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Lovell R. Gilbert


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 12/6/2009 at 03:17:56

Lovell R. Gilbert, deceased, one of the pioneer settlers of Rock County, was a native of Vermont, born in Putney, April 27, 1814. He was there reared to manhood, and received a limited education on account of the weakness of his eyes which would not permit him to confine himself to his books. He resided under the parental roof until starting out to make his way in the world, when thinking that the opportunities afforded young men in the West were superior to those in the Eastern States, he emigrated to Michigan and made his home in Kalamazoo, where he was employed in a distillery.

While residing in that city he formed the acquaintance of Miss Clarissa Joyce, who was born in the Empire State in 1817. Their friendship ripened into love and in 1840 they were united in the holy bonds of matrimony. The young couple began their domestic life in Kalamazoo and their home was gladdened by the presence of two children there born unto them - Eldridge and Charles.

In the early spring of 1840, Mr. Gilbert came to Wisconsin with the intention of selecting a location and in the course of his travels reached what is now the town of Clinton, Rock County. Being favorably impressed with the country and its prospects, he immediately returned to Michigan, and accompanied by his family again came to Rock County. The township had not then been organized, but soon after a meeting was held for that purpose in which several names were proposed, none proving satisfactory however, until Mr. Gilbert suggested that of Clinton, calling it in honor of D.C. Clinton, which name was adopted. In that community he developed a fine farm and for eight years held the office of Township Treasurer, which long continued service testifies to his ability and the faithfulness with which he discharged his duties.

Through many were the trials and hardships to be endured, time passed merrily in the pioneer cabin of Mr. Gilbert until 1845, when a dark shadow was trown over the home by the death of the loving wife and mother, who died on the 20th day of December.

He was afterward again married, his second union being with Miss Lydia Burt, by whom he had six children, namely: Amelia, wife of Moses Veatch of Nemaha County, Neb.; Frank, who married Miss Sarah Olmstead, daughter of Page Olmstead, a leading farmer of Clayton County, Iowa; LaFayette, who makes his home in San Francisco, Cal.; George, wedded [to] Lettie Killen and resides in Monona, Iowa; Egbert, also living in Monona, is the husband of Eva Green; and Alice, now the wife of George Carpenter, who resides in Jackson County, Wis.

The mother of this family was called to her final rest on the 15th day of July, 1862, while residing in Clayton County, Iowa, and Mr. Gilbert wedded her sister, Miss Harriet Burt. Two children were born of the last marriage, a son and a daughter, Frederick and Monie, who reside with their mother in Clayton County.

In the month of June, 1857, Mr. Gilbert sold his land in the town of Clinton and removed to Clayton County, Iowa, making his home in Reed [Read] Township, where he continued to reside until purchasing a farm in Giard township, near Monona. In his political sentiments he was a staunch Democrat, and in the fall of 1869 was nominated by that party as a candidate for the Legislature. He made a creditable canvass, running far ahead of his ticket, but was defeated on account of the district being overwhelmingly Republican.

In connection with his extensive farming interests, in company with his son, he engaged in the sale of agricultural implements and did a large and lucrative business. He was ever fair and honorable in his dealings, was never known to intentionally wrong any one, and possessed the confidence and kind regard of young and old, rich and poor. He was essentially a self-made man, his successes being attained through methodical business habits and careful attention to every detail. He possessed untiring industry and perserverance and whatever he undertook to do he was sure to accomplish. His home relations were the most pleasant, and though plain and unassuming in manner, he was earnestly devoted to his family and friends. Sympathetic and benevolent, many poor men had reason to hold his memory in veneration for substantial favor in the hour of need. He died at his home in Clayton County, Iowa, June 21, 1877.

~Portrait and biographical album of Rock County, Wisconsin; Acme Pub. Co. Chicago, 1889; pg 487-488


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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