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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 875~


Frank Gilmer


It is proper to judge the success and the status of a manís life by the estimation in which he is held by his fellow citizens. They see him at his work, in his family circle, in his church, at his devotions, hear his views on public questions, observe the outcome of his code of morals, witness how he conducts himself in all the relations of society and civilization and thus become competent to judge of his merits and demerits. Judged by such standards, the life of Frank Gilmer, a farmer of Center township, Fayette county, has been led along proper channels and he therefore enjoys the confidence and respect of his neighbors and acquaintances. He is a Canadian by birth, having first seen the light of day in the province of Toronto, September 6, 1854, and he is the son of Francis and Nancy N. (Soper) Gilmer, the father born in Scotland and the mother in Canada. His maternal grandfather, Timothy and Martha (Mask) Soper, were both born in Bowmanville, Canada, the grandfather being the first white child born in that township, and there he lived and died. The paternal grandparents came to Canada in an early day. Francis Gilmer, father of Frank, was born in March, 1817, and he came to Canada when young and engaged in the lumber business, and there married. In 1855 he came to Iowa and bought from George Seaton one hundred acres in the northeast corner of section 30, Smithfield township, Fayette county. The land was unimproved, and he erected, first, a log cabin and stable, and in 1863 built a frame house; he improved the place and remained on it until 1869, then moved one and one-half miles south of Fayette, buying there one hundred and ten acres of wild land. He improved this and made his home there until 1875, when he moved to Sumner county, Kansas, where his death occurred in November, 1884. He owned eighty acres there, and he was always a farmer. His family consisted of nine children, five of whom are still living. He was a Republican in politics, but he took little part in public affairs, giving his entire attention to agricultural pursuits. Before coming to "the States" he engaged very extensively in the lumber business. He was fairly successful in all his operations and was a man whom everybody respected.

Frank Gilmer first attended school in a log school-house on the banks of the Volga, the first in that community of Fayette county, later he attended the Fayette high school. After leaving school he devoted his attention to farming and has continued in this line of work, beginning for himself near Fayette. In the fall of 1876 he moved to Kansas and in 1880 returned to Fayette county and rented land for several years, thereby getting a good start. In 1902 he bought one hundred and twenty acres west of Randalia, Center township, and soon afterwards, having closed the deal in September of that year, he moved on the place and has remained on the same, devoting his attention to general farming and stock raising, and his labors in these lines have been crowned by success. He has a neat and comfortable home and good outbuildings, orchard, garden, and everything that makes a country place desirable and complete.

Mr. Gilmer was married on May 5, 1875, to Alice Paine, who was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, in 1854. She is the daughter of Harvey and Laura (Clark) Paine. They came to Iowa in 1864 and settled in section 7, Smithfield township, where they bought two hundred acres of land from Deleishe Demott, who had homesteaded the land, and have lived on the place ever since. Mrs. Laura Paine died December 1, 1903, and was buried at the Fayette cemetery. In 1864, when ten years old, Alice Paine accompanied her parents to Fayette county, Iowa, and near the town of Fayette they located on a farm and became well established there. To Mr. and Mrs. Gilmer the following children have been born: Alta, born April 4, 1876; Eugene, born March 9, 1879; Frank, born August 20, 1881; Earl, born November 10, 1884, died December 11, 1887; Edith, born September 3, 1887, died October 8, 1889; Stella, born March 14, 1890; Madge born February 22, 1894. Politically, Mr. Gilmer is a Republican and fraternally a Yeoman. He has been trustee of his township and has held other minor local offices, always doing his full share in the work of public improvement and fostering principles calculated to result in general good to his township and county, and is therefore rated as a valued and substantial citizen. "

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Georgianna Gray


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