Biography of Hon. George W. Tibbitts
HON. GEORGE W. TIBBITTS. – A portrait of Mr. Tibbitts is placed among the illustrations of this history. He was born in Acton, Maine, January 22, 1845, and is the son of Daniel and Mary (Witham) Tibbitts, and was the youngest in a family of fifteen children. When our subject was but one year of age, the family suffered the irreparable loss of their mother; and at the age of four years George was placed with an aunt in West Milton, New Hampshire, with whom he remained until he was fifteen years of age. He then went to Great Falls, in the same state, to do for himself.
July 12, 1861, being then but sixteen years of age, he enlisted in Company F, Fourth New Hampshire Infantry, with which he served for three years. On the expiration of that time he re-enlisted in the same company and regiment, during which time he attained the rank of orderly sergeant. Mr. Tibbitts during his army life suffered the privations and hardships that caused thousands of the brave boys to succumb. On August 15, 1864, at the battle of Deep Bottom, he with thirty-eight of his company was taken prisoner and incarcerated in Libby Prison. One month later they were transferred tot he famous Belle Isle, where he remained until October, 1864. They were then sent to Saulsbury, South Carolina, where Mr. Tibbitts remained until March 14, 1865, when he was returned again to Libby Prison, from which he was paroled in the latter part of March, 1865.
In June, 1865, owing to a broken constitution caused by his long imprisonment, he was mustered out of the service, and returned to his former home in New Hampshire to recuperate. A short time afterwards he started west for the benefit of his health, and finally located in Monitor county, Missouri, where he engaged in a mercantile business until 1871, when he with his wife and family came to Portland, Oregon, and one year later to Puget Sound, locating in 1872 on his present valuable property near the present thriving town of Gilman, Washington, where he has since resided, with the exception of one year on Whidby Island and three years in the mercantile trade at Renton, during which time he was postmaster of the above place. Mr. Tibbitts has added from time to time to his original purchase at Gilman, until he now possesses a valuable estate of over one thousand acres. Together with the management of his general store in Gilman, he is engaged in farming and hop-raising on a large scale, and is looked upon as one of the leading as well as substantial men of King county.
Mr. Tibbitts was one of the organizers of Grand Army Post No. 1, of Washington, which is appropriately named “General I.I. Stevens Post,” in honor of the general of that name, and who was the first governor of Washington Territory. Mr. Tibbitts was elected senior vice-commander at its organization, and one year later was elected commander. In 1887 he was elected to the territorial legislature, and in 1881 was elected brigadier-general of state militia for two years. For ten years he has been justice of the peace, notary public and postmaster of Squawk. In 1889 Mr. Tibbitts was a member of the constitutional convention that met at Olympia to frame the constitution for the new State of Washington. Mr. Tibbitts was united in marriage in Missouri, in March, 1868, to Miss Rebecca Wilson, a native of that state, by which union they have a family of four children. He is a gentleman of broad and liberal views, and through energy and perseverance has amassed a competency, and enjoys the esteem and confidence of the residents of the entire community in which he lives.