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Its Past and present
Chicago: Donnelley, Loyd & Co., Publishers, 1878.
(reprinted by the Jacksonville Area Genealogical and Historical Society, 1975)

GEISS, GEORGE, baker and grocer. Was born in Germany, May 6, 1831. Came to Beardstown, Ill., in 1851. Was there about one year, after which he came to Morgan County and followed farming for several years. In 1868 moved to Meredosia and commenced the business that he is now engaged in. Was married in 1855 to Miss Mary Dettmer, born in Germany. Have five children, four boys and one girl; Edward, born January 6, 1856; Charles, born July 6, 1860; Henry, born December 6, 1866; Albert, born March 20, 1869; Emma, born November 29, 1871. All are now living.

GENTRY, JAMES M., son of John P. and Catherine Gentry, natives of Virginia, where Mr. Gentry was born, Oct. 27, 1804; the father was a carpenter by trade, and also followed farming; he settled in Kentucky as early as 1806, and there became the owner of a plantation, which James afterward managed: May 26, 1824, he married Jane Elliott, of Kentucky; in 1830, the elder Gentry, accompanied by his family of wife and four children, moved to Sangamon County, Illinois, and in July, 1832, moved to Morgan; we now follow the fortunes of the subject of this notice: he relates that the first crop put in was corn and oats, 15 acres corn, and 10 acres oats; when the time arrived for harvesting, the oats were laid on the ground, and there tramped out by horses; when threshed it was taken to Jacksonville, and there sold for ten cents per bushel; Mr. Gentry is now living on his farm of 116 acres; his wife still survives, they having lived together over half a century.

GIBSON, JOHN M. REV., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 3, P.O. Franklin, was born in Rutherford Co., Tenn. Feb. 3, 1821; attended subscription school in winter and worked on his father’s farm in summer. In 1830, his father, James Gibson, in company with others, left Tennessee to try and better their fortunes in a new country, traveling in wagons drawn by oxen; after four weeks of hardships and bad weather, they landed in Morgan Co., where the elder Gibson entered 320 acres of land, in what is called Youngblood Prairie; here Mr. Gibson worked hard, and studied harder for a number of years, entering in the mean time, 155 acres of land, which he improved as much as possible, and on the 16th day of March, was married to Miss Mary, daughter of Joshua and Elizabeth Davidson. In 1860 Mr. Gibson was licensed as a preacher, of the M. E. church; in 1863, sold his farm in Youngblood, purchased 232 acres in Sec. 3, T. 13, R. 9, and has been engaged in raising stock and farming to the present day. Ten children, nine of whom are still living: Lizzie, who married John H. VanWinkle; George, who married Savinia Carlile; Hannah, who married Dr. S. D. Carlile, and James, Albert, Delia, Mary E., Richard, and Julia, still living with their parents. Mr. Gibson’s mother, a lady of eighty years of age, lives with him, and is as hale and hearty as most women of sixty.

GILLETTE, PHILIP G. Dr. LL.D. is a native of Madison county, Indiana. He was born March 24, 1833. He is the oldest child of Rev. Samuel T. Gillette, an eminent Methodist Episcopal minister, and who was an officer, in his early life, in the United States navy, being the first midshipman appointed from the State of Indiana. Dr. Gillette received his early education in the common schools of his native State. He entered Asbury University at Greencastle, Ind., at the age of fifteen, and graduated at the age of nineteen. He was a teacher in the Indiana State Institution for the education of the Deaf and Dumb, till 1856, when he was called to the position, which he now holds, of superintendent of the Illinois State Institution for the same object. This institution is undoubtedly the best of its kind in the country, and for its present reputation it is largely indebted to Dr. Gillette. He is ably carrying out that liberal system which the people of Illinois, through their representatives, have furnished the means of doing. Dr. Gillette was married to Miss Ellen M. Phipps, daughter of Isaac N. Phipps, of Indianapolis, and by this union has had six children, four of whom are still living. In July, 1871, he title of LL.D was conferred upon Mr. Gillette, by the institution in which he graduated. Dr. G. has been an efficient worker in the Sabbath School cause both at home and abroad. He is president of the U. S. Sunday School Association. Dr. Gillette and his wife are active members of the M. E. church. Politically, he is a republican. Few men have done more in this portion of the State to elevate the spiritual and mental condition of his fellow men than Dr. Gillette.

