Death came to George A. Smith of Oak Bluffs yesterday morning in the house in which he was born seventy-nine years ago. He was the son of Elisha and Elizabeth Wilbur Smith.

His travels took him to nearly every state in the union and thus entitled him, perhaps, to be called the greatest wanderer of the Vineyard since whaling days.

His home was on a farm in what is now Oak Bluffs near the head of Lagoon pond near the pumping station. Like other boys of the Great Pond country, he began work early, hauling wood at 10, and chopping cord wood at 14. At 16 he was employed in a logging camp on the mainland. Next he went lobstering off the Brickyard on the Vineyard. He spent several years at home and then departed for Vermont. The farm he had thought of buying did not please him and, joining a friend from home, he went traveling, visiting the central states, the northwest, and going over the border into Canada. Finally he landed in Texas, broke. He obtained a job cutting railroad ties and later chopping cord wood for locomotive fuel.

Worked for the Railroad

His next employment was found in a railroad construction camp, later taking over the boarding train for the railroad employees. He succeeded next year to the job of foreman, holding that position until the road failed. He then went to work for the Southern Pacific, and six months later he started for San Antonio on food, “the worst hobo of them all,” he said. Again he worked for the railroad as an engineer, and five years slipped by. At the request of his father, he returned to the Island, and after his marriage made up his mind that his wandering was over, and the west was no place for women.

He began farming and worked hard. His interest was directed to the possibilities of bottling the water from the springs on his farm, and he formed the Beach Grove Mineral Springs Co. Business was good and the company boasted the business of the Cape and Island. But when the Oak Bluffs water supply was condemned, Beach Grove springs were selected for the new supply. Mr. Smith and a partner secured the charter for the new company and sold it to the present concern.

When the pumping station was built, he applied for the position of engineer and held it for thirty-five years, meantime acquiring more farm land, building houses, laying out the Girdlestone race track, and conducting a stone mason’s business. His home place was the site if what was once one of the largest Indian villages on the Island.

Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, the former Nellie Dearborn, and by two adopted children, Leona, 12, and Elisha, 14, actually his grandchildren. Among his relatives are the following nephews, Mark Smith of Vineyard Haven and Dr. Cecil Smith of North Dartmouth.

Funeral services are to be held at the residence on Saturday at 2 p. m., Rev. Willard F. Johnson officiating.