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History of Ryegate, Vermont
Chapter XXIV



RYEGATE has hardly had a fair share of state or county officers. John Cameron was a councillor in 1811 and 1812. One or two state senators were residents of Ryegate, and the town has furnished two or three assistant judges of the county court. But natives of the town as the records will show, have honored it by service in high places elsewhere.

In this chapter are given the names of those who held the more important offices in town. In early days there were several offices which are now discontinued—haywards, pound-keepers, tything-men, and deer-reeves. Most of these were dropped long ago. Tything-men continued to be elected down to 1850, but not every year. In one year there were twelve tything-men and seven haywards. The next year they got along without either. It is to the credit of the town that in most years party politics have been dropped at town meetings.


James Whitelaw was clerk from the first settlement of the town till March 2, 1829, excepting in 1780, when Robert Brock was elected; Josiah Page, 1784-1787, and David Dunbar in l788—seven years held by others. Gen. Whitelaw was clerk about fifty years. William Gray, 1829— 1844; George Cowles, 1844-1866; Alexander Cochran, 1866-1890; M. R. Gray till death in 1896; James Johnston, Feb. 4 to March meeting, 1896; John A. McLam, March, 1896 to date. Mrs. Martha J. McLam was appointed by Mr. Johnston as assistant clerk and still holds the position.


1793 Josiah Page 1814 John Nelson
1822 Hugh Laughlin 1828 James Nelson, Jr.
1836 Ebenezer Morrill 1843 Harry Moore
1850 Harry Moore 1870 Wm. J Gibson


There is reason to believe that James Whitelaw was elected town representative in 1783. [See p. 95]. The early records are very meagre but he was elected in 1786. It is probable that he also represented the town at the session at Newbury in 1787. Deming’s catalogue of state officers gives no names for 1788 or 1789, but the town records state that Josiah Page was elected in the latter year. The representatives since 1789 have been as follows:

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