The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
ST. JOHN, David - Edmeston
Hon. David B. ST. JOHN, of Edmeston, son of Benjamin and
Dianthe St. John, was born in Providence, Saratoga Co., N.Y., Jan.
9, 1803. His father was a native of Connecticut, and was one of
the early pioneers to Saratoga county. He reared eight children. By
occupation, a school-teacher. He died May 9, 1815, aged forty-six.
Mrs. Dianthe St. John lived to be nearly seventy. She died July 8,
1850. David B.'s paternal grandfather was of English origin, and
was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. His maternal grandfather
was also of English origin, and was a Revolutionary soldier during
the entire war; was flag-bearer, and was the only surviving flag-bearer
of his regiment.
David B. had very limited advantages for an education, but by
reading and reflection he has acquired a good, practical, business
education. At the age of ten he commenced working out by the
month, and continued until he was twenty-four years of age. He
settled in Otsego County, at Edmeston, March 6, 1820. He married
Mrs. Polly DEMING, widow of John Deming, of Edmeston, Sept. 6,
1828, by whom two children were borne, namely, Solomon C. and
Mrs. St. John was born in Richfield, Otsego Co., N.Y., March
17, 1803, and died Nov. 24, 1868. Solomon C. married Miss
Ann Eliza POPE, of Edmeston, April 27, 1851. They have two
children, Ella and David B., second. Freelove married Mr. Alvin
PECK, of Pittsfield, Otsego County. She had four children, Wm.
G., Sarah, Nellie, and David B. Mrs. Peck died October 6, 1866,
being thirty years of age.
David B. St. John made his first purchase of land in 1828. It
was a farm of 100 acres, which he sold in 1830, and purchased a
farm of 200 acres in 1831, lying partly in Edmeston and partly in
Pittsfield, the buildings being in Pittsfield. Here he continued until
1846, when he built new buildings and removed his house to the
opposite side of the road, and that brought him in the town of
Edmeston. Mr. St. John added about 100 acres to his farm, making
a large farm of 300 acres, on which he made nearly all the
improvements. In the spring of 1860 he removed to Edmeston
village, where he still continues to reside. In politics, Mr. St. John
was a Jackson Democrat, casting his first vote for General Jackson
in 1828, and continued with that party until 1856, when he joined
the Republican party, and has ever since been one of its representative
men of his town, having filled nearly all the offices not only in
Edmeston, but in Pittsfield.
In 1832 he was elected assessor of Pittsfield, and continued to
hold that office for three years. In 1835 he was elected supervisor
of Pittsfield, and held that office for ten consecutive years. In 1838
he was elected justice of the peace of Pittsfield, and continued to
hold the same until 1846, when he changed his resident to Edmeston.
In 1848 he was elected town superintendent of schools, and held
the position two years. In the fall of 1848 he was elected to the
State legislature, and served one year. In the spring of 1855 he was
elected a justice of the peace to fill a vacancy, and continued in the
same position till Jan. 1, 1878, when he retired on account of his age.
During 1859 and 1860 he represented his county in the State
legislature, being elected by the Republicans. During his long
official life Mr. St. John has enjoyed the confidence of his
constituents to an unusual degree, as is proved by the fact that he
has been kept continually in official positions. While a young man
he taught school in Edmeston for three years, summers and winters
in the same place, at eight dollars per month. In May, 1877, he was
appointed notary public, and now holds the same. Mr. St. John has
been a surveyor of land for a great many years.
Excerpt from History of Otsego Co., NY, opposite page 142
Return to Biography Index