Gableson & Roth - Greusel
DR. ALFRED GABLESON, residing in Merrimac, was born in Western Sweden, nea [sic] "Jonk Joping," and is the son of John and Christina Gableson, both born, reared and married in Sweden, in which country two children, our subject and a daughter who died in infancy, were born before their emigration to America, in 1868. They first located in Rockford, Ill., where John Gableson worked at his trade, that of wagon-making. Nine months later the family came to Jefferson County, where a farm was purchased, and where the parents yet reside. One son was born in Jefferson County, Iowa - Henry. The education of our subject was received at Winfield, and his medical studies were begun under the tuition of Dr. B. G. Kimmel, a physician and surgeon of that town. After one year's study Dr. Gableson went to Edina, Mo., and placed himself under the care of Dr. J. W. Downs, and after a two years' course of study matriculated at the Keokuk Medical College, taking one term in 1881. He returned to Missouri, and L. S. Brown, M. D., became his tutor for another year, when the young Doctor, now highly educated in his chosen profession, went to Chicago and matriculated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and was a member of the first class, and heard the first lectures ever delivered in that college. After attending one full course in that noted school, he returned to his home, and located in August, 1883, at Merrimac, where since that time he has done a fine practice. Dr. Gableson is a young physician of great promise, and takes high rank among the medical men of Southeastern Iowa. As one of her talented citizens, and in honor to the profession he represents, we place his sketch on record among those of his profession.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 632-33.)
|Gardiner & Roth
GARDINER & ROTH are dealers in hardware and agricultural implements at Wayland, Henry Co., Iowa. Desiring to make mention of the respective families of these gentlemen in connection with their business we speak first of the senior member of the firm.
Benedick Gardiner was born in New Hamburg, Canada West, in 1839, and is the son of Christian and Anna (Roth) Gardiner. Christian Gardiner came to Washington County, Iowa, in 1857, being at the time the husband of Phoebe Roth, a relative of his first wife, who died in Canada, and was the mother of seven children, and Phoebe (Roth) Gardiner was the mother of three children. The death of Christian Gardiner, Sr., occurred in Iowa, and Phoebe, his widow, now resides in Johnson. Benedick Gardiner came to Iowa three years prior to his father, and when he was but fifteen years old. He worked on a farm in Lee County for a year and a half, when he went to Washington County, where he remained about the same length of time. Thence he went to Davis County, and a year later, in 1855, came to Henry County. On his marriage he rented a farm for a year, and a year later bought a farm in Trenton Township, on which he lived for nineteen years, and until his removal to Wayland, in 1881. He was married to Nancy A. Roth, of this county, in 1861. They have three children living: Ella, wife of Ed. H. Farris, the Station Agent at Wayland; Ida and Guy, who are unmarried, and live with their parents. One son, William Edward, died in 1880, aged twelve years.
On his removal to Wayland, in 1881, Mr. Gardiner engaged in a general mercantile business, which he later disposed of, and purchased a half interest in the hardware stock of Charles Bergh. This he later sold to Mr. Bergh, and for some time did an exclusive business in agricultural implements; but in 1886, with Joseph Roth, purchased the hardware stock and good-will of Mr. Bergh, and they have since done a large business in that line, besides dealing largely in all kinds of agricultural implements. They carry a $2,000 stock of hardware, and their sales the past season of buggies and agricultural implements alone amounted to over $4,500. Both the gentlemen named are enterprising business men, and their integrity and courtesy have drawn trade remote from their legitimate business center. Such men are valuable factors in any community, and to such the growth and prosperity of Wayland are due.
Joseph Roth, the junior member of the firm, is the brother-in-law of Mr. Gardiner. He was born in Wayne County, Ohio, in 1849, and is the son of John and Katie (Grever) Roth, who came to this country in 1849. Several children who were born in Ohio came with their parents to Iowa-Michael, John, Peter, Joseph, Nancy A., Mary and Lydia. After their arrival in this State Katie, David and Elizabeth were born. The family reside on a farm near Trenton, arid are highly spoken of.
Joseph Roth wedded Miss Nettie McCray, of Trenton, Iowa, Sept. 5, 1876. She was born Feb. 11, 1855. Their domestic life was begun upon a farm in Trenton Township, but in March, 1884, they removed to Wayland. Mrs. Roth engaged in the millinery and fancy goods business, and to her is the honor due of having a large and well-selected stock, and the only one in Wayland. Everything in ladies' goods is to be found there, and the store does a fine trade. Mr. and Mrs. Roth are parents of three children, all born in this county-Lulu, Earl and Clark. The parents of Mrs. Roth, Frank and Hester (VanVoast) McCray, reside near Trenton, upon the same farm where for forty years a happy married life has been enjoyed. They were the parents of eight children, six living: Orlando, unmarried, a bookkeeper in the bank of Sioux City; Nettie, wife of Joseph Roth; John, unmarried, a farmer in Dakota; Mary, wife of Prof. William Hart, a resident teacher of Holdrege, Neb., where she is also a teacher; Joseph and Frank, unmarried, reside on the old homestead.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 200-201.)(JC)
Joel C Garretson
JOEL C. GARRETTSON, farmer, is one of the oldest settlers within Jackson Township, and for many years has been prominent in its history. He was born in Highland County, Ohio, Dec. 13, 1809, and is a son of Isaac and Alice (Paxton) Garrettson. Isaac Garrettson was a native of Adams County, Pa., and his wife was born in Stafford County, Va., and was a daughter of John and Mary Paxton, who soon after her birth removed to Loudonn County, in the same State. Later the Paxtons removed to Logan County, Ohio, where the parents died at a ripe old age. They were the parents of four sons and five daughters, the youngest of whom, Susan, wedded Richard Shockly, removing to Jefferson County, Iowa; the remainder staid in Ohio. Isaac Garrettson was born May 17, 1765, married his wife in Grayson County, Va., April 5, 1804, and died Dec. 13, 1844. His wife, Alice, was born May 19. 1769, and died Nov. 18, 1855. Soon after marriage the young couple emigrated to Highland, now Clinton County, Ohio, traded for lands, and he began farming. Their tract comprised 230 acres of virgin woodland, which he cleared up, the first settlement being made about 1824. In that State, Joel C. and Isaac H., the latter now a resident of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, who wedded Jeanette Pringle, were born. Their two eldest children, John G., who wedded Mary Goodson, and Mary A., wife of D. W. Henderson, of Salem, were born in Virginia. After a lengthy experience in pioneering in Ohio, the Garrettson family removed to Iowa, being preceded by their sons, Isaac and Joel, who located in this county in June, 1837. Our subject was married prior to their coming, to Miss Elizabeth P. Goodson, of Franklin County, Ohio. She was a daughter of George and Rebecca Goodson, of Virginia, who left that State at an early day and became pioneers of Ohio. Of the Goodson family there were six daughters and five sons, of whom the youngest son, George, married Eliza Hoffman, and they now live in Madison County, Ohio, and he is the only survivor of the family.
Isaac and Joel Garrettson both took claims, our subject selecting his present homestead, Isaac taking lands in Lee County, adjoining. These they secured at the first land sale in Burlington. As an incident of that sale, Mr. Garrettson informs the writer that for all the registered claims in this township he was the bidder on behalf of, the respective claimants, and perhaps the only man now living in this county who performed the same service. Isaac Garrettson was the inventor of. the first nail cutting and heading machine ever invented, of which there is any record, and which was patented while George 'Washington was President, the patent bearing the name of the Father of his Country.
The first cabin built by Joel Garrettson was erected on the creek on the east half of the south west quarter of section 27. Their first son, Amos was born in Ohio; Emily R. was born in the first cabin built on their purchase in Iowa, on March 15, 1840. With two yoke of cattle hitched to a wagon, the journey was made from Ohio, and the team played no unimportant part after they were fairly settled. They turned over the virgin sod, drew the logs for their cabins, and as both brothers brought with them a horse, they also had a team for driving. Our subject and his brothers began life in the new country like other pioneers. They built their own cabins, split the puncheons for floors, and fashioned the clapboards for the roof. They also made a "hominy mortar" of a hollowed log, and with a pestle made with a spring pole, somewhat similar to the old well-sweep, the corn was crushed into meal, and some of the neighbors, among whom were Ephraim Ratliffe and wife, patronized the primitive mill. The prosperous days that came later on did away with all that kind of labor, and the crushed corn was replaced by bolted meal and wheaten flour. Flocks and herds dotted the pastures, and almost before our subject and his young wife were aware of it they were wealthy people and the parents of a family of children, whose merry voices made the walls of the old cabin ring with their shouts of glee. As the days went by a modern house took the place of the pole cabin. The deer and wolves no longer raced across the 'prairies; the Indians who for years had hunted over the now fertile lands had gone, and Mr.Garrettson's remark to his friends when leaving Ohio, "that he had come West to secure lands and grow with the growth of the country," was fully realized. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Garrettson are: Amos, wedded to Mary A. Huffman, and who is a resident mechanic of Leon, Decatur Co., Iowa; Emily R. is the wife of Irenius M. Hoffman, a mechanic of Indianapolis, Ind.; Julia, wife of Benjamin F. Pratt, a resident physician of Clarks, Merrick Co., Neb., is a graduate of Whittier College, and also of the Florence Heights Medical College, New Jersey; Albert H., the husband of Louisa Smith, is a graduate of the State University, and a resident attorney of Keokuk; John G., also graduated at Whittier and the State University, wedded Laura Bartlett, and is his brother's law partner, the firm being favorably known as Garrettson & Garrettson; Owen A. graduated at Whittier College, and resides with his father on the farm, and is married to Miss Emma J. Diltz, a sister of Dr. Diltz, and daughter of Thomas Diltz, a well-known citizen of this township.
Long since our subject gained a competence, and he and his wife for years took life easy. They lived uprightly, did faithfully their life work, and in their mature age, before death came to their long companionship, could look upon children who are prominent factors in the business and social world. Having passed with honor all the official positions in the gift of the people of his township, Mr. Garrettson resigns public life to younger men. The golden wedding anniversary of Mr. Garrettson and his wife was celebrated in 1886, and all their children were present. They were the grandparents of sixteen children and one great-grandchild.