GIVENS, ROBERT, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 21, P.O. Waverly; fifth child of W.T. and Lydia Givens, natives of Tennessee and Kentucky respectively; Robert was born on the old homestead of his parents, in the bounds of Morgan County, March, 1840; he received a liberal education, attending school principally during the winter season; he qualified himself for the position of teacher, although he has from boyhood devoted his attention to farming; December, 1861, he married Miss Josephine Armstrong, a daughter of Michael and Rebecca Armstrong. Shortly after Mr. G. became a teacher; this proved irksome to one of his temperament, and was abandoned; Mr. G. is a gentleman of culture and judgment, and makes the farm a success, owning 160 acres; on this was lately erected a handsome frame dwelling; this marriage was blessed with one child, born October, 1862, in Morgan Co.

GOLDSMITH, JOHN H. printer, Waverly, Ill; was born in Morgan Co., Ill., Feb 27, 1839; was a member of the 14th Illinois Infantry during the war, and upon the consolidation of that regiment with the 15th Illinois Infantry, became Sergeant_Major of the two, known as the “Veteran Battalion 14th and 15th” Illinois Infantry; was taken prisoner at Ackworth, Ga., Oct. 4, 1864, and confined in Andersonville prison until March 28, 1865; at the close of the war worked in Springfield, Ill., as a compositor in the Journal office; was married to Miss Nannie B. Morris, in Waverly, Ill., Nov. 7, 1871; removed to Waverly in May, 1872, and started the Waverly Times, which lived but a few months; one son, J. Berther M., born December 13th, 1875.

GORDON, JOHN, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 7, P.O. Lynnville; Rep.; Christian; born in this county, July 31, 1829; married Sarah Campbell in Dec. 1850; she was bon in Lynnville in 1830; she died Sept. 12, 1873; they had seven children, William E., John, David T., Virgie, Lillie, Lou, and Jessie; Mr. G. owns 980 acres of land, valued at about $65 per acre; he has held the office of post master at Lynnville many years; was elected Representative to the 28th and 29th Sessions of the General Assembly of Illinois, from this county.

GORHAM, STEPHEN, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 10, P.O. Jacksonville; son of John and Sarah, whose maiden name was Sanders; Stephen was born in Morgan County, Dec. 18, 1840, on the farm he grew up on; was liberally educated; in 1861, at twenty-two years of age, went to California, and remained three years; he then returned to Morgan County; in 1865, married Elizabeth Johnson, daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth; his wife passed away in 1866; in 1869, married Rebecca Delaney, daughter of William and Polly Delaney, who were among the early pioneers of Morgan County, as likewise were the parents of Mr. Gorham; the greater part of his life Mr. G. has resided in Morgan County; is the owner of 110 acres of well improved land; is worth $10,000; one child by first marriage, who died in infancy; children by second marriage: William J., and Luella.

GOTTSCHALL, BASWELL, farmer and stock raiser Sec. 13, P.O. Franklin. Mr. Gottschall was the eighth son of Jacob and Elizabeth Gottschall, whose maiden name was West, and the elder G’s second wife; looking a little into the genealogy of this family, it may be stated the grandfather of the subject of this sketch built the first water mill west of Ohio; in an early day, at a time when the red man was in the ascendancy, the Gottschall family moved from Berks County, Penn., to Ohio, and there settled on a farm, where young Gottschall was born, April 17, 1822; In Ohio the old people lived until they died; during the Spring of 1851 Mr. Gottschall wended his way to Illinois and settled west of Jacksonville; was first employed by the month for S.S. Massey; in 1852, he purchased 80 acres, where his large residence now stands; in September, 1853, married Miss Ann Harvey, of Morgan County; five children blessed this union, three of whom are living: Clara Belle, Samuel L., and Rebecca M.; a few years ago Mr. G. purchased 80 acres, in addition to his other property; in 1873 he built his present residence; when Mr. G. came to Illinois he had no capital whatever, making his way in the world single handed, never asking security, and believing it a damage to give it, he has gone steadily onward, and has since risen on his individual merits, and his word or note is good anywhere in Morgan County; well known for his liberality; at this writing owns 181 acres.

GRAFF, WASH. farmer, grain and stock dealer, Sec. 9, P.O. Prentice; was born in Kentucky, Feb. 22, 1826; came to this county in 1834; went to California in 1849; returned to this county in eighteen months, and has lived here since; married Alma Rinda F. Flinn, June 18, 1851; she was born in this county March 29, 1833, and died Nov. 8, 1864, leaving six children; married Elizabeth F. Owen, March 29, 1865; she was born in this county; have two children; owns over 1,500 acres valued at $75,000; holds the office of justice of the peace.

