OF THE TOWN OF
ST. GEORGE is the smallest town in the county, lying about eight
miles southeast from Burlington, and twenty-eight miles nearly west from
Montpelier. It is bounded north and northeast by Williston, south by Hinesburg,
and west by Shelburne. It was chartered by the royal governor of the province
of New Hampshire, on the 18th day of August, 1763, and was supposed to
contain the township area of 23,040 acres, bounded as follows:
But upon surveying the several towns in this part of the county
it was discovered --owing, perhaps, to a misapprehension as to the course
of Winooski River-that the area was not sufficiently large to allow each
town the whole number of acres designated in its charter; and as it happened,
it fell to the lot of the grantees of St. George to suffer the misfortune
of a considerable abridgment.
at the southeastern corner of Shelburne, a township this day granted, being
a stake and stone on the northerly side line of Hinesburg, and from thence
running east six miles to a stake and stone; thence turning off and running
north six miles to a stake and stone; thence turning off and running west
six miles to the northeasterly corner of Shelburne aforesaid, thence running
south six miles by Shelburne aforesaid, to the southerly corner thereof,
the bound began at."
The towns of Charlotte and Hinesburg were granted in 1762, and their
boundaries marked. The year following the towns of Burlington, Williston,
St. George, and Shelburne were granted, and as Winooski River, by the terms
of their charters, was to form the north lines of Burlington and Williston,
their boundaries were readily established, beyond dispute. But upon surveying
those towns, such was the course of the river, it was found that the S.
E. corner of Williston reached quite to the north line of Hinesburg, thus
leaving a triangular piece some six or seven miles broad on the lake, and
narrowing to a point at about ten miles back from the lake, which only
remained to form the towns of Shelburne and St. George. And as Burlington
and Williston had a few days' priority in the date of their charters over
those of Shelburne and St. George, there was no alternative left to the
two latter but to take what remained. St. George, unfortunately having
the small end of the wedge, came near being crowded out entirely. As it
is, however, it has an area of 2,200 acres.
The name of the town is said to have been given in honor of the
then reigning king of England. The pious prefix of the name would seem
to indicate a high degree of reverence on the part of the proprietors who
proposed the name for that august monarch; but had it been a few years
later, when the burden of the stamp act and other kindred acts began to
weigh heavily upon the colonies, they would, no doubt, have left off the
Saint, and perhaps have substituted some other quite as significant title.
When it was finally ascertained to what an extent the town was reduced
by an actual survey, the proprietors-none of whom resided on their grant,
determined to make the best of their misfortune; accordingly, they had
the town laid out into thirty-acre lots, each proprietor having one lot,
or thirty acres, instead of 360, as they would have had if it had proved
a six-mile township; but as their charter was for a full-sized town, and
the number of grantees sixty-four, it was very easy for any one unacquainted
with the facts to compute the number of acres in a "right" to be 360; therefore
their "rights" sold in the market for the same price as those of other
The names of the grantees who thus suffered and skillfully translated
their sufferings to others are as follows:
The surface of the town is uneven, but the soil is generally good,
and is for the most part composed of gravel and loam, with a margin of
clay along the western boundary. It is well adapted for cultivation, though
the inhabitants direct their attention chiefly to dairying. There are no
streams of consequence, and therefore no mills or mill privileges -- a
deficiency not without its advantages; for the people are subjected to
no expense for the construction and repair of bridges, nor loss by inundations.
The town contains no village, no church edifice, no manufactories and no
Samuel FARMER, Christian FARMER, John FARMER, Christian FARMER, Robert
FARMER, Peter FARMER, Jeremiah LEMING, Thomas ELLISON, William ELLISON,
Simon RANSOM, Shem RANSOM, Isaac SEARS, Jasper DRAKE, Joseph SACKET, Joseph
SACKET Doctor, Francis SACKET, William BUTLER, John MANN, Thomas MANN,
William MANN, Ermes GRAHAM, John JEFFRYS, Isaac UNDERHILL, Benjamin UNDERHILL,
Henry FRANKLIN, Jona. COURTLAND, Uriah WOLMAN, Amos UNDERHILL, Richard
WILLIK, Samuel WILLIK, Jacob WATSON, Benjamin FERRIS, Daniel PRINDLE, Joshua
WATSON, Benjamin LEAMAN, Edmund LEAMAN, Richard LEAMAN, Richard TITUS,
Isaac MANN, Isaac MANN, jr., Peter VANDERWORT, William HAYRIS, Magnes GURRAT,
Robert LING, John Dervicos MURPHY, Edward Ferrol MURPHY, Jno. Deveeanose
MURPHY, jr., Thomas WRIGHT, Caleb WRIGHT, John WRIGHT, Tim. WHITMORE, Benjamin
CLAP, Benjamin CLAP, jr., Henry CLAP, Daniel QUIMBY, Jona. WAKE, Jona.