On Dec. 4, 1887, the Angel of Death entered the happy home, and the loving wife and faithful mother passed from earth, rendering up her soul to Him who gave it, and the aged husband was left to mourn the loss of a tender wife, by whose side he had passed more than half a century. She was a noble woman, who nobly discharged all her duties, and was truly a helpmeet to her husband. Her end came suddenly and peacefully, and her memory is enshrined in the hearts of not only her family but of a large circle of friends, by whom she was held in high esteem. Mrs. Garrettson was born May 5, 1816, in Franklin County, Ohio.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 188-190.)(JC)
|Ephraim P. Garrison
EPHRAIM P. GARRISON, of Mt. Pleasant, was born in Somerset County, N. J., in 1815, and is the son of Daniel S. and Catherine (Simmons) Garrison. Both parents were natives of Virginia, though of Scotch origin. The grandfather on the maternal side, Cuthbert Simmons, was a soldier in the war of the Revolution. Daniel Garrison, the father of our subject, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and died in Somerset County, N. J., when Ephraim was a lad of five years. Two years later, when but seven years old, he was bound out to a man named John Manen, a farmer of Sussex County, N. J., where he lived for five years. At the expiration of that time, Ephraim went to live with a man named Sutton residing in the same county, where he remained for three years. He then left there, and was bound out as an apprentice to a wagon and carriage maker in Middlebrook, N. J., commencing work there at the age of fifteen and continuing in this employment for three years. He then went to Teetown, working at his trade, and subsequently going to Plainfield, N. J., where he remained for five years, and then to Coldwater, Mich., residing there two years working at his trade as a journeyman. Mr. Garrison then removed to Marshall, Mich., and engaged as a millwright, and then to Buffalo, N. Y., working on steamboats; from there to Newark, N. J., remaining two years engaged in cabinet-making, and subsequently to New York City, where he was employed in the same business. Going to Pennsylvania, he was engaged in various departments of cabinet-making, working for a few months, when he returned to New York. In that city he became acquainted with and married Catherine Devoe, a native of New York City, and daughter of Thomas and Fannie (Burr) Devoe, who were of Holland descent. After his marriage, he removed to Deckertown, N. J., where he resided for one year, employed as a cabinet-maker. Again returning to New York City, he worked in a chair factory for six months and then moved to Monticello, N. Y., where he remained for four years. In that city he first set up in business for himself, establishing a factory and general furnishing shop. The desire to again change his place of residence took possession of him, and again he removed to the city of New York, this time remaining for thirteen years. There he was engaged in making inside vaults for safes, employed by the Gaylor Safe Company. In 1855 Mr. Garrison emigrated to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where, with his brother Augustus, he engaged in making brick and building houses, continuing in this work for three years. At the end of that time he began working for Charles Housel in a cabinet-shop, working for one year, and then established a shop of his own, also working here for year. Mr. Garrison then formed a partnership with Charles Quick; at the end of year the partnership was dissolved, but our subject has continued in the business ever since. Mr. Garrison is a fine mechanic, and is an expert in making anything in wood or iron. He has a general repair shop, and is able to fill any special order that may be given him.
Mr. and Mrs. Garrison have been the parents of six children, three of whom are now living: Frances, wife of Jacob Wright, of Tippecanoe Township; Joseph died when five years of age; William, a soldier in the 14th Missouri Volunteer Infantry, died in the hospital at Memphis, Tenn.; Pennington is married to Jane C. Handell, of Mt. Pleasant, and is engaged in business with his father, and resides in Mt. Pleasant; George M., a brakeman, of New Brunswick, Mo., was killed by the cars Feb. 14, 1884; Elenora, wife of Bert Triggs, residing in Ottumwa, Iowa. Politically Mr. Garrison is liberal. He owns seven and one-half acres of land within the city limits of Mt. Pleasant. He is an intelligent and trustworthy man, and is highly respected throughout the community.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.554-5.)
Samuel Wallace Garvin
SAMUEL WALLACE GARVIN, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, is a dealer in dry-goods, carpets, notions, etc., and is also a partner of the firm of John Moroney & Co., dealers in staple and fancy groceries, of the same city. He was born in Fleming County, Ky., Sept. 28, 1836, and is the son of James and Margaret (Saunders) Garvin. In 1848, when he was but twelve years of age, the family emigrated to Henry County, Iowa, and settled upon a farm in Center Township. In the public schools of his native and also of his adopted State, Mr. Garvin received his primary education, and then took a course of study at the celebrated academy of Prof. Samuel L. Howe, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. In 1858 he made his home at Mt. Pleasant and commenced business as a merchant clerk, in which capacity he served until August, 1862, when he enlisted as a private in Company B, 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Before going to the front he was appointed Sergeant of his company and was promoted Commissary Sergeant of the regiment, and faithfully served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge in June, 1865. The 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry was assigned to the 15th Army Corps, and made a glorious record during the war, participating in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, siege of Vicksburg, battles of Raymond, Champion Hill, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Snake Creek Gap, Kennesaw Mountain, the battles of July 22 and 28, 1864, at Atlanta, and the siege of Atlanta, battles of Jonesboro, Sherman's march to the sea, capture of Savannah, march through the Carolinas, battle of Bentonville, N. C., and other minor engagements.
On his return from the army, Mr. Garvin engaged as a clerk at Mt. Pleasant for three and a half years, then, in September, 1868, he formed a partnership with T. H. Garlick in the mercantile business, which partnership existed for one and a half years. He was next in partnership with William G. Saunders in the same line of trade for six years, since which time he has carried on the business alone. As a merchant he has been quite successful, and has a reputation far and wide for the good quality of his goods. In addition to his extensive dry-goods business, Mr. Garvin is a partner in the grocery house of John Moroney & Co., which connection dates since April, 1877.
Mr. Garvin was married at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Sept. 5, 1867, to Miss Emma Fitch Franklin, a daughter of William and Lydia Franklin, both of whom were from the State of New York, locating in Iowa at an early day. Mrs. Garvin was born in Toolsboro, Iowa. Five children have been born to them, two sons and three daughters: William F., aged eighteen years; Nina S., aged fifteen years; Mamie S., aged thirteen years; George W., aged nine years, and Emma, an infant. Mr. and Mrs. Garvin are members of the Christian Church and have ever taken an active interest in all church work. For several years Mr. Garvin was an Elder in the Mt. Pleasant Church and also served as Superintendent of the Sunday-school. Politically he is a Republican and a firm believer in Prohibition. Socially he is a member of the McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R. In addition to his other business Mr. Garvin is a member of the Comstock Scale Company and Machine Works, of which he was Vice President for several years.
As a means of relaxation, Mr. Garvin made a trip to Colorado in the spring of 1860, and remained in the mountains, mining, ranching and hunting, until the fall of 1861. He made another trip to the same region in the summer of 1887. He is one of the leading business men of Henry County, is a genial gentleman, methodical and exact in his business habits, and is held in high esteem as a business man, neighbor and friend. In connection with this sketch a fine portrait of Mr. Garvin is given on the opposite page.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 266-269) (JC)
|George S. Gass
GEORGE S. GASS, who for the past four years has filled the office of Treasurer of Henry County, was born in Gallia County, Ohio, March 2, 1838, and is a son of Elias and Permelia (Topping) Gass. His father and mother were born and reared in Greene County, Pa., of which county his parents were also natives. They were residents of Ohio for about sixteen years, when he returned to Pennsylvania. There the mother died, the father coming to Iowa with our subject and dying in Mt. Pleasant in 1886. His father's people were old residents of the State, and his mother's had originally come from New Jersey.
The subject of this sketch remained at home until he was twenty years of age, when he went to Washington County, Pa.; from there he went to Illinois and from there to Columbia, Ark., where he was at the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion. He returned North, and wishing to give his services to his country, he enlisted Aug. 1, 1861, in Ringgold Cavalry, an independent company which afterward saw much active service until after the close of the war, not being mustered out until the last October, 1865. Successive promotions had raised Mr. Gass to the rank of First Lieutenant, and he made an honorable record as a brave and gallant soldier. During the war the company was merged into other organizations, and at the time it was mustered out was a part of the 3d Provisional Pennsylvania Cavalry. It's service was principally with the army of West Virginia, and took part in all the hard-fought battles and skirmishes in the valley of the Shenandoah, the theatre of the hardest cavalry service of the entire war. It did general cavalry duty under Gen. Phil Sheridan, with all that implies, scouting, skirmishing, fighting and raiding. Under Gen. Shields it took active part in the famous battle of Winchester, and in all this severe duty Lieut. Gass bore himself gallantly. He returned to his home from the army in November, 1865, and in the following month came to Iowa, looking for a permanent location. Being pleased with the country, he settled here in the spring of 1866, on a farm near Mt. Pleasant, where he engaged in farming until he was elected Treasurer of the county in 1883.
During his army life he took a furlough and went home to fill a more agreeable engagement, and was married on March 22, 1863, in Greene County, Pa., to Miss Charlotte Morton, daughter of Robert and Mary Morton. Mrs. Gass is also a native of Greene County, and was born in 1845. They are the parents of six children, one of whom, a daughter named Anna, died at the age of sixteen. Those now living are - John T., Olive H., Rachel, William and Harlan, all making their home with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Gass are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. he is also a member of Mystic Lodge No. 55, I. O. O. F., and of McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R. Ever since he came of age, Mr. Gass has been a supporter of the principles of the Republican party, by whom he has twice been elected to the responsible officer of Treasurer of the county, the duties of which he has discharged with fidelity to the interests of the people, and credit to himself. As an officer and as a private citizen, he has the confidence and esteem of all who know him, and is highly respected for his integrity of character.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 610.)
REV. SEBASTIAN GERIG was born in Millhousen, France, in 1838, and is a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Zimmerman) Gerig. Jacob was a farmer, and he and his wife reared a family of thirteen children, of whom our subject was the second youngest. The parents lived and died in France. Sebastian Gerig came to America in 1857 and settled in Davis County, Iowa. From there he went to Wayne County, Ohio, in 1862, and two years later returned to Iowa and made his home in Henry County. For five years he rented lands, and in 1869 purchased a farm of his own. He sold that farm and purchased his present homestead in 1872. In 1865 Miss Magdalena Goldsmith of the county, became his wife, and eleven children have graced their union, nine of whom are living, and all were born in Henry County - Joseph, Jacob, Elizabeth, Lydia, Anna, Mary, Lavina, Eva and Emma. In 1869 Mr. Gerig, who had been for years an acceptable member of the Mennonite Church, was elected by the congregation of Prospect Church as their minister, and from that time to this date has been their pastor. Since his creation by the church as Bishop in 1879, he has taken into the church over 100 persons; the congregation now numbers seventy-five families. Services are held the second and fourth Sunday in each month and Sunday-school every Sunday. Christianer and Jacob Kable are Superintendents. The assistant pastor is Rev. Stephen Miller, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. The church was organized by Rev. Joseph Goldsmith in 1850, who moved from Lee County, Iowa, to Henry County. At that time about half a dozen families composed the society, but it has always been a prosperous one. Rev. Goldsmith died in 1875 in his eighty-first year, firm in the faith in which he lived.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 487-8.)
