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Mendon’s George Family: 1815 - 1943

The George Family home at 28 Main St. in Mendon.

The George family made significant contributions to the town of Mendon in the areas of public service, manufacturing, and education. Family members lived at 28 Main St. in the beautiful, white federal style home surrounded by stonewalls, pastures, and farm buildings. Richard George was the first owner in 1815, and the building continued to be the family homestead until 1943.

Mendon's earliest settlers had designated 20 acres of this land as "School Meadow" in 1668. The town's first schoolhouse was built at the lower end of this property on George St. in 1709. Since the 1800's, the George Cemetery has been located where the schoolhouse once stood. It was at 28 Main St. where this distinguished family helped to make the town a better place to live.

Members of the George family were devoted public servants. Richard George, an attorney, served as town counsel, selectman, and school committeeman. He was also on the building committee for the Unitarian Church, and he served on a committee to establish a farm for the poor. His son Nathan, also an attorney, was town moderator and justice of the peace. His grandson Nathan Richard served as selectman and town treasurer. Another grandson Julius was selectman, town moderator, library trustee, and president of the Mendon Historical Society. His granddaughter Rosa George Taft donated a generous financial gift to the town to purchase the Union Evangelical Chapel and convert it into the Taft Library. The original library, now the Historical Society Museum, was not large enough to contain the increased volume of books by 1919. The family's dedication to serve the residents of Mendon was most commendable.

The Georges were also successful in the business world. Nathan Richard George and brother Julius operated a boot shop in the J.R. Wheelock Shop on Maple St. from 1863 - 1868. Nathan sold his share to his brother who continued the business by himself until 1878. Fifty or more residents were employed at the shop at a time.

In 1897, Nathan opened the Miscoe Spring Water Company. He sold spring water that originated at the family's 24 acre, Miscoe Hill pasture off Northbridge Road. It was advertised as being pure, medicinal, and curative. It was very popular not only in Mendon, but throughout the Northeast. Business was so lucrative that a Boston office was opened, and Nathan's son Herbert was the manager.

Education played a major role in the lives of the George family. They were scholars. Richard and Nathan graduated with law degrees from Brown University. Julius, Nathan R. Jr., and Herbert were graduates of Harvard. Rosa and Nancy graduated from Wellesley College. Melissa was a professor at Wellesley, and Nathan R. Jr. was a math professor at M.I.T. Nancy was superintendent of schools in Mendon. The family's commitment to academics was remarkable.

Mendon's government, economy, and school system were influenced in a most beneficial way by members of the George family. They served diligently on town boards and committees. Their boot and Miscoe Spring Water companies prospered. Their greatest family attribute was their love of learning. Education was their devotion. It is most appropriate that their final resting place is in School Meadow at the site of the first schoolhouse. They are one of the most respected families in our town's history. The Vincent family currently owns the George House at 28 Main St.


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