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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 199~



Allen Gill


Allen Gill, the owner of a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 6, Westfield Township, has been engaged in agricultural pursuits in this county since large enough to handle the plow, for with his parents he came here when a lad. He was born in Mercer County, Pa., on the 12th of February, 1837, his parents being John and Susanna (Bentley) Gill. His paternal grandfather enlisted in the Colonial army to aid his country in her struggle for independence and was killed in the war, at which time his son John was a mere child. The latter grew to manhood in the Keystone State, and shortly after his marriage removed with his family to Fond du Lac County, Wis., making the journey by team. This was in 1837, and at the time only three farmers were living in the county. Mr. Gill settled in Ashford Township, and in the midst of the forest hewed out a farm, experiencing the usual hardships and privations of pioneer life. Fifteen years he spent in that county, and in 1852 again made a journey by team, his destination being Fayette County, Iowa. He settled four miles east of West Union, where he purchased eighty acres of land of William Russell, only ten acres of which had been broken. The now thriving city of West Union, then was a mere hamlet. One little store was supplied with about a wagon load of groceries and a few cabins comprised the town. Mr. Gill built a log cabin and began the development of his land which he afterward disposed of, removing to the Stevens farm in Illyria Township, where he made his home until 1865, when he sold and removed to Westfield Township, locating on the land now constituting the homestead of our subject. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of prairie, and ere his death had it under a high state of cultivation. He died in 1875, and his wife passed away in 1873. Mr. Gill was a good business man and successful in his undertakings. He took little interest in political affairs, except to vote with the Democratic party and gave his time and attention to his farming. He was a member of the old-school Baptist Church, and a warm friend of education. He himself was a great reader and made the most of his advantages. His fellow-citizens respected him and the confidence which they placed in him is indicated by the fact that he was often chosen as the administrator of the estates of his neighbors and friends.


Our subject has spent but little of his life in his native State. He was only three months old when the family removed to Wisconsin, where he remained until fifteen years of age. During that time his educational advantages were limited, for it was some time before public schools were established, and then he could not always attend, as his services were needed at home to assist in the cultivation of the farm. He began life for himself as a farm hand, and the occupation to which he was reared has been his business through mature years. As a helpmate he chose Miss Alice L. Noble, their union being celebrated in this county November 5, 1881. The lady was a native of New York, and with her parents came during her childhood to Fayette, where she remained until her marriage. She died in 1886, leaving two children, a son and daughter, John Dill and Laura Susanna. For a second wife Mr. Gill married Ettie Leonhart, who was born near Brush Creek, this county, and is a daughter of Philip Leonhart, an honored pioneer who is still living in Fairfield Township. They were married March 28, 1887, and their union has been blessed with one child - Alice, born July 15, 1890.


After his first marriage Mr. Gill began farming for himself, and is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land under a high state of cultivation which yields to him a golden tribute for the care and labor he bestows upon it. He is a good citizen, a man of sterling worth, but no office seeker. He votes with the Democratic party, and keeps himself posted on political issues, but has no desire for official preferment. In connection with his other business interests he is a member of the Creamery Association of Randalia."



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