Flagg, George W.
Age: 22, credited to Braintree, VTVITALS
Birth: 04/09/1839, Braintree, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
East Braintree Cemetery, Braintree, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
Flagg, George W., of Braintree, son of Austin and Mary E. (Harwood) Flagg, was born in that town, April 9, 1839.
Educated in the common schools of Braintree and Randolph Academy he remained upon his father's farm till the age of twenty and afterwards was a day laborer till the breaking out of the civil war.
In May, 1861, he enlisted at Montpelier in Co. F, 2d Regt., Vt. Vols., and participated in every engagement in which the old Vermont brigade bore part from Bull Run to Appomattox. He was constantly on duty, but for one month was disabled by a wound received in the Wilderness. May 3, 1864, his brigade was the first to enter Petersburgh, when General Grant advanced on Richmond. Mr. Flagg enlisted as a private, served four years, participated in twenty-five battles and was promoted to the rank of sergeant; he as such more than once commanded his company in the absence of all the superior officers. He was honorably discharged as 1st lieutenant with brevet captain, July 25, 1865.
He was in command and took home to the state the only company organized in the capital of the state during the war.
Soon after the close of the war, he married and settled upon a farm. He now owns three hundred and fifty acres in the east portion of the town, it being the second best in town, the production of which he has quadrupled in twenty-four years. He is a well-known breeder of Cotswold sheep and has received many medals and prizes for specimens exhibited at New England state and county fairs. He also possesses an excellent orchard, for the fruit of which he finds a ready market.
Early in life he showed great aptitude for collar and elbow wrestling and was wont, even when a boy, to display this accomplishment at public gatherings. He gradually so increased in skill that he was the acknowledged champion of the Army of the Potomac. From the age of thirty-five to forty-eight, he travelled extensively in most of the northern states, giving exhibitions of his proficiency, and his only rival was H. M. Dufur with whom he had many hard fought battles.
At the age of eighteen he lost his last fall (for business), for fifteen years he knew no difference in men, he could throw any man he ever met in five minutes. He traveled through Western New York, where he won many matches, also Ohio. He wrestled in almost every town of importance in Michigan where he defeated the renowned Indian chief Tipsico at a back hold match. In New England, he wrestled for agricultural societies, one of which was the Vermont State Fair, also at July 4th gatherings to thousands of people under great excitement. In his travels, he challenged all comers for any amount with perfect confidence.
After each campaign of travels he returned to work on his farm, never training for a match or series of matches.
During Mr. Flagg's wrestling career he doubtless wrestled two hundred matches. Athletic sports had a great fascination for him. A game that was very popular in his boyhood days, the champion wrestler being the lion of the day at all public gatherings. In all of his matches he always manifested good cheer towards all, never losing his temper, being strictly honest.
As a temperance man none were more zealous in the cause than he. In all of his travels he never tasted liquor; making speeches in the Legislature in the cause of temperance, never tiring in advocating its cause.
Mr. Flagg married Delia A., daughter of Whitman and Elmira (Smith) Howard, May 16, 1865. By her he has had two children: Lester G., and Bert C.
As a Republican, Mr. Flagg has been called upon to serve his town in many minor offices, and was elected representative to the Legislature in 1886.
He received his degrees in Masonry in Phœnix Lodge of Randolph, and has joined U. S. Grant Post, No. 96, GAR, of West Randolph, and is its present commander.
Mr. Flagg possesses a marked personality, is fully six feet in height with the figure of a Hercules; and with his jovial good nature, his sturdy strength and endurance, his unflinching courage and unselfish patriotism is the typical Green Mountain Boy of '76 and '61.
Jacob G. Ullery, compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, (Transcript Publishing Company, Brattleboro, VT, 1894), Part II, p. 139.
George W. Flagg Was Once a Noted Wrestler
George W. Flagg of Randolph, known as Vermont's famous wrestler, has an interesting record. While he has met and defeated many of the greatest wrestlers of this country, at the age of 72 he has settled downto the "simple life" among the hills of his native state where he says he expects to round out his 100th birthday.
Mr. Flagg has filled many positions of trust and responsibility. In 1908 he was elected senator from Orange county, receiving 60 out of the 82 votes cast. He was the chairman of the committee on military affairs and was the originator of the law requiring the stars and stripes to be displayed over all school houses.
George W. Flagg was born in Braintree, April 9, 1839, the second of 11 children. His mother, Mary E. (Harwood) Flagg of Braintree, is still living in good health at the age of 95. His father and his uncle, William, came on foot from eastern Massachusetts to Braintree in 1816 in company with their stepfather, S. R. Bolton. It was the year known as the year without a summer, when birds froze on their nests in June and crops generally failed.. It was a time of suffering and not very encouraging to immigrants.
As a boy George W. was noted in his native town for his athletic abilities. No boy of his age could put him on his back in a collar and elbow wrestling match. When he was 18 years he had attained much skill and at 20 years men looked alike to him as to the ease with which he could handle them.
Mr. Flagg May 1, 1861, when 22 years old, enlisted as a private under Capt. F. V. Randall in Co. F, 2d regt. Vt. volunteers. He participated in the first battle of Bull Run, July 1861, and served under McClellan in the campaign before Richmond in the summer of 1862. He was also at Antietam, at the first and second battle of Fredericksburg, at Gettysburg and in the three of the Shenandoah valley, Winchester, Fishers Hill and Cedar Creek. He was at the siege of Petersburg and Richmond and the surrender of Lee at Appomattox April 9, 1865.
