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


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