ENOS GHEEN, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser residing on section 21, Marion Township, Henry County, was born in Chester County, Pa., Dec. 24, 1844. From his old home could be seen the Brandywine battle-field, and the old Friends' meeting-house that was used for a hospital, and where the blood-stains may yet be seen. In this meeting-house Enos received his early religious instructions, his parents attending the same. His father, Enos Gheen, Sr., was of Scotch descent, and his mother, Ann (Seeds) Gheen, of Irish, though both were natives of Chester County, Pa. They were the parents of five children, the two eldest dying in infancy: Hannah A., wife of Samuel Guss, emigrated to Linn County, Mo., where he died in 1872, while she departed this life Sept. 8, 1882, leaving three children-Mary A., Enos and Frank. Mary lives with her grandma Gheen; the sons are now living with our subject. Mrs. Guss was a member of the Congregational Church of Hickory Grove. The second child was Mary E., wife of John Dugdale, a resident of Mt. Pleasant.
The father of our subject came to Henry County in the fall of 1862, and bought 190 acres of land on sections 2 and 9, Marion Township, eighty acres of which were improved. In the spring of 1863 he removed with his family to his farm. In his native State he was a devoted member of the Society of Friends, and was one of the Stewards of the old Birmingham meeting-house, spoken of in the first part of the sketch. His occupation has always been that of a farmer and drover. He died Dec. 16, 1871, from typhoid fever, after six days' illness. He was a public-spirited man ; his time and money were always ready to advance any interest for the good of the community. He was a noble and faithful friend to those who needed a friend and a highly respected citizen. His wife survives him, and at the age of seventy-two is a well-preserved lady both physically and mentally. She is a member of the Congregational Church, and does her part in all church work.
Enos Gheen spent his early life in attending the district school in winter, and working on the farm in summer. In the winter of 1860-61, he attended the academy of Malboro. After coming to Iowa he attended Howe's Academy at Mt. Pleasant, and in the winter of 1865 he commenced teaching in Louisa County, continuing in that occupation two years, when he took charge of the home farm. He bought 120 acres on section 2, Marion Township, and was united in marriage, Aug. 13, 1874, with Miss Sarah A. Beeson, who was born Jan. 19, 1848, in Henry County. Her parents were Ames and Lydia (Pickering) Beeson, the father a native of Ohio and the mother a native of. Virginia. Her parents came from Ohio to Henry County in 1846. Mr. Beeson departed this life May 26, 1887, at the age of sixty-seven. His wife still resides in Mt. Pleasant, Mr. Gheen remained on his first farm until Nov. 23, 1886. He then bought 240 acres on sections 16 and 21 in Marion Township, upon which he now lives; he also owns ten acres of timber land on section 17, Trenton Township, and in Monroe County, eighty acres on section 17, Urbana Township, making in all 450 acres. He also has four lots in Mt. Pleasant. He takes great interest in all public matters. Mr. and Mrs. Gheen are the parents of three sons arid two daughters. Anna was born Aug. 18, 1876; Fred was born Oct. 28, 1878; John was born April 30, 1880; Elizabeth was born April 6, 1882; Benton H. was born Feb. 23, 1884.
Mr. and Mrs. Gheen are kind friends to the needy. Though not members of any church, they have always taken their part in all good works. Socially he is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and politically a Democrat.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 195-196.)(JC)
Isaac T. Gibson
ISAAC T. GIBSON, farmer, was born in Greene County, near Oldtown, Ohio, in 1831, and is a son of Montelian and Sarah (Embree) Gibson, the former a native of Loudoun County, Va., and as both his parents died in that State, he came, in 1805, an orphan lad, to the Buckeye State. He learned the trade of milling at Elliott's Mills, Va., and after he came to Ohio, hired to Thomas Embree, whose mills were situated on the Little Miami River, near Oldtown. For many yeas he managed the mill, and later married Sarah, the daughter of his employer.
Thomas Embree moved to East Tennessee from South Carolina at an early day. He erected an iron furnace, and with his sons, Elihu and Elijah, carried on that business till he removed to Ohio. He was a man who had great natural ability and was a surveyor, doing the most of the surveying in that part of the country. He also had compiled and printed a "Phonetic Spelling Book" which has since been improved. His two sons inherited their father's energy and ability, and Elijah engaged in politics, canvassing Tennessee with Andy Johnson when he was a candidate for Governor in that State, at which time Elijah was a candidate for Congress. Elihu was an earnest opponent of slavery, and joined with other Friends and purchased typed, etc., and he became the editor of The Emancipator, which was the first paper solely devoted to advocating the freedom of the slave. Mr. Gibson's mother possessed a full share of the family characteristics. She was a remarkable woman, of strong natural ability, much force of character, and of marked benevolence. These traits she impressed on her son, and from her Isaac T. Gibson inherited his desire to do good to the poor and suffering.
Montelian Gibson and his wife settled on a part of the Embree entry, and there all their children were born, as follows: Esther, who married Benjamin Owen, and after his death Eleazer Bales, who was a prominent minister of the Friends' Church, and died a few months since; his widow resides in Plainfield, Hendricks Co., Ind. Maria wedded Benjamin Wildman, a farmer, who died in Clarke County, Ohio; his wife is also deceased. Elijah A. is a bachelor residing in Ellensburg, Ore.; Tamar and Rachel, twins, were both married. Tamar wedded George Hobson, now deceased, and Rachel wedded Peter Hobson. They were married in Indiana within a few months of each other and are now residents of Salem, being among the first families to settle in the new town. After death of George Hobson, Tamar married James Comer, a retired farmer of Salem. Deborah wedded Jesse Hadley, in Morgan County, Ind., and died one year after her marriage; Hannah married Caleb Easterling, became the mother of two children, and died in Indiana; Isaac T., our subject, wedded Miss Anna H. Hiatt, of Salem. Allen Hiatt, her father, purchased in 1852 the farm upon which she and our subject reside. They were residents of Wayne County, Ind., before coming to Iowa, and after improving his Salem farm Mr. Hiatt engaged in the nursery business for several years. Rhoda Hunt became his wife in North Carolina. He was a noted man, not only in his native State, but also in Ohio and Indiana. He was a man of culture and refinement and a self-made man. In Ohio he served as Justice of the Peace, and after his removal to Wayne County, Ind., was elected State Senator, and his official term was served with honor to himself and his party. He was an ardent Whig and later a member of the Republican party. His death occurred Nov. 2, 1885, in Salem, Iowa, at the age of ninety-one years. He was the father of six children, three living: Susannah, deceased; Gulielma, deceased, who wedded Albert White; John M., who resides in Keokuk, wedded Mary Tisdall, and after her death her sister Emma; was highly educated, and was Provost Marshal of the Southern District of Iowa during the war, having been elected a member of the State Legislature from Lee county prior to the war. He afterward served as Mayor of Keokuk. Anna M., now Mrs. Gibson, and Minerva E., deceased, complete the family. Mrs. Gibson received her education at Earlham College, near Richmond, Ind. After her marriage is Isaac Gibson they commenced their domestic life in Salem. He was a merchant at that time, and was for ten years in business in the village, and one his marriage engaged with Mr. Hiatt in the nursery business and in farming. Both before and after marriage Mr. Gibson was a member of the School Board, of which he was Secretary, and at the same time was a member of the Village Council, of which he acted as Clerk, and during his term of office the new charter was obtained. For many years he was also a Notary Public. He was also Secretary of the first County Agricultural Society, which held its fair at Salem, and was the forerunner of the present society. During his life, Mr. Gibson has been one of the most active members of his church. he was a member of the Northwestern Freedman's Aid Commission, organized at Chicago, in 1864, and was one of its Board of Managers, which comprised eminent men from all the Christian bodies of the Northwest. He continued in the board until it was merged into the American Missionary Association. This commission was the channel through which the benevolent people of the Northwest sent their contributions in aid of the suffering freedmen during the latter part of the war, and after its close.
After the war Mr. Gibson was sent by the Friends to establish schools among the colored people of the Southwest. He was also appointed agent of the American Missionary Association, and of the Freedmen's Bureau, the latter appointment being made by Gen. O. O. Howard. For two years he was engaged in organizing schools in different towns in Missouri, and was the person who procured the introduction of free schools for the colored people. During this work he was often threatened with personal violence, but kept at his work undismayed. After he had established schools in the principal places in Missouri and secured teachers, his attention was turned to St. Louis, where colored people paid taxes on over $1,000,000 worth of property, and were then supporting six large schools at their own expense. These schools had been authorized by law, but their proportion of the school moneys had been withheld. He, after a conference with the President of the School Board and the Superintendent, secured buildings, and the colored children, through his influence, obtained all the privileges enjoyed by the white children, and to-day St. Louis has numerous commodious buildings for their education. He was at this time appointed by the State Legislature a member of the Reform School Board, of which he was made Treasurer, and superintended the completion of White's Institute, the first reform school building erected in this State. He later resigned that position to accept the United States Indian Agency for the Osage and other tribes in the Indian Territory. During the troublous times of 1869, when the whites were trying to steal in the make a claim, he maintained the respect of not only the Indians, but of the whites as well. We take pleasure in quoting from the history of Montgomery county, Kan., the following: "During all the difficulties that occurred in the succeeding two years, when the whites without warrant of law or semblance of justice, were trespassing on the rights and property of his wards, he managed to retain the entire confidence of the Indians and enjoy the respect of the whites." For five years longer Mr. Gibson remained, and his work was rewarded by the greatest success. One of the good deeds he performed for the Indians was in preventing the consummation of a treaty which the Osages had by fraud been induced to make, selling 300,000 acres which they owned in the best portion of Southern Kansas for eighteen cents per acre. He gathered information in regard to it which he forwarded to the Government, and the treaty was withdrawn by President Grant. At the next session of Congress Mr. Gibson was in Washington as the representative of the Indians, and helped to have a bill passed selling those lands at $1.25 per acre, and placing the proceeds at interest for the Osages, making them a wealthy tribe.
After resigning his mission among the Indians, he became for two years a resident of Washington, D. C., where he engaged in business as a claim agent. During his residence there he was President of the National Christian Association of the District of Columbia. While there he was Secretary of National Arbitration League, whose object is to substitute arbitration for war between nations, whose President was Gov. Stanton, of Kansas, and was Secretary of the National Convention held in Washington, of which Hon. Edward S. Tobey, of Boston, was President. The league had much influence in Congress, and President Arthur was induced by it to call the attention of Congress to their beneficent object in his Annual Message. Mr. Gibson still labors in this field, and is a member of the Iowa Friends' Peace Society.