GRAHAM, GEORGE W. of the firm of Hysinger & Graham, was born July 18, 1837, in Morgan Co.; was raised on a farm. His father emigrated to this county in 1828, from Ohio; was one of the pioneer settlers of Jacksonville; lived near Jacksonville until after the winter of the deep snow; then went to the Illinois bottom, and entered land in T. 16, R. 12; gradually accumulated land to his original possession, and is still living at the old homestead. At the age of eighteen Mr. Graham entered McKendree College, teaching school during the vacation; was engaged in teaching in the county for several years up to 1864. Married Miss Elizabeth E. Lusk, daughter of Hon. Edward Lusk, of this place, he being one of the oldest settlers in this county. Have five children living, two boys and three girls: Mary, Safrancis, Anna Florence, Geo. Augustus, Julian, and Elma Grace. Farmed for three years after marriage, then formed a partnership with Mr. Hysinger; is still engaged in the business. The business has been successful.

GRAHAM, LORENZO D. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 8, P.O. Meredosia; Dem.; Meth. Episcopal; born in Sussex County, Maryland, Oct. 2, 1806; at the age of six years he went to Ohio with his parents, remaining until about 1830, when he came to this county, making one crop the summer before the deep snow, a time he well remembers; settled on his present farm the spring after the deep snow, making him one of the early settlers of this county; he is one of the wealthiest farmers in the county; married Oct. 25, 1826, to Elizabeth Newman; second wife is Caroline Newman, whom he married April 17, 1873; has five children by his first wife: Laurana, born Aug. 15, 1828, married to Philip Corcorn, farmer, living on Indian Creek, Cass County, Ill.; Nancy Ann, born July 28, 1833, died June 20, 1853; was then wife of Mr. VanPool; George W., born July 18, 1837, married Elizabeth Lusk; Elizabeth Amanda, wife of M. F. Andre (see his record); Martha Jane, born June 29, 1846, married Henry Hysinger, merchant at St. Louis, Mo.; have one child: Albert, born Oct., 1875; William L., born Sept. 6, 1849, died in infancy; has two children by his second wife: Benjamin L., born Sept. 23, 1874, and an infant girl, born Jan. 10, 1878; his father, George, was born in Maryland; his mother was Henrietta Willis, also born in Maryland; Mr. Graham has held the offices of road master and school director.

GRAVES, N. DWIGHT, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 14, P.O. Jacksonville; the subject of this sketch was born in Hartford, Conn., Feb. 10, 1825, and removed with his parents to Morgan County, in 1831; he may thus be considered one of its early settlers; was married Oct. 5, 1848, to Ruth, daughter of Thomas and Mary O’Neill, of Morgan County; born Dec. 14, 1827; this union has been blessed by three sons: Thomas O’Neill, born Feb. 11, 1850; William S., Sept. 28, 1853, and Charles H., Sept. 25, 1856; Mr. Graves’ life has been one of industry in the advancement of agricultural pursuits; his homestead consists of 480 acres of highly improved land, showing on every hand the able management of its owner.

GRAY, WILLIAM, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 19, P.O. Franklin. The subject of this notice was born in Cavan County, Ireland, May, 1829; eighty child of Robert and Jane Gray; on the little farm, situated in one of the best counties in Ireland, young Gray grew to manhood; possessing that sturdy vigor peculiar to the Irish people, and to better his condition in life, in the Spring of 1849, he sailed for America; arriving in New York he made his way into the State of Ohio, remaining two years; he then plunged farther westward, and settled in Morgan County, Illinois, where he first worked by the month, and also became employed as a school teacher: in 1854, he was united in marriage to Miss R.M.E. Stewart, daughter of Ira E. Stewart, a native of Tennessee, where Mrs. Gray was born, in the year 1833; shortly after the marriage Mr. Gray bought land in Sangamon County, comprising 70 acres, where he lived seven years, and then moved back to Morgan County, on the property he now owns, consisting of 110 acres; wishing to give his son the advantages of a college education, he moved to Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois, where he resided seven years; Autumn of 1875, returned again to Morgan County, and settled on the farm property heretofore mentioned, on which he erected lately a beautiful farm residence; in addition to possessions here, he also has a nice property in Lincoln; three children blessed his union with Miss Stewart, one only now living, born May 4, 1872; having the confidence of the community, he has held several offices, township treasurer, etc.

