Bedford Township. Page. 268
(David Gearhart) We dedicate, with pleasure, a part of these pages to a family that has been long and well known in Henderson county. There are many others who have equal, and in fact prior, claims upon the community if we esteem only the date of their settlement in the county, but desiring to put upon record the prominent and worthy of the day in which we write, we take up the account of the family of DAVID GEARHART. In doing so, we realize the fact that at best we can only leave a finger-board to guide the future biographer to a more successful account of the family. The subject of our sketch was born in 1819, in New Jersey, where he was educated at a common school and brought up to farming. He moved, in 1852, to Fulton county, Illinois, where he immediately renewed his occupation. He was married, in Fulton county, to Miss Catharine Young, September 24, 1856. By his marriage he had four children. After a residence of eight years in Fulton county, he removed to Warren, where he remained two years. In 1854 he came to Henderson county, to visit and look at the country. Returning to Warren, he moved to this county in 1862, at which time he bought eighty acres of land on Sec. 12, and afterward 300 acres. By his second marriage, with Mrs. Elizabeth Perrine, they have five children.
Terre Haute Township, page 1281-1282
Among the early settlers and pioneers of Henderson county
was Joseph Genung, the subject of this sketch. He was a native of
New Jersey, born in 1784. His father was the son of Josiah Genung.
He was a farmer by vocation and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Joseph Genung remained in his native state till he was
thirty-five years of age. There he was reared to the vocation of farming. His early education was that of the district school of his
neighborhood. He married in 1807 Mary Coil, a native of Maryland,
by whom he had five children, who grew up to manhood and womanhood's years, three of whom are now living : Albert H., Mary and
Stephen. Edmund and Hester A. are deceased. In 1817 he emigrated
to Indiana and located near New Albany. In 1827 he moved to Vigo
county, Indiana, locating near Terre Haute. In 1842 he came to
Illinois, where he died in 1855. He was well respected by all who knew
him, and left a large circle of friends to mourn his departure. His
son, Stephen Genung, now resides on a part of what was his father's
farm. He was born in 1821 in the State of Indiana, and came to Henderson county, Illinois, with his father. His early education was that
of the pioneer schools of Indiana. He has always pursued the vocation of farming. He married in 1855 Mary Trainor, a native of New
Jersey, daughter of John and Mary Trainor, by whom he had one
child, Mary J. He has an adopted son, George G. He enlisted in the
army August 1, 1862, in the 91st Ill. Vols., Co. B, and served three
years as a private. He was in the following engagements : Bacon
Creek, Kentucky, Morgan's Bend, Mobile and Whitter, two miles from
the former place. The entire regiment was taken prisoner and he was
held six months before they were exchanged. Mr. Genung has a farm
of 110 acres located at Terre Haute and keeps a good grade of all
kinds of farm stock. He and wife are members of the Methodist
Biggsville Township, Page 1355
JAMES GIBB, farmer, Biggsville, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1817. Before the age of twenty he had learned the trade of a weaver, but soon after was engaged by Lord Templeton as overseer and timekeeper on his large estate near Belfast. In the winter of 1849 he canceled this engagement, and on March 9 of the same year, with wife and four children, left Liverpool for New Orleans, in the sailing ship "Waldron." The trip was made without incident to the port of destination, and they soon after embarked, via the Mississippi, for Biggsville, and when opposite St. Louis his wife and three children died with cholera and were buried there. He, with one remaining child, arrived in Biggsville May 12, and for the next eleven months worked by the month at farm labor. He purchased an outfit (a yoke of oxen and wagon) and started for an overland trip to California, and there engaged in mining. After two years' successful labor he returned to Biggsville and bought a farm of 160 acres, in Sec. 28, T. 10, R. 4, and at once began to make improvements. But in a few years he grew tired of a lonely life and determined to visit the land of his birth, and accordingly, in November, 1858, shipped for the city of Belfast, and was soon after united in marriage with Miss Jane Stevenson. In May, 1860, after a full and satisfactory sojourn among kindred and friends, he, with his young wife, again sailed for America and landed safely in Biggsville in due season and permanently located on his present home farm in Sec. 28, T. 10.R. 4, where he is now spending his declining years in comfortable circumstances, which is the sure reward of faithful labor and honest industry. Though Mr. Gibb began life for himself without means, yet he looked forward to a comfortable home in old age. He has an interesting family of eight children: Eliza H., now the wife of Mr. Paul Reed, of Kingston, Canada, by his first wife, and Agnes, William J., Annie J., David A., Rose, James and Mary. The parents and three of their children are members of the United Presbyterian church. Mr. Gibb's parents were John and Agnes (McMasters) Gibb. The former died in Ireland and the latter in Biggsville.