After his return to Salem Mr. Gibson attended solely to his farm duties. Both himself and wife are prominent in the Orthodox Society of Friends, and he has never missed an annual meeting, except when absent on official business. He is in harmony with the mission work of the church, and has been Treasurer of the Missionary Board of Iowa Yearly Meeting, and President of the Church Evangelical Committee. He and his wife are the parents of seven children, four dying in infancy. The survivors are: Allen H., a book-keeper in the employ of a Government trader at the Osage Agency, who speaks the Osage Indian language well; Mary E. is a teacher in this county, and was also engaged as teacher at the Osage Agency, and also taught for a year in the public schools in Washington, D. C.; Thomas Embree, the other son, is an attendant at the Iowa Wesleyan University, at Mt. Pleasant. The four deceased were: Sarah E., John N., Anna N., and Nopawalla, who was born in the Indian country and named after a chief noted for his efforts in bringing about the civilization of his people. In 1867, while the Friends were trying to sustain a Friends' school, the "Whittier College Association" was formed by him and other Friends, and carried to successful completion. He was secretary and financial manager of the board from its organization, but has declined all other positions for years past.
The admirable portrait of Mr. Gibson, on an adjoining page, shows that gentleman as he was in the prime of a vigorous physical manhood, and its strong lines are an indication of the characteristics which have always distinguished him.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 551-553.)
HOMER J. GILFILLAN
Dr. Homer J. Gilfillan, engaged in the practice of medicine in Mount Pleasant, is a native son of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Milton, Van Buren county, on the 28th of April, 1868. He is a son of Dr. George W. and Josephine (Swartz) Gilfillan. His paternal grandparents were Dr. Edward and Mary (McKinley) Gilfillan, the former born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the latter in West Virginia. The grandfather engaged in the practice of medicine in Washington county, Pennsylvania, for forty years, and was the beloved family physician in many a household. He died there in 1853, while his wife passed away in 1854. In the family were eight children, of whom two are now living, John F. Oberlin Gilfillan married Sarah Reed and is a retired farmer residing in Milton, Iowa.
The other surviving member of the family of Dr. Edward Gilfillan is Dr. George Gilfillan, who was born in West Alexander, Washington county, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1835, and acquired his early education in the common schools there, after which he attended the academy in his native town. Following his father's death he took up the study of medicine with Dr. Swartz as his preceptor, and under his direction pursued his reading and qualified for practice. He came west in 1855, making his way direct to Keokuk, Iowa, where he attended school for two terms and then came to Van Buren county, Iowa, first practicing in Bentonsport.
On the 9th of May, 1861, Dr. George Gilfillan was married to Miss Josephine O. Swartz, a daughter of Dr. Swartz, of Keosauqua, Iowa, his former preceptor. She was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1836, and was educated in the seminary in Washington, Pennsylvania, of which she is a graduate. Unto this marriage eight children have been born, of whom two died in infancy. The others are: Edward, a book merchant residing in Chicago; Dr. H. J. Gilfillan, of this review; Marietta, the wife of Dr. James Hainline, of Denver, Colorado; Stella, a teacher of instrumental music in Chicago; Nellie, who is also a music teacher in that city; and Maud, who is a teacher in the schools of Henry county.
Dr. George W. Gilfillan is a Mason and both he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mrs. Gilfillan belongs to the Woman's Relief Corps. They reside at No. 301 North Main St. In his practice Dr. Gilfillan makes a specialty of the diseases of the stomach and bowels, and has been very successful in this branch of medical science. In 1861 he settled in Milton, Van Buren county, Iowa, where he remained until August, 1895, when he removed to Chicago, where he continued in general practice until 1901.
He then came to Mount Pleasant, and as his health does not permit general practice he is confining his attention to stomach troubles. Mrs. Gilfillan has taken a most active interest in music since she was graduated in 1854 from the seminary in Pennsylvania and has been extremely successful as a music teacher. Although now a grandmother she still keeps up her practice in music, and gives lessons. Both Dr. and Mrs. Gilfillan have many excellent qualities of heart and mind that have endeared them to all with whom they have come in contact and the family is one of prominence in Henry county.
Dr. H. J. Gilfillan was educated at the common schools and the high school of Milton, after which he was with the Milton Herald for four years. And then he established the Tri-County Independent, a weekly newspaper at Milton, which he conducted successfully for a time. He then took a course in pharmacy at the Highland Park College, at Des Moines. He then entered the college of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, from which he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1896.
Soon after his graduation he located at Trenton, this county, where he established a good general practice. Selling his practice he took a post-graduate course in Chicago, in 1901, and then located in Mount Pleasant in October, the same year. He is a member of the Henry County Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association, and is also examiner for a number of the most prominent life insurance companies.
Here he has a well equipped office on North Main street and enjoys a large patronage, which includes an extensive country practice. He keeps in touch with modern research along medical and surgical lines, and is a scientific practitioner, whose ability is well indicated by the liberal patronage that is accorded him.
Dr. Gilfillan has a beautiful home with elegant surroundings located a 412 North Main street, where he has all the comforts of a modern home.
On the 24th of August, 1893, Dr. Gilfillan was married to Miss Clara M. Moon, of Milton, Iowa, a daughter of William T. and Arminda (Pabst) Moon, both of whom were natives of Ohio. Mrs. Gilfillan was born in Ohio, October 21, 1873, and began her education in the schools of that state, while later she continued her studies in Milton, Iowa. Six children have been born unto Dr. and Mrs. Gilfillan, all of whom are living: Pauline, Esther, William, Harold, Dorothy, and Clarence.
Dr. Gilfillan is connected with the Odd Fellows and both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he has served as a trustee. In his practice he has made a creditable name, adhering closely to a high standard of professional ethics, and conducting his business along scientific lines, which has resulted in successful accomplishment.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, Page 172) (PE)
EDWIN SPENCER GILL, a retired farmer now residing in Mount Pleasant, was born near New Baltimore, Fairfield county, Ohio, October 5, 1828, a son of Selmon and Margaret (Dorette) Gill. The father was born in the state of Maryland on the 15th of December, 1790, while the mother's birth occurred in that state October 6th, of the same year.
In early life Mr. Selmon Gill learned the trade of an edge tool maker, which pursuit he followed for ten years. He enlisted for service in the war of 1812, and although he was never called out for active duty, he stood ready at all times to respond in case of his country's need of further aid. It was on the 19th of December, 1813, that he wedded Miss Margaret Dorette, the wedding ceremony being performed by Rev. M. Beverley Waugh, who was the second bishop in America. In the year 1820 or 1821 Selmon Gill removed with his family to Ohio and there he carried on farming and blacksmithing with excellent success until 1843, when he came to Iowa, settling on a farm in Lee county, where he made his home with his son Edwin up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1862. The mother passed away three years after their arrival in Iowa, her death occurring in 1846.
Mr. Gill gave his early political support to the whig party, and afterward endorsed republican principles. Having lost his first wife he was married again in Ohio on the 7th of July 1850, his second union being with Miss Margaret Chamberlain. By the first marriage there were nine children: William, Henry H., Elenorah, Joshua, Selmon, Margaret, Mary William, Edwin Spencer, Amanda and Rosanna Matilda, but Edwin S. is the only one now living. There were two children of the second marriage, James Harrison and Lucretia.
Edwin Spencer Gill pursued his education in the district schools of Ohio until fourteen years of age, when he came to Iowa and here he spent twenty days in school. The schoolhouse had been built three years after he arrived in Lee county, and it was there that he continued his studies for the brief period mentioned. He first worked on his father's farm, being thus employed until he was able to buy a farm of his own, when he invested in one hundred and sixty acres of land in Franklin township, Lee county. He first erected the small buildings which were most needed, and from time to time he added further improvements. This farm he sold in the fall of 1861, and in January, 1862, he bought a new raw farm of one hundred sixty acres, in Cedar township, which farm was later one of the finest in this section of the state, not having any land that was not tillable and productive, building fine barns and granaries, and at the time he left the farm, about nine years ago, he owned the finest house in the neighborhood, it having been erected in 1875, at a cost of three thousand dollars.
He placed his fields under a high state of cultivation and annually harvested good crops as a reward for his labors. On selling that farm, in 1900, to W. B. Seeley he purchased a tract of land in Henry county, about six miles from Mount Pleasant, which he owned until September 24, 1905, when he sold this property and bought a fine farm of one hundred and ninety-two acres, five miles west of Mount Pleasant. In May, 1898, he built a beautiful cottage on the corner of Locust and East Clay streets in Mount Pleasant, where he has since resided. It stands in the midst of a well kept lawn, adorned with fine roses and flowers of all kinds. There are also various kinds of fruit, including pears, plums and apples, and he has a nice garden.
On the 25th of January, 1853, Mr. Gill was married to Miss Nancy McCracken, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Perrin) McCracken. The mother died during the early girlhood of her daughter. John McCracken was born in Delaware, October 1, 1802. When three years old he removed with his parents to Franklin county, Ohio. He grew up as a farmer, and in 1824 married Elizabeth Perrin. She died in 1837, and three children survived. He was a class leader of the Methodist Episcopal church for forty years. His death occurred January 7, 1890. He followed farming throughout his entire life and died in Iowa. By his first marriage he had three children: Susan, who became the wife of Harrison Brown, and after his death married Wesley Harrison, a prominent man of Lee county; Nancy A., who became Mrs. Gill; and Jacob Elijah, who married a Miss McCord, and afterward wedded Miss Garrett. Following the death of his first wife John McCracken wedded Miss Elizabeth Collins, who is now living with her son, near LaCrew, Iowa, at the advanced age of eighty-four years.
Mrs. Gill was born in 1830, and for more than a half century our subject and his wife have traveled life's journey happily together. They have become the parents of seven children: Elizabeth Ellen, born in 1854, is the wife of Emery Pease, of Sharon, Iowa, and has two children. Nancy Amelia, born in 1856, is the wife of Augustus McKey, of California; Flora Anna, born in 1858, is the wife of Samuel Hampton, of LaCrew, Lee county, Iowa. Fannie Alice died when twenty-three years of age. Edwin Herbert married Aggie Gardener and follows farming near Dover, Iowa. John Francis died at the age of six years. William died when about three years of age. He and his brother John died of diphtheria. The children who have reached mature years have all been afforded excellent educational privileges, some of them attending college in Salem and some having been students in Howe's Academy at Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Two of the daughters, Elizabeth Ellen and Nancy Amelia, have been successful teachers of Lee county.