GREEN, A. B., farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 12, P.O. Jacksonville; son of Stephen and Cynthia Ann; his father was a native of Ohio, the mother of Tennessee or Kentucky; when Stephen was fourteen, his parents came to Morgan County; on arriving at man’s estate Stephen was united in marriage, and as the years rolled by there came a large family, of whom A.B. was among the younger; he was born in Morgan County, June 26, 1837; at that time the father had amassed a fine property of some 506 acres, and here young Green grew up, attending to the many duties of the farm, and receiving a liberal education; February 12, 1860, married Miss Mary Rector, daughter of James L. and Minerva J., who were among the pioneers of Morgan County; Mr. G. is the owner of 400 acres of well improved land, some seven miles southeast of Jacksonville; seven children blessed this union, all of whom are now living: F. Nettie, born Dec. 21, 1861; E. Clifton, Dec. 13, 1862; James M., Sept. 18, 1864; Charles L., July 10, 1867; Elmer A., April 20, 1870; Lelia M., June 6, 1871; Minnie R., Oct. 14, 1877.

GREEN, D. C. farmer, Sec. 25, P.O. Jacksonville, was born in Morgan Co. in 1829; parents, James and Mary Green, born in Virginia and Ohio respectively; as early as 1821, James moved to Illinois, locating in Morgan Co. at a time when Jacksonville did not exist, and when the site of it was marked by stakes, as guides for the emigrant or settler. Young Green grew up on the farm and received a common school education; in 1850 he moved on to the farm where he now resides, which consists of 103 acres. The estate of Mr. Green formerly comprised 500 acres. In 1859, when the tornado devastated Morgan Co., Mr. Green lost some $5,000 worth of property, his dwelling house being wrecked, fences blown down, and horses and cattle carried through the air and killed. It is stated on good authority, that rails carried high in the air, on their descent, were driven into the ground to the depth of three feet or more. In 1861, Mr. Green married Sarah E. Ransdel; children: Luna V. and John S.

GREEN, HORATIO R. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 7, T. 15-9, P.O. Jacksonville; was born in this county in 1834; married Mary E. O’Neal in 1863; she was born in this county; have six children, all living, Edward O., Laura J., Thomas S., Amy R., Effie M., and Baby; owns 308 acres, valued at $23,100.

GUNN, JESSE C. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 29, P.O. Murrayville, son of James and Hursley Gunn, natives of South Carolina and Virginia, being descendants of the old stock of F.F.V.’s. The father of our subject settled in Jacksonville in June, 1830, a period anterior to the “deep snow”. Jesse was at this time a young lad of much promise, and with the aid of his brothers Aleck, William, and Abasha, erected on Sec. 29, a pioneer’s palace - a log cabin - and like the early pioneers, pressed on, braving the trials and vicissitudes of a young frontiersman’s life. Jesse was born in Dixon Co., Tenn., July 15, 1825, and when he was in his fifth year, traveled on foot for four weeks, a feat that the boy of today would not venture. At the age of twenty-two, married Miss Mary A. Fisher, daughter of Peter and Nancy Fisher; the nuptials were celebrated 5th of August, 1847, by “Squire George Wright. There were born to his union, Mary J., October 15, 1848, died October 5, 1851; Nancy U., November 10, 1849. The sad death of mrs. G. occurred October 7, 1851; having lived a season of sorrow, married again March 30, 1852, to Miss hannah I. Reaugh, daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Reaugh; the ceremony was performed by Rev. Thomas Spellman, of the Presbyterian Church; has had by this marriage, Elizabeth J., born April 2, 1853; Charles W., April 28, 1854; James A., February 20, 1856; William A., April 20, 1857, died October 16, 1857; John W., May 8, 1858; Margaret E., March 9, 1861; Mary J., May 26, 1862, died August 8, 1862, and Benjamin J. C., February 14, 1865. During the conflict of the Rebellion, he, loving his country better than home or fireside, enlisted March 6, 1865, in Co. E, 58th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and followed the fortunes of that veteran organization until the culmination of the civil conflict; was mustered out of service March 5, 1866, at Montgomery, Ala., since which time has devoted his time to the improvement of his neat farm; is a good citizen, a faithful Christian, having identified his life with the M. E. Church, at the young age of about seven years; owns property worth $10,000.