The settlement of this township dates back to the arrival of John Gibson and family in the year 1833. His dwelling for the first summer was a rail pen. In the fall, after getting his land broken and seeded, he built a log hut. Until the next spring his was the only family in township 9, range 5. He was originally from Tennessee, whence he had removed to Greene county, Ohio. He buried his first wife, and married Ann McNary, May 21, 1829. In 1831 he came to Illinois, and settled successively in Sangamon and Warren counties, remaining in each county one year. He then came to Henderson county, and located on the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 11, T. 9N., 5 W., in the midst of an unbroken wilderness, inhabited by Indians and wolves, both, however, very neighborly. Moreover the necessities of life were not easily obtainable. Mills were so distant and difficult to reach that grain pounded up in a mortar constructed of a hollow stump, was their only meal. As in ancient temples, so in this rail pen the fire was never allowed to go out, but once, and the penalty paid was a ride to Biggsville to borrow fire. Mr. Gibson died September 30, 1858. His son, Andrew, the first white child born in this township, still occupies the home farm.
Biggsville Township, Page 1351
The subject of this sketch, ROBERT M. GILMORE, was born in Rockbridge county, Virginia, on June 30, 1823. When he was three years of age his father, who was a physician, removed from Pennsylvania to Preble county, Ohio, where he passed his early youth and manhood. Here Mr. Gilmore received his intellectual and religious training, and in this county he was married on March 8, 1848, to Miss Jane Porter, daughter of Hugh Porter, of Preble county. After residing several years in Ohio, in 1853 they removed to Henderson county, Illinois, settling first near Coloma, but afterward on Sec. 22, T. 10, R. 4, where Mr. Gilmore died November 17, 1873, leaving a wife and twelve children to mourn his loss. Mr. Gilmore was a brother of William J. Gilmore, judge of the supreme court of Ohio, and also of Judge James Gilmore, of Preble county, in the same state. He was a son of Eli and Clarissa (Clayton) Gilmore. When about three years of age a white swelling appeared on his left limb, below the knee. This caused him great pain all his life and finally resulted in his death. He died respected and loved by all, enduring his suffering with great patience. Mr. Gilmore was a staunch member of and believer in the tenets of the United Presbyterian church, and used largely of his means in its behalf. His estimable wife is now living with the youngest of her children. The names of the children are William E., Frank C., Emma I., now wife of William C. Dougless, Eli W., Anna M., now wife of John M. Graham, James A., George R., Charles W., John E., Mary E., Nora E. and Robert E. Much credit is due to Mrs. Gilmore for the training in industry and thrift her children have received.
Honey Creek Township, Page 348
Benjamin Berry Gittings was born in Union county, Kentucky, October 6, 1828. He is the son of Wm. H. and Eleanor Gittings. He removed with his father from Kentucky to Illinois in 1834, and settled with him in 1839 in Henderson county. Here to grew to manhood, inured to hard toil. While riding over the old homestead with the writer, he pointed out fields which he broke when a boy. The old homestead consisted of more than 1,000 acres. September 28, 1854, he married Miss Sarah Ann Howard, daughter of Thomas and Martha Howard, of Monticello, Missouri. She was born in Kentucky, June 16, 1834. They have no children; are members of the Catholic church. Mr. Gittings is a democrat in politics. A few years ago he was so unfortunate to be stricken by paralysis, from which he has only partly recovered.