In politics Mr. Gill has always been a stalwart republican and for a very long period served as school director in Lee county. The cause of education has always found in him a stalwart friend and he has put forth earnest and effective effort to improve the public school system. He and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he has been a trustee for twenty-five years and for some time has been church steward. When Mr. Gill came to Iowa, this part of the state was an unbroken wilderness, covered largely with timber. He is an intelligent man whose life has been characterized by enterprise and who has ever displayed a pleasant, genial nature, so that he has won many friends. In the early days the Indians were more numerous than the white settlers and there were many difficult conditions of pioneer life to be met but as the years passed Mr. Gill overcame all of the hardships in his path and worked his way steadily upward to success, being now in possession of a comfortable competence. His kindly spirit, genial disposition and honorable principles have greatly endeared him to those with whom he has been associated and he is respected by all.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, Page 112) (PE)
JOHN GILLASPEY is a farmer residing on section 29, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., in 1820, and is the son of William and Jane (Penny) Gillaspey. The parents were both natives of Pennsylvania, the father of Westmoreland County and the mother of Allegheny County, in which latter they were married. William had purchased a farm lying both these counties, and the house stood upon the line. Upon this farm the young couple began their domestic life, and there all their children were born, namely: Mary, now the widow of William Davis of Cass County, Iowa; Matilda, wife of Robert Miller, of the same county; John, our subject; Elizabeth, who wedded Owen Carmichael and after his death Alexander Barr, and both he and his wife died in this county; Thomas was married in Canada, reared a family of five sons, and died near Windsor, where his widow yet resides; Margaret wedded John Davis, and both are now deceased, though after her death he again married; William, the husband of Margaret Redworth, of Pennsylvania, removed to this county in 1855, and later to Lucas County, Iowa, where he died; Jane and Charles died in Pennsylvania, unmarried.
The father of these children was called to his final home when our subject was but six years old. Left fatherless at an early day, the mother with a large family and only a small farm that brought in a light income, our subject received but little help save what his own hands earned. The mother remained during her lifetime on the Pennsylvania farm. The brothers William and John, were the first to come west, locating in Jefferson County, Ohio, and purchasing a farm in partnership. William was married, and later sold his interest to John and purchased a mill property on Island Creek. Two years later he sold that and came to Henry County, settling three miles east of Mt. Pleasant.
In September, 1849, John Gillaspey was married in Jefferson County, Ohio, to Miss Rachel A. Maxwell. She came from a noted family. William W. and Sophia (Duvall) Maxwell being her parents. Mr. Maxwell was born in Maryland and his wife in Ohio. The maternal ancestors of William Maxwell were noted as being one of the wealthiest and best known families, as well as one of the most prolific in the country east of the mountains, and numerous families yet bear the name of Weierman in Adams and Cumberland Counties, Pa., adjoining the Maryland line.
In the spring of 1856, John Gillaspey and his wife decided to come West, and selling their Ohio farm, embarked upon the Ohio River and made the journey to Keokuk by boat. They found a home in Mt. Pleasant, where for three years the husband engaged in different occupations. He then rented a farm four miles northeast of Mt. Pleasant, from W. R. Cole, remaining there until his present farm was bought, in 1863. his first purchase of land in this State was in Iowa County, but he never lived upon that farm, and subsequently selling it made his permanent investment in Henry County. This farm was partly improved, but all the trees and permanent improvements stand as monuments to the enterprise of John and Rachel Gillaspey. They, during the lazst quarter of a century, have raised the seed, planted the twigs, and now sit in the grateful shade of lordly maples that lift their tops toward the sky. Their three eldest children were born in Ohio: William A., now a dairyman of Gunnison, Col.; Sophia M., wife of Albert Meeker, a farmer of this township; and George W., the husband of Sarah McPeek, of New Cambridge, Ohio, but the young couple reside in this county. Three children were born in this county: Alonzo B., born during their residence in Mt. Pleasant, is married to Miss Ettie Meeker, of Scott Township, and now lives in Marion Township, Henry County. John T. and James H., born on the homestead, and the family circle has never been broken by aught save marriage. Mrs. Gillaspey is a granddaughter of Capt. Duvall, of historic fame in the War of 1812, and we are pleased to record this fact in their history, as only a few persons are now living who carry in their veins the blood of either Revolutionary or patriots of the War of 1812. Our subject and his good wife have gained a competence for old age, and although but little past the meridian, their life's work is almost completed, and the period for its enjoyment has just begun. Both are members of the Baptist Church and are highly respected in the social and business world. Mr. Gillaspey has held several township offices, and for many years has been Treasurer of Independent School District No. 9.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 414-15.)
|James L. Gillis
JUDGE JAMES L. GILLIS, who died in Mt. Pleasant July 8, 1881, was, during his residence in that city, one of the most prominent figures in its business and social life. He was born in Hebron, Washington Co., N. Y., Oct. 2, 1792. When eighteen years of age he went to Ontario County, in the same State, and two years later, in 1812, enlisted in the volunteer service in the war with Great Britain, and was commissioned as Lieutenant of Cavalry. He participated in a number of battles and skirmishes, and among others was engaged at the battles of Ft. George, Chippewa and Lundy's Lane, under Gen. Winfield Scott, and in the latter engagement was severely wounded. He was taken prisoner near Ft. Erie, Aug. 7, 1814, and was confined in jail at Toronto, Kingston, Prescott and Montreal, in Canada. Making his condition known to the Governor General of the colony, that official released him, and gave orders that he should be well cared for, and near the close of the war he was exchanged at Quebec. Returning to New York he was, in 1816, united in marriage to Miss Mary B. Ridgway, of Philadelphia, and in 1821 removed to Jefferson County, Pa., then on the frontier. Here he got a tract of timber land many miles away from any neighbor, and set about clearing his land and building a sawmill and a gristmill on the Clarion River. In two years he had 200 acres of land cleared and both his mills running, his being the first lumber rafted down that river. This energy and enterprise was ever a distinguishing characteristic of Mr. Gillis. In 1825 his wife was in ill-health, and he took her to his old home in Ontario County, N. Y., for medical treatment, but her health was undermined, and she died at Victor, N. Y., June 29, 1826, leaving two sons and one daughter. The daughter, Jeannette C., is the widow of J. V. Houck, and is living at Ridgway, Pa. The sons, Ridgway B. and Charles B., both died in Mt. Pleasant. It was while Mr. Gillis was in New York, after his wife's death, that the celebrated Morgan abduction case took place, with which he became identified, and of which more will be said hereafter.
Returning to Pennsylvania, Mr. Gillis continued his lumber manufacturing interests until 1862, and became a leader in that part of the State. In 1828 he was married to Cecelia Berry, of New York State, who died in April, 1855, leaving seven children, as follows: Mary B., wife of Samuel Porter, residing in Chautauqua County, N. Y.; Augusta E., wife of James V. Noxon, of Volusia, N. Y.; James H., a Commodore in the United States Navy, now temporarily residing in Binghamton, N. Y.; Bosanquet W., in Washington, D. C.; Claudius V., in Kane, McKean Co., Pa.; Cecelia, wife of Henry Whiting, now in Melbourne, Fla.; and Robert S., of Mt. Pleasant. (See sketch of Robert S. in another part of this work.) One of the sons, James H., made a brilliant record in the navy during the war of the Rebellion. He was commander of the iron clad, "Milwaukee," which was blown up by a rebel torpedo at the siege of Mobile. Being among those saved, he continued in active service there, commanding a battery until the surrender of the city, and handled it in such an able manner as to be highly complimented by Gen. Canby in general orders. At the close of the war he was placed in command of a vessel at Norfolk, Va.
While in Pennsylvania, Mr. Gulls was appointed, by Gov. David R. Porter, Associate Judge of Elk and Jefferson Counties. He was three times chosen Representative in the State Legislature, and three times was elected to the State Senate. In 1856 he was elected to Congress, serving two years. A man of marked ability, he made an honorable record in every position to which he was called, and was a friend of such men as Gen. Jackson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Silas Wright, John C. Calhoun, and other leaders. During President Buchanan's administration he was appointed Indian Agent at the Pawnee Reservation, discharging the duties of that position for three years. In 1862 he came to Mt. Pleasant, where he resided until his death.
The Morgan abduction was an unpleasant episode in Judge Gillis' life. For a supposed connection with that affair he was twice arrested and tried, but was finally acquitted. His was the last trial, and he was the last survivor of those accused of complicity in that mystery, which can now never be solved in this world. When the indictment was first found against Mr. Gillis he was attending to his business in Pennsylvania, and knew nothing of it for some time. But when he learned of it, through the slow and infrequent mails of that day and region, he at once set out for New York and demanded a trial. He was jointly indicted with John Whitney, one of the men who took Morgan from the jail at Batavia. The latter had not been found, and the District Attorney refused to give Mr. Gillis a separate trial, but agreed to notify him when he was wanted, and he therefore returned to Pennsylvania. In May, 1829, the joint trial was had in the absence of Mr. Gillis, and Whitney was found guilty, but the jury disagreed as to Mr. Gillis. The rabid anti-Masonic feeling of the times, however, had to he pandered to, and the Sheriff was sent to rearrest Mr. Gillis at his Pennsylvania home, over 200 miles distant through a wild and mountainous country. He returned to New York, procured a trial in November, 1830, and was honorably acquitted, and with that the celebrated Morgan trials were ended.
Judge Gillis was a life-long Democrat, and had lived under the administration of every President from Washington (during whose second term he was born) to the time of his death. His first Presidential vote was cast for James Monroe; his last for Gen. Hancock. During the visit of Kossuth to this country, he was Chairman of the committee appointed to escort the distinguished Hungarian patriot from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. After taking up his residence in Mt. Pleasant, Judge Gillis became one of the noted men of the young city. Of a lofty and stately carriage, his dignified form was noticeable whenever he appeared upon the streets. His stirring and eventful life had made him familiar with all classes of society, and his urbanity endeared him alike to all. He took an especially warm interest in educational matters, and was earnest in his support of all measures tending to the advancement of the city. He was a liberal patron of the Ladies' Library, to which he made many valuable donations. His advanced years did not impair his faculties or dull his interest in the society of his neighbors or friends, whom he liked to have around him, and his death, although he had reached the ripe age of nearly eighty-nine, was mourned by a large circle of friends. After religious services at the house, his remains were taken in charge by the Masonic fraternity of which he had been an honored member for nearly seventy years, and interred with impressive ceremonies and a life full of stirring and eventful experiences, and rounded out with more honors than fall to the lot of most men, was brought to a fitting close.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 202-205.)(JC)
|Ridgway B. Gillis
RIDGWAY B. GILLIS, deceased, was one of the pioneers of Henry County. he was born in Ontario County, N. Y., Feb. 2, 1818. When a small boy he went with his parents to Elk County, Pa., where he grew to manhood. His education was received in the Academy of Chautauqua, New York. He was married in Elk County, Pa., April 1, 1840, to Miss Margaret McBain, a daughter of Peter McBain, formerly connected with the British army. She was born in Peebles, Scotland, June 4, 1820. When about one year old she was taken by parents to India, her father being a soldier at the time. he was connected with the service for many years and was under Wellington in the battle of Waterloo. Her father and mother both dying in India, she was sent to the States by Rev. E. Kinkead, at that time a missionary. In making the voyage from India to Philadelphia, at which port she landed, she was four months on the water. She was but thirteen years old and was the only female on board the ship. Arriving at Philadelphia she went to a brother of Rev. Kinkead, where she made her home for several years.
