THOMAS GILLETT, a retired farmer, living in Mt. Auburn, is numbered among the pioneers of 1854 in Cedar Township. He was born in the town of Granby, Hartford Co., Conn., April 1, 1810, and is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Segar) Gillett, both natives of the same town. His grandparents, Thomas B. Gillett and his wife, were also born in the same place. The family is of Scotch and English descent.
Mr. Gillett was reared in his native town and was engaged chiefly in the occupation of farming. He was married in Granby, Conn., his wife's birthplace, Dec. 11, 1832, to Miss Sophia Fox. She was born April 14, 1816, and was a daughter of Joseph Fox. Four children were born to them, two sons and two daughters — Elizabeth R., who married Lyman B. Trowbridge, was born Dec. 27, 1833, and died April 30, 1857; Florence H., born Dec. 17, 1835, died Aug. 12, 1862; Joseph L., born May 9, 1838, married Amelia Oppelt, and lives in Sumner County, Kan.; Penelope A., born Jan. 19, 1842, died May 14, 1881. Mrs. Gillett departed this life Feb. 24, 1844. Mr. Gillett was a second time united in marriage, Aug. 21, 1844, with Miss Julia Clarke, daughter of Jabin and Laura (Buttles) Clarke. She was born in Hartland, Hartford Co., Conn., June 11, 1817; her parents were also natives of the same county. Two children blest this union, a son and a daughter — Julia S., born Nov. 10, 1840, wife of George H. Walker, a farmer of Mt. Auburn, and Thomas E., born Nov. 25, 1850, and died April 9, 1855.
Mr. Gillett came West in the spring of 1853, stopping in La Salle, Ill., until November, 1854, when he started for Benton County, and reached Cedar Township December 1 of the same year. He settled on section 25, where he purchased 175 acres of land and was engaged in farming and stock-raising, in which he was very successful, until September, 1882, when he sold out and in the spring of 1883 moved to Mt. Auburn, having accumulated sufficient to enable him to retire from the active labors of life and to enjoy that quiet which is so much needed in the later years of those who have had to struggle more or less with reverses in their earlier life.Mr. Gillett served several years as Township Clerk of Cedar Township. He was a member of the Board of Supervisors for two years, and held the position of Justice of the Peace for many years. In early life he was a Democrat, but became a Republican on the organization of that party.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 278-279.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 9th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.