QUIMBY, The Hon. John TEMPLE, esq, Theo. ATKINSON, esq., William HUNK,
I. WENTWORTH, esq., John FISHER, esq.
The settlement of the town was begun in the year 1784 by the arrival
of Joshua ISHAM and wife from Colchester, Conn. They settled in the western
part of the town, and resided for some time in a house which Mr. ISHAM
and a friend constructed in a single day, and in which Mrs. ISHAM lived
for six months without seeing the face of another of her sex. Mr. ISHAM
was drowned in Hinesburg Pond in December, 1837. Early in 1785 Elnathan
HIGBEE and Zirah ISHAM, with their families, settled here; and within the
next four or five years came Jehiel ISHAM, Reuben and Nathan LOCKWOOD,
John MOBBS, James SUTTON, Wheeler HIGBEE and others. By the census of 1791,
seven years after the settlement began, there were in town fifty-seven
Jehiel ISHAM was one of the most active of the early settlers. He
took an active part in the War of the Revolution, and after coming to this
town became the father of numerous children, whose descendants are still
here in good numbers. He died here in 1851, at the residence of his son,
at the age of ninety-two years. His wife was Sarah MOBBS, who bore him
a family of nine sons and four daughters, of whom only Amasa and Sophia
are now living. Silas, his eldest son, whose death occurred but recently,
kept the first and only tavern ever opened in town, being the same building
now occupied as a private house by Edgar HINSDILL.
James SUTTON and his brother Benjamin came early from Connecticut
to Shelburne, whence, after a short residence, the former came to St. George.
He finally died in Montpelier, whither he had gone on a business errand.
His son Harry is still living in town.
Reuben LOCKWOOD was a prominent resident of St. George for nearly
sixty years, and removed to Irasburgh in 1856. At the age of twenty-eight
years he represented St. George in the Legislature, and was subsequently
re-elected nine several times. He also held the office of lister twenty-five
years and that of selectman twenty-nine years; was elected town clerk in
1833 and continued in that office twenty-two years.
Lewis HIGBEE was born in St George in 1788. He was the first representative
of the town in the Legislature and was re-elected to that position several
times. Although possessed of no more than ordinary profundity, he had an
inexhaustible fountain, it is said, of wit and sarcasm, which made him
an undesirable opponent.
The first child born in town was Martha, daughter of Joshua ISHAM,
and afterwards the wife of Moses BLISS, of Shelburne. Lewis HIGBEE was
the first male child. The first death is supposed to have been that of
Heman HIGBEE, an infant son of Wheeler HIGBEE, September 17, 1791; while
the first death of an adult was that of Rebecca GILMAN, June 22, 1797.
The first marriage was that of Jacob HINSDILL to Hannah COOK.
The first school-house was built soon after the settlement of the
town was begun. It was made of rude logs, with a huge Dutch-back fire-place
built of stones, and with greased paper as a substitute for window-glass.
For a time the only text book in use was Dillworth's spelling-book. Amos
CALLENDER, of Shelburne, is believed to have taught the first school. There
is now and for many years has been but one school-district in town.
The town was organized on March 9, 1813, at a meeting called for
the purpose, presided over by Lemuel BOSTWICK, of Hinesburg. Jared HIGBEE
was first town clerk; Reuben LOCKWOOD, Lewis HIGBEE and Levi HIGBEE, selectmen;
and Sherman BEACH, first constable. The other officers then elected were
James SUTTON, Sylvester ISHAM, Sherman BEACH, listers; Sherman BEACH, collector;
Robert Pease, grand juror; Joseph ISHAM, jr., Henry ISHAM, Jared HIGBEE,
highway surveyors; Levi HIGBEE, pound-keeper; Jacob HINSDILL, fence-viewer;
Lewis HIGBEE, Jared HIGBEE, Reuben LOCKWOOD, grand jurors; and Sherman
BEACH, James SUTTON and Levi HIGBEE, pettit jurors. In 1825 the officers
were Horace FERRIS, clerk and treasurer; Reuben LOCKWOOD, Silas ISHAM,
Horace FERRIS, selectmen; Horace FERRIS, Reuben LOCKWOOD, Sherman BEACH,
listers; Nathan LOCKWOOD, constable and collector, and Richard H. OSGOOD,
The present officers are H. H. TILLEY, town clerk; R. O. CASTLE,
M. W. HINSDILL and R. R. FORBES, selectmen, who are ex officio overseers
of the poor; Edward ISHAM, treasurer; Orson W. ISHAM, constable; H. H.
TILLEY, Rollin E. FORBES and Henry LAWRENCE, listers; Henry LAWRENCE, F.
C. HINSDILL, and R. E. FORBES, auditors; Russell TILLEY, town agent; and
R. O. CASTLE, superintendent of schools.
The first mention found anywhere of a post-office in St George is
in the year 1838, when George B. ISHAM was appointed to the office of postmaster.
He has been succeeded as follows: 1842, by Reuben LOCKWOOD; 1846, Joel
C. HIGBEE; 1852, Ira O. LOCKWOOD; 1871, William V. MOBBS; 1876, Norman
ISHAM; and in 1882, the present incumbent, H. H. TILLEY.
of Chittenden County, Vermont
and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers
By W. S. Rann, Syracuse, N. Y.
& Co., Publishers, 1886
by Karima Allison ~ 2004