In 1844 Mr. Gillis came to Henry County, Iowa, and purchased 160 acres of land in Marion Township, and forty acres of timber land in Trenton Township. Three years later he moved his family, landing in Mt. Pleasant on the 20th of October. At this time his family consisted of a wife and three children. During the following winter they made their home with a neighbor, and then Mr. Gillis built a house on his own place, and at once commenced the development of his farm. In 1850 he crossed the plains to California in company with Owen Ingersoll, and for the next three years was engaged in mining and other pursuits. In 1853 he returned home by water with the intention of removing his family to California, but not meeting with a ready sale of his place, after a couple of months left his family and once more crossed the plains to the New Eldorado, where he remained four years longer, engaged in teaming and mining. Returning to Henry County he remained with his family until the spring of 1858, and then went to Nebraska City, and took charge of a supply train that was being forwarded to Salt Lake City, at the time of the Mormon War. In January following he returned home, but only remained until spring, when he went to Salt Lake City and took charge of another supply train. James R., his oldest son, accompanied him on this trip. In October, 1859, he returned home, spent the winter, and in the spring of 1860 received the Government appointment and took charge of the farms on the Pawnee reservation. In this line of duty he continued until July, 1861, when he came home, and for the next two years was engaged in farming and stock dealing, though a portion of that time he was also engaged in merchandising at Wayland. While much of his time was spent away from home, Mr. Gillis was a man who thought much of his family, and he gave each of his children a liberal education, and supplied them with an abundance of reading matter. All of the children, with the exception of one, have from time to time engaged in teaching. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Gillis consists of eight children: James R., of this county, married Miss Augusta B. Moore, a native of Steuben County, N. Y.; they have four living children - Arthur L., Charles B., Ann M. and Hudson B. The second child was Hudson B., an attorney-at-law, now residing in Yreka, Cal.; Mary J. is the wife of O. I. Jamieson, of Columbus Junction, Iowa; Henry W. is an attorney-at-law, of Burt County, Neb.; Andrew J. is a civil engineer and real-estate agent in Oakland, Cal.; Charles B. was killed by the kick of horse at the age of twelve years; two died in infancy. Mr. Gillis died in 1872, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Mrs. Gillis is at present making her home with her son James R. She is a member of the Baptist Church, with which body he has affiliated since a girl twelve years of age.
James R. Gillis, the eldest son, is living in Henry County, section 20, Center Township, where he has 175 acres of land, all of which is under a state of high cultivation. On this farm he located in 1881. He is well educated and for several years engaged in teaching. In 1866 and 1867 he was engaged in teaching at New Boston, Mercer Co., Ill., where he had charged of the graded schools. In 1870 he had charge of the school in Avoca, Steuben Co., N. Y. As a teacher he was highly successful. Since turning his attention to agricultural pursuits he has been quite prosperous. Politically, he is a Democrat; fraternally, he is a Master Mason and has filled all the chairs of his lodge.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 629-30.)
|Robert S. Gillis
ROBERT S. GILLIS, Cashier of the National State Bank, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born Ridgway, Elk Co., Pa., May 1, 1840, and is the son of Hon. James L. and Cecilia A. (Berry) Gillis. He passed his childhood and youth in his native State, receiving his education in the common schools. In 1859, his father having been appointed Indian Agent by President Buchanan, the family, including our subject, removed to the Pawnee Indian Reservation in Eastern Nebraska, and later to Omaha, from which place Robert S. entered the United States Naval Service in 1862, as Paymaster's Clerk in the North Atlantic and Gulf Squadron, and served till the close of the war. He was on board the United States man-of-war "Milwaukee," which was commanded by his brother, James H. Gillis, when she was blown up by a torpedo in Mobile Bay. In 1865 he went to Washington with the Paymaster, and was connected with the Treasury Department till the fall of 1868. He then returned to his old home in Pennsylvania, and two years later came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. On coming to this city he was employed as bookkeeper in the State Bank, and was next made Assistant Cashier, and later was made Cashier to succeed Mr. J. H. Whiting, and has since held that position.
Mr. Gillis was married at Mt. Pleasant, Aug. 4, 1868, to Miss Sophia E. Whiting, daughter of Timothy Whiting (see sketch). Mrs. Gillis was born at Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y. Four children were born of this union, three sons and a daughter: James Timothy, now aged eighteen; Sarah Cecilia, aged fifteen; Robert Henry, aged four, and Hugh Claudius, aged one year. Mr. and Mrs. Gillis are members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Gillis is a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, A. F. & A. M. Politically he is a Democrat. Personally he is regarded as a gentleman of unblemished character, thoroughly upright in all business transactions, and a straightforward man and good citizen.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 199-200.)(JC)
|H. A. Gilman
H. A. GILMAN, M. D., Superintendent of the Hospital for the Insane, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born at Gilmanton Center, Belknap Co., N. H., Jan. 15, 1845. his parents were William Henry Gilman and Sarah A. Gilman, nee Otis. The latter is still living. The father, William Henry Gilman, died Dec. 31, 1877.
Dr. Gilman received a classical education, and graduated from Gilmanton Academy, after a four years' course of study, in 1860, and was valedictorian of his class. At the age of eighteen he commenced the study of medicine, under the tuition of Nahum Wight, M. D., and at the age of twenty-one, in October, 1866, graduated at Dartmouth Medical College. In December of the same year he received the appointment as Second Assistant Physician to the Illinois State Hospital for the Insane at Jacksonville, Ill., which position he held for a year and a half, when he was promoted to the position of First Assistant Physician, and in that capacity served the State of Illinois for fourteen and a half years.
July 25, 1882, Dr. Gilman was elected Superintendent of the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Early in life he manifested an earnest desire to obtain a liberal education, and was fond of literary and scientific pursuits. He had a hard struggle for an education, and is entirely self-made. Politically he has always been a stanch Republican, descending form the old Whig and Federal stock. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, viz: Blue Lodge, Chapter, and Commandery of Knights Templar. He is also a member of the Independent Order of Mutual Aid and the Knights of Honor. He was one of the founders of the Young Men's Christian Association of Jacksonville, Ill., and for four years its President. To him is largely due the credit of erecting a commodious and cheerful home for the association, he having himself contributed liberally and secured a large portion of the $14,000 required to complete and furnish it. He is an active member of the Congregational Church.
The same indomitable perseverance that characterized his early years, and by which he mastered the situation, is manifest in his more mature life. In his profession, as indicated by his promotion, he has achieved eminence and distinction, and among the unfortunate class to whom his life-work is devoted, he is looked upon with that feeling of confidence and affection which can only result from the unselfish kindness and ever-watchful care of a true physician.
Upon assuming the superintendency of the hospital at Mt. Pleasant he immediately commenced active operations to repair the old building, introducing a complete and effective system of ventilation, renewing the plastering, woodwork, floors, and repainting throughout, also refurnishing all the wards for patients with comfortable beds, and cheerful accompaniments.
During this period he informed himself of the number and condition of the insane in the State, and persistently agitated the importance of further accommodations, under State care and supervision. Showing the sad condition of the hundreds unable to be thus cared for, he appealed to the humanity of the people, and legislatures as they convened. As a result, with the aid of others who were interested in this philanthropic work, accommodation for 400 more has been made at the Mt. Pleasant Hospital, and 200 at the Independence Hospital, and a third hospital partially completed at Clarinda, which, when the plan is executed, will accommodate 1,000.
On the 29th of November, 1866, he married L. Amanda, widow of the Lewis J. Gale, and daughter of the late Capt. George W. Moody, of Gilmanton, by whom he has had four children: Estelle Amy, born Aug. 18, 1868, died Jan. 23, 1871; Frederick Albert, born Jan. 22, 1872, died July 1, 1876; Naham Wight, born July 1, 1877, and Julian Sturtevant, born March 8, 1882.
This brief sketch of Dr. Gilman would be incomplete without further reference to work since his taking charge of the Iowa Hospital for the Insane, at Mt. Pleasant. Under his judicious and able management the usefulness of the institution has been largely increased. Not only in the remedial measures taken for the benefit of the unfortunate class for whom the hospital is designed, but in matters of administration has his good judgment and executive ability produced most excellent results. The appropriations made by the Legislation for enlargement of the buildings have been wisely expended, and the capacity of the institution increased beyond the most sanguine expectations of its friends. In the report of the Trustees, of July 1, 1887, the following acknowledgment is made of the services of Dr. Gilman in this respect:
"The money was expended as directed under the supervision and direction of Dr. H. A. Gilman, Superintendent, and was completed, furnished, heated and lighted within the $100,000 appropriated, and was ready to receive patients by March 1, 1887, and is now almost filled, and has furnished great relief when it was so much needed.
"The structure is built of stone, is of the most substantial character, and contains ample accommodations for 200 patients and their attendants, as provided in said act; and we have no hesitancy in saying that it is not only one of the best constructed buildings in the State, but that in point of economy in its erection, we will challenge comparison with any similar structure anywhere. This is due to the active vigilance and perfect knowledge of just what was needed, possessed by Superintendent Gilman, who had charge of its construction; and in employing, when it could be done, the labor of the patients, many of whom are physically able and willing to work, and who were much benefited thereby."
In the management of the internal affairs of the hospital Dr. Gilman has shown equal efficiency. Under his care, a large number of patients have been discharged, relieved or cured, and the condition of those deemed incurable, greatly ameliorated. The report of the Superintendent, incorporated in the Trustee's report already mentioned, shows that during the preceding two years, in addition to those already in the hospital, 767 patients had been admitted, and 605 discharged. Of the latter, 235 had entirely recovered; 131 were much improved; 124 were unimproved, and 114 died. These results are gratifying to Dr. Gilman, and to all humanitarians, who have at heart the amelioration of the condition of those unfortunate human beings suffering from that worst of all disorders - brain disease and mental aberration. To the relief and cure of this class of diseases Dr. Gilman has dedicated his life, and his success in his chosen vocation is the legitimate result of his untiring zeal, constant study of the best modes of treatment, and personal care in insuring that the measures devised for the relief of those under his charge shall be carried out as directed.
Since removing to Mt. Pleasant, Dr. Gilman has acquired the confidence and respect of its citizens in a eminent degree, and the hope is widely expressed that he has become a permanent resident of Henry County.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 588-89.)