Honey Creek Township, Page 348
The forefathers of William K. Gittings, one of the pioneers, were from England. Before the revolutionary war they came to the United States, finding a home in Baltimore County, Maryland. The father of our subject, Kensey Gittings, who had married Miss Mary Clemmons, removed from Maryland to Washington county, Kentucky, while yet the country was almost in its primitive state. With resolution born of the surrounding circumstances, he went to work as a farmer, which he ever followed until his death, in 1830, at the age of sixty-five years. He left a wife and six children. The wife died in 1840. The eldest son, William H. Gittings, who was born in Maryland March 12, 1792, was brought up on his father's farm in Kentucky, receiving a very meager education. Here he lived and worked at farming or flatboating to New Orleans. In October 1818, he wedded Miss Eleanor, a daughter of Richard and Mary Mudd of Maryland. Richard Mudd served in the revolutionary as an officer under Washington. Soon after the war he with his family removed to Kentucky. After his marriage he lived in Union county, Kentucky, where nine children were born to him. In 1834 he moved to Illinois, stopping for a year in Morgan county. In 1835 he moved to Hancock county and settled on section 7 in Fountain Green township, where he afterward bought 180 acres of partly improved land. In 1839, he removed to section 25, Honey Creek township, T. 8. R. 6, in Henderson county, where he resided until his death, November 7, 1869. When he came to this vicinity, he had nothing with which to start, but afterward, by prudence and economy, became one of the wealthiest as well as one of the most highly respected men of the county. He was a whig in politics, and was once his party's choice for the state senate. His wife was born October 20, 1794, and died June 12, 1855. This pair of worthy ones lie resting side by side on the apex of the mound which bears their name and is known far and wide for the splendid view which can be had from it. Of a family of fifteen children, ten are married and living. Wm. K. lives near, in Hancock county, and is one of its most staunch and reliable citizens. B.B. yet remains on a part of the old homestead. It might truly have been said of Mr. Gittings: "Life every man holds dear, but the dear man holds honor far more precious, dearer than life."
Peter Goempler, stone cutter and mason, was born in Philippsthal, Province of Hesse, Germany, January 12, 1822, and was reared to the trade of his father and grandfather (stone cutter and mason). July 19, 1846, he married Amelia Bonn, a native of the same place. October 7, 1853, he left the land of his birth, and, with his wife and little family, set sail for the new world, landing at New York January 4, 1854, and on March 18, of the same year, permanently located in Oquawka, where he has since followed his trade, in connection with which he has for a number of years paid some attention to farming on land he now owns near town. He has seven children living, whose names are: Adam A., Louisa E., (wife of Jacob Guyer, of Keokuk), Emma, (wife of George Rodmaker), Mary, Christena, Paulina, and Karoline. Mr. Goempler is a constant member of the German Reformed church.
Bedford Township. Page. 266-267
John Goodnight (deceased) was born in Stanford, Lincoln county, Kentucky, on May 4, 1794. He was a soldier under Gen. Jackson at New Orleans during the years 1814-5. He was married to Rhoda Brown October 18, 1820. She died in 1823, and he was married a second time to Agnes Jones December 22, 1825. She died December 13, 1874, leaving him once more alone. He removed to Indiana in 1827, and here in Monroe county lived the greater part of his time for twenty-five years. Under the eldership of Michael Combs he embraced the doctrine of the Christian church in the year 1833. He removed to Adams county in the fall of 1852, and early in the spring of 1853 removed to a farm one mile east of Bedford church in Henderson county, and from there to Blandinsville in the spring of 1876, where he died at the age of eighty-five years, one month and twenty-four days. He was an exemplary christian, and as a man he was honest in all his dealings, ever ready to denounce evil on its first appearance; the poor never left his door uncared for; the hungry were bountifully supplied from his table, and the naked were clothed by his generous hand. He died June 25, 1879. By his first marriage with Miss Rhoda Brown he had two children: Isaac, born July 3, 1821; Sarah M., August 19, 1822. Isaac died in infancy, and Sarah married Samuel A. Moore February 12, 1846. Agnes Jones, his second wife, was born in 1800. There were married December 22, 1825. The following children were born to them: Elizabeth A., born October 16, 1826; Mary J., April 14, 1831; Martha E., February 26, 1834; Amanda F., April 24, 1836; Thomas H., December 8, 1840; Francis M., January 12, 1845.
