1925 Biography - Gillespie

Thomas L. Gillespie was born in Saulsbury, North Carolina and was a son of George Gillespie, who immigrated to this country in colonial days from Scotland. George resided on a farm near Slatesville, N. C. Family tradition says, he served in the War of Independence as a captain in General Green's command. His wife's name was Allison or Ellison, also Scotch. He went from North Carolina to Tennessee and laid the land warrants that had been given him for his services in the war. He took his children with him, Thomas being among the number, who had been apprenticed to a hatter in Saulsbury, in his youth, where he met Catherine Baird, and later married her. They raised a large family, two sons and nine daughters, all of whom had families. Three of these daughters came to Illinois with their father. Thomas L. who was born 1775. The three daughters who accompanied him to this state were Elizabeth (2), who married James J. Hogg, they had John L. (3), Matha (3), Thomas (3), Frank (3), Gideon (3), Whitnel (3). John L. (3) married first Frances (see Walker), second Gertrude Stout they have Guy (4), Ray (4), Tony (4), Tenny (4), Rubby (4), Whitnel (4). Guy (4) married Maud Hamilton. Ray (4) married Virgia Dotson. Matha (3) married Adam Harvick. Thomas (3) married Emma (see Boyt). Frank (3) married Emma Elkins; they had Carrie (4), Fanny (4), William (4), Essy (4). Carrie (4) married a Mr. Bruner of Massac County. Fanny (4) married Mr. Castleman of Illmo, Mo. Sarah (2) married John L. Hogg and had Tabitha (3) who married David (see Oliver). James (3), George (3) married Miss Casper. Pole (3) Frank (3) married Martha Cantwell. Neoma (2) married John M. Gillespie, nephew to Thomas L., and their children were Frank (3), Sarah E. (3), who married W. P. (see Walker), William (3), James (3), who married Kate Kuykendall, Martha (3) married Samuel Jackson and left one son, Samuel (4). Catherine (3) and Amanda (3) married Thomas (see Farris). Frank (3) married Miss Johnson.

Captain J. B. Gillespie is a descendent of George and a grandson of Thomas L. whose history is given under that name. J. B., was born in Tennessee, 1838. His father was George, and his mother was Martha Swain who belonged to the Eagle family of Arkansas. The parents died before J. B. was five years old, and he came to this county with his grandfather (Thomas L.), with whom he resided until 1855, when he came to Vienna and found employment, helping to build the Star Mill, at thirteen dollars per month. After this he began work in John Bain's store at nine dollars per month and board, later his wages were increased to fifteen dollars. His next job was with Chapman and Hess at sixteen dollars per month, where he remained until 1862, when he enlisted in the Union Army, serving as Lieutenant, he was later promoted to Captain of Company I, 120th regiment. He was captured at the battle of Guntown, and was taken as a prisoner to Macon, Ga., where he suffered all the privations and inconveniences of a rebel prison. He was transferred from one prison to another and was under fire of Union guns at Charleston, S. C. He was not exchanged nor released until 1865 after the fall of the Confederacy.

After the war he followed merchandising and farming, also served the county as treasurer. In 1897, he was made a deputy revenue collector for this district, which position he filled for seventeen years, as long as his health would permit. He and wife are quite old and reside in East St. Louis. They are republican in politics, and members of the M. E. Church. He is a Mason. James B. (1) married Mary L. daughter of Col B. S. Enloe, a prominent pioneer of Massac County in 1862. Their children are George B. (2) who married Ettie Oliver and they had Alfred (3) born 1892 and killed by accident while in training during the World War. Marion (3) served in the World War as Captain, and Louis (3) is a student of law at Chicago University (later entered the firm of Gillespie and Gillespie). This family reside in Springfield, Ill. F. S. Gillespie (2) married Belle Perkins. He was killed in a railroad accident 1898. James B. Jr. (2) married Rose Trapp, children Ruth (3), Emmet (3), Robert (3) and Rosemary (3). J. B. Jr., (2) has been Superintendent of the Halliday Grain Elevator at Cairo, Ill., lor more than thirty years. W. L. (2) married Clara Huffman (see Simpson). He is yard master in the Illinois Central Railroad yards at Cairo, where they reside. Robert E. (2) married Ida Spann of this county (see Simpson). Robert was one of the founders of the National Bank of East St. Louis. He was very successful in business and died at a very useful time of life (1920). Fannie (2) married Lee Goodwin, a commission merchant of Jackson, Mo., where they reside. They have Lena C3) who married C. W. Henderson, and has Charles Allen (4); Helen (3), Walter (3), Brice (3), Frank (3), Mary (3) and Ray and Roy (3). Thomas E. (2) married Georgia Blanchfil of Vienna. They have Alice (3). He is a graduate of Vienna High and Bloomington Law Schools. Has practiced law several years in East St. Louis and recently removed to Springfield, Ill., where he entered the firm of Gillespie and Gillespie, composed of G. B. and son, Marion.

George B. is a son of Captain J. B. and Mary Enloe Gillespie and was born in this county, was educated in our public schools supplemented by a course in the High School of Metropolis, Ill. He entered upon a brief career as a teacher at the age of eighteen, teaching one term at Mt. Pleasant this county, he then entered the office of county clerk as deputy which place he filled until the death of that officer, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy till the time for an election, in the meantime reading, law during his spare time. He later entered the law office of A. K. Vickers where he took a regular course of reading with office work finally entering the Law School at Bloomington and graduating from there in 1887. In 1890 G. B. Gillespie and L. O. Whitnel formed a partnership under the firm name of Whitnel and Gillespie. This was a strong firm composed of two Ambitious and energetic young men, their services were sought far and near, their reputation and ability was such as a law firm, that they soon outgrew this community and sought larger and more remunerative fields. Mr. Gillespie served this county as States Attorney, elected 1892, which office he filled with credit to himself and terror to the law breakers, during his residence here, he was appointed Assistant Attorney General of the state. He removed with his family to Springfield, Ill., where his reputation as a lawyer is state wide. For family (see Gillespie)

Extracted 06 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 379-381.

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