A. Yerdon — brother to Michael and Herbert — who was re-elected as a councilman on the Richland town board. Tanya Yerdon, daughter-in-law to another brother Francis, was re-elected supervisor in Redfield and Elaine S. Yerdon, married to another brother John, was re-elected to her seat on the Redfield town board.
Brother Francis, though not a resident of Redfield or even Oswego County, was elected supervisor of the town of Osceola in Lewis County — just over the border from Redfield. He served as supervisor for four years, then got off the town board, and was just re-elected to take office again Jan. 1. His wife, Carol, was on the Osceola town board as a councilwoman in the 1990s.
John Yerdon serves as dog control officer in Redfield and Michael also is the code enforcement officer.
Michael Yerdon, of Redfield, said his branch of the Yerdon family came to the United States in the 1700s and a number of Yerdons fought for the country’s freedom in the Revolutionary War.
“They came here (northern Oswego County) from St. Lawrence County, the Black Lake area,” he said. “Four of five brothers came to Redfield in 1840 and they made cheese and ran a lumber mill.”
Most of the Yerdons in Oswego County live in Redfield or Sandy Creek. Carolyn Yerdon — who isn’t an elected official at all — is one of the most well known Yerdons as she is the weather maven of the North Country, keeping track of all the snow that falls in the Redfield area as a National Weather Service weather observer.
Her snow totals and data on temperatures often make it onto local TV weather forecasts and she has even been interviewed on national TV when Redfield is dumped on relentlessly by Mother Nature.
Michael Yerdon said his family has always been community minded and active in serving fellow residents.
Osceola Town Clerk Virginia Churchill agrees.
“They are very service oriented and we’re fortunate to have them involved with the fire department,” she said. Yerdons have at one time or another filled the roster at the Redfield Volunteer Fire Department and today, the chief is Corey Yerdon, son of John Yerdon.
Michael and Herbert’s parents, Oren and Alice Yerdon, had eight sons and one daughter. The sons are Francis, Michael, Patrick, John, Kern, Stuart, Ambrose and baby Herbert. The girl amongst all those boys is Beth Robinson, who lives in Sandy Creek.
Michael Yerdon also served on the Tug Hill Commission and Francis was named a Tug Hill Sage, a distinction bestowed upon those individuals who have vast knowledge of the Tug Hill’s heritage and its environment and have shown a life-long involvement in the region, according to the commission’s website.
And one other Yerdon of note — Angie Kimball, Francis’s niece — is a circuit rider for the Tug Hill Commission in the Redfield area.
Michael and Herbert came to the Nov. 14 Oswego County Legislature meeting to see how things run and be introduced to their soon-to-be colleagues by outgoing legislators Margaret Kastler of District 1 and Milferd Potter of District 2.