To a soldier who fought and bled for his country, these lines are dedicated. Charles W. Green was born June 17, 1834, in Herkimer county, New York, and is a son of William R. and Avis (Burlingham) Green. When Charles was very small his parents moved to Indiana, and settled in the woods to make a farm. He, Charles, received his schooling more in the hard work than books. In 1848 his people came to Oquawka, Illinois; Charles hired to work on a farm, which business he followed several years. January 1, 1857, he was married to Miss Florence Armstrong, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Armstrong, of Oquawka. She was born in Boston August 11, 1840. Mr. Green continued farming till his services were needed in putting down the rebellion. He enlisted, July 21, 1862 in Co. G, 84th Ill. Inf. At the memorable battle of Stone river, December 31, 1862, he was present. Many remember the snow and rain that fell. Mr. Green, to protect him as much as possible during the night, lay on some rails and under a stretcher. The terrible day of carnage dawned on hostile armies. In battle the boys in blue were lying low that the enemy's fire might pass above them. Soldier Green was leaning his elbow on a rock, aiming and firing accurately. He was shot while in this position, the ball grazing his nose, passing through the left eye completely destroying it. He reeled and fell. His comrade at once called him to get up or he would be taken. The enemy was them almost upon them. Green replied to his comrade "Leave me alone." then again he exclaimed "Give 'em h__l, Drummond!" He knew nothing more. Green's body, whose life was thought to have gone out. He lay three days, declared dead on the field of battle. But signs of life were at last recognized. It was Sunday morning a week after the battle when he distinguished Surgeon McDill's voice, and called him. The snow and rain was a dream to him, and it was said that he first pronounced the last words of the exclamation he addressed to his comrade, Drummond, when shot. Mr. Green was discharged February 9, 1863. His eye has given him much trouble, it having been necessary to probe it to remove pieces of bone. After he so far recovered that he could labor, he was employed by John McKinney, of Oquawka, to do what he was able in the the store. In March, 1864, he undertook to learn photography and went to Kirkwood, but the business disagreeing with him he returned to Oquawka. He became assistant postmaster. November 5, 1864, he was sworn postmaster, and has deservingly held the office since. In politics Mr. Green was a democrat at the opening of the war, but the rebellion made him a republican. He has a family of two children, George R., and Raymond.
Bedford Township. Page. 265
Peter Groom was born in Mercer county, New York, in 1826. On coming to Illinois Mr Groom first settled in Fulton county. Here he remained until the spring of 1857, when he removed to this county. He settled on the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 5, where he now resides. The only houses near him when he settled in the neighborhood were those of Dennis Foot and Josiah Brokaw. When Mr. Groom arrived he had but $175, and for the first year lived in a small stable, surrounded by a patch of hazel brush. He now owns 265 acres of choice land, upon which are good buildings, besides 160 acres of land in Kansas. He was married in Henderson county in 1850, to Miss Sarah Wilson, a native of New York, who came with her parents to this state in company with Mr. Groom. By this union they had ten children: Crissie C., William H., John W., Nancy C., Emma W., Nathaniel G., Anna L., Ella E. and Peter, besides one not named who died while young. Mr Groom's father moved to Illinois in 1855, where he died about 1871. His mother remained in New Jersey, where she died. His grandfather was English descent, and his grandmother German. They were both born in New Jersey.
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Connie Lovitt Bates