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GORMLY, William


Posted By: Norma Jennings, Administrator (email)
Date: 3/30/2013 at 13:02:53

Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa 1881, page 187-188

WILLIAM GORMLY, farmer, section 8, Crawford Township, was born in Washington County, Pa., in 1817. He is the son of Thomas and Hannah (Stewart) Gormly. Thomas Gormly was born in Ireland, and was a single man when he came to America. His wife was also born in that country, but their marriage occurred in Washington County, Pa., where most of their lives were spent. Their latter years were passed in Westmoreland County, near Blairsville. By trade, Thomas was a weaver, and for many years followed that occupation. He was one of the best of weavers, and had a loom in his own house. His last years were spent upon a little farm near the village mentioned. Thomas and his wife were the parents of our subject, Ann, Thomas, Robert, John and Samuel, besides others who died in infancy. William and John were the only ones coming to Iowa, and the latter's death occurred a few months later. His body was found in the Mississippi River near Burlington, he having started to return to his home in Pennsylvania. He was unmarried. Ann became the wife of Andrew Cook, and is yet a resident of Westmoreland County; she reared two children, both deceased; she is now a widow. Robert resides on the paternal farm in his native State, and married Mary Russell, who has borne five children; Thomas and Samuel both died unmarried.

Our subject was married in Westmoreland county, in 1846, to Nancy McCahon, who bore John McCahon, Thomas R., Hannah J. and Elizabeth. The parents of Nancy, Alexander and Elizabeth McCahon, were natives of Ireland, and were married there. They reared four children, all born in that country. John, James, Elizabeth and Nancy. The death of the mother ensued soon after coming, she having been injured in jumping from the boat when they landed. The wife of our subject died in Pennsylvania. Mr. Gormly came to this county in 1853, purchasing his present farm, at that time an 80-acre tract, now largely increased by later purchases. John and Thomas came after their father had located, he having, in February, 1854, married Susan J. Harreld, daughter of one of the early settlers of Crawford Township, and Mrs. Gormly is the only one of that family now a resident. They were formerly residents of Sangamon County, Ill., and came to this county in September, 1835, thus taking rank among the first settlers of the county. The maternal grandparents of Susan Herrald, Benjamin and Sarah Hudson, also came from Sangamon County, Ill, the same year. The lands of both the Hudson and the Harreld families were among the first entries in this county. Neither of the Hudsons named are at this time residents of the township, where a quarter of a century since their names and faces were familiar, and the remains of both grandparents lie in the Crawfordsville Cemetery.

Our subject and his wife had seven children born on the farm where he now resides: Ann, the wife of Thomas McKee, is the mother of five children—Minnie, Frank, Harry, Thomas, deceased; Gilbert and William D.; Mary Robert; William S. and William both deceased; Luther and Calvin complete the family. William Gormly was twice elected Trustee of his township, and for sixteen consecutive years has served as Supervisor. His membership with the United Presbyterian Church dates from 1853, the year of his locating in the county. Mr. Gormly has from a poor boy grown to a wealthy man in mature years, by the exercise of untiring industry. He is now in his seventieth year, and is surrounded by a large and interesting family. Ann, the wife of Mr. McKee, was, before her marriage, a teacher in the schools, teaching in the Campground Schoolhouse. The sons are all farmers, and the aged father looks after his lands, which have been so finely improved since he came to the State. The historian finds him hard at work, unmindful of the burning rays of the July sun, and the facts enumerated may be considered authentic, as they were furnished by him in person.


Washington Biographies maintained by Joanne L. Breen.
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