WILLIAM GLADDEN, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, dealer in farm machinery, machine supplies, buggies, wagons, sewing machines, drain tile, etc., is a native of Jefferson County, Ohio, born near Steubenville, May 1, 1836. His father, Madison Gladden, was a native of the same county, but was of Holland and Spanish descent, while his mother, Margaret (McElroy) Gladden, was also born in the same county and State, but was of Scotch-Irish descent. William remained at home until eighteen years of age, in the meantime receiving a liberal education in public and private schools, which was but really the foundation for the more extensive knowledge acquired by reading and private study in after years. On leaving home he came directly to Iowa, and located in Des Moines County, where for the next nine years he was engaged in farming and teaching, in which occupations he was reasonably successful.
In 1863 Mr. Gladden came to Mt. Pleasant, in the employ of the Burlington & Missouri River, now the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, as Station Agent, and for the next two years efficiently served the company and public in that capacity. In 1865 he accepted an offer as general agent for the Farmer's and Merchant's Insurance Company, of Quincy, Ill., with headquarters at Mt. Pleasant. Resigning that position in the spring of 1869, he engaged in his present business, in which he has continued uninteruptedly to the present time. He has now been dealing with the farming community of this region for nearly twenty years, and has by strict attention to business, and a determination to give everyone as good goods as possible for the money, built up an extensive and successful trade. he is careful to keep a good assortment of repairs and supplies for the accommodation of his customers. Among the specialties that he handles are reapers, mowers and binders, buggies, farm and spring wagons, White sewing-machines, "Superior" fence wire, and Molene plows and cultivators.
In the fall of 1868 Mr. Gladden visited New York State, and in September of that year, at Victor, Ontario County, was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Gillis, a native of that town, county and State, and daughter of John and Margaret Gillis, also natives of that State. Immediately after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Gladden came to Mt. Pleasant, and now reside in a pleasant and comfortable home on Monroe street, where friends and acquaintances always find a welcome, and which to them is a home in the true sense of the word.
Mr. Gladden is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He is at present a member of Xenium Lodge No. 207, A. F. & A. M., Henry Chapter No. 8, R. A. M., and Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, K. T. He is a firm believer in the principles of the order, knowing them to be conducive to the public good. Politically he is a Democrat of liberal views, not actively partisan. As a business man he is enterprising, and is ever ready to give his means, and to use his influence for any measure calculated for the public good. As a citizen, friend and neighbor, he is upright and exact, genial and courteous to all. He is broad in his views of public policy, and liberal in his support of educational, religious and other local interests. Elsewhere will be found a few of city residence, and upon the opposite page, a fine portrait of Mr. Gladden.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 419.)
|Rolin R. Grant
ROLIN R. GRANT, an early settler of Henry County, Iowa, and a prominent farmer of New London Township, residing on section 7, and post-office at Mt. Pleasant, is a native of Kentucky, and was born in Fleming County, Sept. 18, 1827. His parents, James and Sarah (Saunders) Grant, were natives of the same county, and were descended from old Virginia families, of Scotch descent. Mrs. Grant was a double cousin of P. and A. Saunders.
Our subject, Rolin Grant, was reared on a farm and when a young man was employed as a merchant's clerk. He emigrated to Iowa in 1848, where he spent two years as salesman with Presley and Alvin Saunders. In 1850 he purchased a small farm near Mt. Pleasant, and began life as a farmer. He was married, Nov. 4, 1852 to Miss Eliza A. Tolle, a daughter of William and Sarah Tolle, residents of Center Township. Mrs. Grant was born in Fleming County, Ky., and has borne to her husband six children, only three of whom are now living: Lena D.; Emma; Walter D., who died at the age of three and a half years; Willie, who died when but fifteen months old; Florence, wife of Charles Leedham, residing in Mt. Pleasant, who has on daughter, Olive May; Rector, the youngest child of Mr. Grant, died when but a babe of six months.
Mr. and Mrs. Grant and daughters are devoted members of the Christian Church. About the year 1854 Mr. Grant bought a sawmill, which he operated for two years, during which time he sawed the first timber used in building the State Hospital for the Insane at Mt. Pleasant. In 1856 he traded the farm on which he resided in part payment for 162 acres of raw land, situated within three miles of Mt. Pleasant. Though there was nothing upon the land when Mr. Grant bought it, he has by energy and industry transformed it into one of the finest farms in the county, with good farm buildings and well stocked. In early life Mr. Grant was a Whig, but later a Republican, and is now a Greenbacker. He is a member of Hurricane Grange No. 385, and is one of the highly respected and influential farmers of Henry County.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 538 and 541.)
|John Posey Grantham
HON. JOHN POSEY GRANTHAM, whose death occurred May 15, 1887, was a pioneer of 1837. The following sketch of his life appeared in the Mt. Pleasant Journal: "Mr. Grantham was the ninth in a family of nine children of John and Elizabeth Grantham, was born in Henderson County, Ky., Oct. 25, 1812, emigrating at the age of fifteen, with his father, to near Hillsboro, Montgomery Co., Ill., in 1827. The name is essentially English, and is traceable in this country back as far as three brothers, two of whom settled in the higher latitudes of the Eastern Atlantic coast, the other, following the fortunes of the colony planted by Oglethorpe, settled in Virginia. John Posey was descended from the Virginia branch, his grandfather having been attracted to the 'dark and bloody ground' which constituted the theatre of action of the Kentons and Daniel Boone, probably before the beginning of the present century, at the time before the institution of slavery had established caste and its consequent innovations in Southern society, and when it possessed men of great natural force of character which was well sustained in the subject of this sketch.
"Though inured by long indoor life in the various public offices, and never of robust constitution, Mr. Grantham joined with other fortune seekers, in the spring of 1849, the then untried and unknown journey to California, when that overland trip consumed the time of four months, and when a return along the same route was impossible. he was the chronicler of the pilgrimage, and the communications he sent back afforded a guide book for such as might wish to follow. Returning the next year, 1850, he was elected Clerk of the District Court by a large majority, though a Democrat and living in a county where his party, politically, was as much in the minority as it now is, comparatively, though the issue has been changed. He continued in the office through biennial elections through a period of sixteen years, and at last declined another renomination. He was one among the number of Democrats who ceased to act with that organization after the rupture the part suffered in the controversy over the repeal of the slavery restriction compromise line of 1820. Allying himself to neither faction, he lent himself actively to the work of organizing the Republic party. He served the city one term as Mayor, and was Postmaster by appointment by Fillmore, from 1846 to 1849. He represented Henry County in the Twelfth General Assembly, 1867-68. Soon after the close of the session, having been appointed to a position in the General Land-Office, he removed his business life to Washington, D. C., where ever since he was actively employed, until ill-health incapacitated him from further duty. He claimed always a residence here, returning each year to cast his vote with the neighbors and friends of his early life. Ever faithful and efficient, the change in the administration wrought no change in the position he held under Republican rule, but declining health compelled his resignation, when he and his life-long and now widowed partner took up their abode with their son-in-law and daughter at Keokuk, where he died. His personal and business relations, and indeed all his personal relations, were entirely beyond censure and complaint. If he ever had a personal quarrel, no one, it is believed, can now recall the recollection of it. He and his widow left behind were the parents of ten children, only four of whom are now living, three daughters: Mrs. Irene Ballard, of Hastings, Neb.; Mrs. Julian McGavic, Keokuk, Iowa, and Mrs. Joanna Sparks, Washington, D. C., and one son, Charles F., of Omaha, Neb. Mrs. Grantham was the daughter of John Jenkins, who came to Iowa in an early day, bringing with him a large family of children; one son, Warren L. Jenkins, represented Henry County in the Territorial Legislature.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 473-74.)
ENOCH GRAVES, Mt. Pleasant, one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County, Iowa, was born in Bedford County, Pa., of which place his parents, Joseph and Elizabeth (Stillwell) Graves, were also natives. He was one of a family of eight children, of whom he is now the only surviving one. Joseph Graves was a farmer by occupation, and during the time of the Revolutionary War nobly served in his father's place. In politics he was a Jackson Democrat, and an active worker for his party.
The subject of this sketch received his education in a log school-house, with its huge fireplace, greased paper windows, puncheon floor and seats, while his books consisted of a Testament and speller. He was only able to attend school in the winter, as all boys in those days had to work on the farm in the summer after they were large enough to plow. In the year 1827, Mr. Graves went to Butler County, Ohio, where, in 1829, he was married to Miss Mary Spencer, who was born in 1812, in Westmoreland County, Pa. Remaining in Ohio till 1845, he came to Iowa, which was then but a Territory, coming by water part of the way, and completing the journey with teams to Henry County, locating in Wayne Township. At this time the county was very thinly settled, there being only twelve voters in the township, five of whom were Democrats and seven Whigs. Mr. Graves took a claim and developed a fine farm in the wilderness.
Mr. and Mrs. Graves have had a family of thirteen children, five of whom are living: Gideon now resides in California; Washington is a resident of Red Oak, Iowa; William, of Hayes County, Neb.; Margaret, the wife of John Crawford, of Wayne Township; Eliza, the wife of W. K. Herbert, of Mt. Pleasant. They had one son among those who so gallantly defended their country during the late war. He was wounded by a piece of shell at Pittsburg Landing. He served through the war and was discharged, but died in Kansas from disease contracted by exposure while in the service.
Mr. Graves has always taken an active interest in educational and church work, and together with his wife, has long been earnestly laboring in the vineyard of the Master. They have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for fifty years, three yeas of which time, Mr. Graves has been a Class-Leader. He is a zealous Republican and has held the office of Constable for three years.
Mr. and Mrs. Graves have long been residents of this county, and have witnessed its growth almost from the beginning. They have seen the progress which civilization has made and have taken an active part in this same progress. They have helped to mold its present form, till it ranks among the first of the counties which made up the great State of Iowa, and have gained their competency by industry and economy. Many a time has Mr. Graves been compelled to shoulder his rifle and kill the deer or turkey which furnished their next meal. It thus appears how they have toiled to make a start in life, and have made many sacrifices, yet by these very sacrifices they can now the more fully appreciate their comfortable surroundings, and have the satisfaction of a home honestly won, a competency fairly gained. they removed to Mt. Pleasant in 1872, since which time Mr. Graves has lived a retired life.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 511-12.)
|James C. Green
HON. JAMES C. GREEN, of Trenton, is one of the pioneers of Henry County. He is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born near Bristol, on Neshaming Creek, Jan. 21, 1815. His parents, Robert and Anna (Page) Green, were both natives of Pennsylvania, the mother being born in the city of Philadelphia. She was a daughter of Stephen Page, a native of Virginia. Robert Green was a son of John Green, who was a native of Waterford, Ireland, and a seaman for many years, and Captain of a merchant ship. The father of our subject was a farmer throughout life. His death occurred April 6, 1826, at the age of forty-two years, and the mother died June 5, 1826, at the age of forty years, thus leaving James C. an orphan at the age of eleven. After the death of his parents, James went to live with his grandmother, who, with the aid of his brother, Joseph Green, reared him. Even to this day James Green looks to his brother for help and comfort, and his home is ever a home for his brother.