He served throughout the war, four years and two months, and was in 25 battles and skirmishes. Beginning as a private he rose through all the grades until he received a commission as first lieutenant and was made brevet captain.
Capt. Flagg at last commanded the company in which he first enlisted as a private.
At the age of 26 he married Della A. Howard and went to farming on the old homestead where he was born. He bought registered Cotswold sheep at $100 a head and made a great success in raising them, taking more premium money and gold medals at New England state fairs than any other sheep breeder in New England. He was at one time the president of the Cotswold register and vice-president of the White River fair at Bethel for many years.
After the war Capt. Flagg settled down to a quiet life and supposed his wrestling days were over. But it was not so to be. An ambitious wrestler at Northfield challenged all comers and Flagg was persuaded to meet him. He found the Northfield man a mere boy in his hands.
After this invitation and challenges to wrestle came to him from all parts of the country and his fame spread. He wrestled in almost all the large towns of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan. He made a three months' wrestling tour of the last named state when he was 48 years old.
He met and defeated noted wrestlers, including John McMahon and the Indian chief, Tepsico, who weighed 265 pounds and whose favorite was the back-hold. He also met H. M. Dufur, who Mr. Flagg says was the first and only man he ever met with whom he could not win a match at will.
Flagg and Dufur traveled together for some time, giving exhibitions of the strength and skill. At Bethel, where there was gathered 12 of the best wrestlers ever seen in a town of the United States, Flagg won the champion belt after a three days' contest.
Flagg's last appearance was at Manchester, N.H. at the dedication of the new gymnasium when he was 62 years old.
Rutland Weekly Herald, May 4, 1911, 5:7-8; contributed by Don Wickman, Rutland, VT
DEATH OF GEORGE W. FLAGG
Once Noted As Wrestler and Long a Public Figure
A man well known all over Vermont and even far beyond died at his home in East Braintree Sunday at 2 p.m.-Hon. George W. Flagg. He had been in failing health brought on by his fourscore years, for two years past, and very feeble most of the past year, though able to be about until some two weeks before his death, which followed a number of paralytic shocks.
Mr. Flagg was born in Braintree, April 3, 1839, the son of Austin and Mary E. (Harwood) Flagg. He was educated in the common schools of Braintree and at Randolph academy. He remained upon his father's farm until he was 20 years old and then was a day laborer until the breaking out of the Civil war, enlisting in May, 1861, at Montpelier, in Co. F, Second regiment Vermont Volunteers, and participated in every engagement in which the old Vermont Brigade bore part from Bull Run to Appomattox. He was constantly on duty, but for one month was disabled by a wound received in the battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864, his brigade was the first to enter Petersburg, when General Grant advanced on Richmond. Mr. Flagg enlisted as a private, served four years, participated in 25 battles and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He as such more than once commanded the company in the absence of all the superior officers. He was honorably discharged as first lieutenant with brevet captain, July 25, 1865. He was in command and took home to the state the only company organized in the capital of the state during the war.
At the close of the war he married Delia A. Howard and purchased a farm at East Braintree, becoming a well known breeder of Cotswold sheep and receiving many medals and prizes for exhibits at fairs. To Mr. And Mrs. Flagg were born two sons, Lester G. and Bert C., Mrs. Flagg and the latter son dying many years ago.
Showing a great aptitude for collar and elbow wrestling when a boy, he increased his skill until he was the acknowledged champion of the Army of the Potomac and from the age of 35 to 48 he traveled extensively in most of the northern states, giving exhibitions of his proficiency. Among his rivals was H.M. Dufur, well known here and not long ago deceased, with whom he had many hard fought battles.
At the age of eighteen he lost his last fall (for business) and for fifteen years knew no difference in men, for he could throw any man he men in five minutes. He defeated the renowned Indian chief Tipsico in Michigan at a back-hold match and in New England appeared at fairs and large gatherings for years. During his wrestling career he wrestled no less than 200 matches and after each campaign of travels he returned to work on the farm, never training for a match or a series of matches.
Mr. Flagg was very zealous for temperance, never tasting liquor and advocating the cause of temperance by speeches and daily living. In politics he was a Republican and besides filling many town offices he represented Braintree in the legislature of 1886.
In 1908 he was elected senator from Orange county and introduced and promoted to passage the bill requiring the display of the American flag on schoolhouses. He was a member of the Phoenix Lodge of Masons of Randolph and for many years was commander of U. S. Grant post, GAR, of this place.
Mr. Flagg was married Nov. 6, 1913, to Mrs. Hannah Batchelder of Barre, a sister of one of his devoted war comrades, who was killed in the battle of the Wilderness and whose body he rescued and cared for. The couple have since resided very quietly and happily at East Braintree.
The funeral was held Tuesday at 2 p.m. from the East Braintree church, Rev. L.G. Chase officiating. The Masons took charge of the church service and the GAR at the grave, comrades of the latter acting as bearers. The church was decorated with flags and there were many floral tributes including emblems of the Masonic and Eastern Star fraternity. Mrs. Blanche Fisher, representing Col. Randall chapter, Ladies of the Grand Army , pinned the flag on the breast of the deceased soldier. The church was well filled. The school pupils, after lowering the flag to halfmast, attended in a body.
Present from away were three brothers, W. J. Flagg of Miller, Neb., and W. C. Flagg of Brockton, Mass., and their wives; and B. W. Flagg and daughter, Mary of Rutland; the son L. G. Flagg, and wife of Brockton, and Frank Howard of the same place. Burial was at the East Braintree cemetery.
West Randolph Herald and News, September 18, 1919; contributed by Don Wickman