When twenty years of age, James C. Green left home to fight the battle of life alone. He went to Louisville, Ky., remaining only two months, then to Madison, Ind., and from there to Indianapolis by rail on the first railroad in the State of Indiana. From Indianapolis, he started by stage to Terre Haute, Ind., but on the road the stage broke down, and while waiting for repairs Mr. Green met an emigrant farmer who was going West, and as he was ready for adventure, he engaged with the farmer to drive stock for his passage and board, and started for the then wild West of Iowa. making a slow trip through the State of Illinois, they crossed the Mississippi at Burlington, July 4, 1836. There leaving their stock and wagons, he and his employer, Mr. Updegraff, started on horseback for the interior to select claims for their future homes. They first stopped at Mt. Pleasant, then but the commencement of a village, and then rode to where the village of Trenton now stands, and in that vicinity Mr. Updegraff took a claim. As soon as a cabin could be prepared, he brought his family, and with him Mr. Green made his home for a short time, but soon took a claim for himself of 160 acres on section 10, Trenton Township. Here he erected a cabin, living alone until the arrival of his older brother, Joseph, who had come to take James back home, but liking the country, concluded to remain, so he and his brother lived alone until September, 1839. At that time James was united in marriage with Jane Morrison, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Joseph and Sarah Morrison, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. After his marriage, he and his wife lived in a cabin in true frontier style, but as years have rolled on he has greatly improved their home. They have acquired a large property, and may now be found in a commodious and comfortable residence on the original claim on section 10, Trenton Township.
Mr. and Mrs. Green have been the parents of nine children: Sarah, residing at home; Anna, wife of Charles Turney, County Treasurer of Saunders County, Neb.; Samuel, a farmer residing in Jefferson Township, Henry County; Charles, a farmer of Trenton Township; Emily, who died Jan. 26, 1876, at the age of twenty-seven years; Joseph, residing at home; Alice, also at home; James C., Jr., a merchant of Winfield, Henry County, and Frank, who died Sept. 19, 1875. Mr. Green has been a leader of the Democratic party in this county, and has been elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, which he held for a number of years. he was a member of the Board of Supervisors of the county for six years, and was also elected to the State Legislature, serving one term. he is at present Notary Public, and has been a life-long Democrat. Socially he is a member of the I. O. O. F. Mr. Green is a self-made man; having been left an orphan with but small means, he has fought nobly the battle of life. By his perseverance and energy and habits of industry and economy, he has accumulated an ample competence, owning 500 acres of land and other property. he has been a liberal and indulgent father, and now in his declining years, he and his estimable wife look with pride upon their sons and daughters, who do honor to their name. Among the pioneers and prominent citizens of Henry County, few are better known and none more highly respected than James C. Green.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 598-99.)
GEN. NICHOLAS GREUSEL, of Mt. Pleasant, was born in Bavaria, Germany, July 4, 1817, and before leaving the old country received a fair education in German and French in the schools of his native city of Blieskastle. The Greusels, consisting of father, mother, brothers and sisters, emigrated to the United States in the summer of 1833, and on arriving at the city of New York strangers and penniless, the eight larger children were told by their father that they were now in a free country, that he had nothing more than a parent's blessing to bestow, and that they must commence the battle of life for themselves, but that in case of sickness or misfortune, such a home as he might be in possession of should be theirs. Without knowing a word of the English language, the future of these poor children looked dark and gloomy. The boy Nicholas wandered over the city for hours in search of employment, when, after many failures and rebuffs, a kind and benevolent lady admitted him under her roof, and gave him shelter and work. The lady who at this dark hour proved an angel of mercy to him was the mother of Hamilton Fish, once Senator from New York, and afterward Secretary of State under President Grant. Here Nicholas remained a year, and the following year worked in a brickyard at Nasburg, N. Y., when the whole family removed to the Territory of Michigan, reaching Detroit by canal and steamer, Nov. 1, 1835. At first such odd jobs as could be found were resorted to for a livelihood, such as driving team, gathering ashes, etc., but in the spring of 1836 he obtained a permanent situation in the firm of Rice, Coffin & Co., in the business of lumbering, and remained in their employ for eleven years, until the breaking out of the Mexican War. Prior to this he had served as Captain of the Scott Guards, a local military company, and subsequently as Major of the Frontier Guards, and was on duty during the Patriot rebellion in Canada. At the municipal election in Detroit in 1844, he was elected Alderman of the Fourth Ward on the Whig ticket, and served in that capacity two years. On the breaking out of the Mexican War he raised a company for service, which became Company D, 1st Michigan Volunteers, of which he was elected Captain. Marching to Springfield, Ohio, the company were sent thence by rail to Cincinnati, and by steamer to New Orleans and Vera Cruz, which latter place was reached ten days after its surrender to Gen. Scott.
In the march upon the city of Mexico the Michigan Volunteers were attached to the division of Gen. Bankhead, which marched through Cordova and Orizaba some distance out on the National road to the Mexican capital. Their progress through the country was almost a continuous battle with bands of guerrillas and bodies of Mexican soldiery, who swarmed from their mountain fastnesses. In their encounters with the enemy the Michigan Volunteers acquitted themselves nobly, performing successfully and well every duty assigned them.
The war being ended, in the summer of 1847 the regiment returned home, arriving at Detroit July 12. At the outset Capt. Greusel's company numbered 105 men, and he returned with eighty-five, the company having been better cared for and in better health than any other in the regiment. Under his economical management about $300 company money was saved, with which he purchased new shirts, shoes, blacking, and such articles of clothing as were lacking, and when within a few hours' ride from Detroit, directed his men to shave, wash, and dress in the new outfit provided for them. The other officers were astonished and somewhat chagrined to find that his company were clean and well dressed, while theirs were walking bundles of dirty rags. On landing, Col. Williams placed Company D in the advance in marching through the city, and the newspapers were filled with articles eulogistic of Capt. Greusel and the fine appearance of his veteran company.
The day succeeding his discharge and muster out of the service, found him back in his old position in the lumberyard of Rice, Coffin & Co., attending to business as of yore. Subsequently he was elected Captain of the City Guards, and then Lieutenant Colonel of the battalion; was appointed Superintendent of the city water-works in 1849, and was the first Inspector General of lumber for the State of Michigan in 1850, which office hue held two years. An unfortunate investment stripped him of the hard earnings of a lifetime, and he again commenced at the lowest round of the ladder of life to win his way to a competency, and to fame. He next turned his attention to railroading, and found continuous employment as a conductor, first upon the Michigan Central, and then with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, in whose employ the Rebellion found him. A company recruited by him at Aurora, Ill., was among the first to respond to the President's call for troops, he being the first man to enlist in that city, and on the organization of the 7th Regiment he was commissioned as Major, and proceeded with it to the front. This was the first regiment raised in the State of Illinois. At the close of the three months' service he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which had reenlisted for three years, and on Aug. 14, 1861, was promoted to Colonel of the 36th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served as such until Feb. 7, 1863. He was a brave and efficient officer, and soon after the close of the war received the following letter from Lieut. Gen. Phil. H. Sheridan:
HEADQUARTERS, Mo. Div. OF THE U. S. ARMY. CHICAG0, Oct. 15, 1865.
COL. N. GREUSEL, Late of the 36th Ill. Vol.
Mr DEAR COLONEL :-It gives me great pleasure to summarize the service performed by you while under my command. I first met you as Colonel of the 36th Illinois Infantry. In the fall of 1862 your service was most valuable. At the battle of Perryville, Ky., Oct. 8, 1862, while in command of a brigade, you were quite gallantly leading your brigade all the time, and on the campaign to Nashville the excellent discipline your men maintained was a model for all. In the battle of Stone River, Dec. 31, 1862, while commanding your regiment, and after the death of Gen. Sill, the brigade (1st Brigade, 3d Division, right wing), your services were marked by bravery and good judgment, and when you were compelled to leave us it was much regretted, for it was felt that our cause was losing one whom it could illy spare.
I am, my dear Colonel, yours truly, P. H. SHERIDAN, Lieutenant General.
Gen. Greusel left the army on account of disability by rheumatism, which he contracted on the night of Jan. 2, 1863, at the battle of Stone River. He had been fighting for several days, and had no sleep nights, and on the night in question, in company with Gen. Sheridan, occupied a brush shelter. The wind shifted during the night, and in the morning they were completely covered with snow, and he was unable to move, and was compelled to resign in consequence, Feb. 7, 1863. He was breveted Brigadier General, by recommendation of Gen. Rosecrans, after Stone River. Returning to Aurora, Ill., as soon as he was able to work, he was offered the position of conductor on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, which he filled until Sept. 1, 1866. when he removed to Burlington, Iowa, and in January following made his home in Mt. Pleasant. He came to Iowa as Roadmaster of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, holding that position for three years, when he retired from active life with the good wishes, and greatly to the regret of his superior officers on the road. He has in his possession a valuable solid gold badge, in shape and size of an annual pass, suitably inscribed, given to him in 1866 by James C. Sherman, President of the Conductors' Association, which is one of his most cherished souvenirs.
Gen. Greusel since his residence in Mt. Pleasant has connected himself with the Masonic fraternity here, demitting from the Illinois bodies. He is a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, A. F. & A. M.; of Henry Chapter No. 8, R. A. M., and Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, K. T., in which latter body he has been Senior Warden for sixteen years.
In Detroit, Mich., in 1839 Gen. Greusel was united in marriage with Jane Doumens, a native of France. By this union there were twelve children, eight of whom are now living: E. Stuyvesant is assistant master mechanic at Plattsmouth, Neb.; Josephine is the wife of Lafayette Langston; Elizabeth F. is the wife of John A. White, a resident of Aurora, Ill.; Rachel married Fred Grouch, a resident of Sandusky, Ohio; John O. resides at Mt. Pleasant; Nettie is still at home; Susie, wife of Charles Martin, of Plattsmouth, Neb.; Phil. Sheridan is employed on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad; Joseph R. enlisted in the 27th Michigan Volunteers, and was killed while on the steamer "Lyon," in 1863. In 1866 Gen. Greusel came to Mt. Pleasant. The General and Mrs. Greusel are both members of St. Michael's Episcopal Church at Mt. Pleasant, of which he is a Vestryman. They are highly respected by all who know them. By good management and hard labor, they have obtained a competency. Probably no man has held more offices of trust, or served more faithfully his adopted country, than has Gen. Greusel. His military abilities are very great, as is shown by the letter we give from Gen. Sheridan, which, coming from such a source, is higher praise than any we could give. Alone, unaided, by his own might he has conquered all, and from humble beginnings he has won for himself an honorable name and an enviable position. The portrait of this brave and gallant soldier and honorable man is given on an accompanying page.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 279-281) (JC)
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