Biography - James W. Gore

James W. Gore, Police Magistrate at Vienna, is a fine representative of the native-born sons of Johnson County and belongs to one of its oldest and most widely known families.  his birth occurred at Goreville 4 Feb 1851. The village was named in honor of his father, John Gore, who at the time of his death in 1865 was one of the leading merchants of the county and was prominent in the upbuilding of his namesake.  He was also a native of the county born near Vienna in 1827.  His father Walton Gore is thought to have been born in Kentucky and he was a son of one John Gore who was one of the earliest settlers of this part of Illinois locating near Vienna where he engaged in farming and spent his last years.  The grandfather of our subject was quite young when his parents came to this State.  He was reared to agricultural pursuits and when he attained manhood he bought a tract of land in what is now Goreville Twp where he resided until his death.  The maiden name of his wife was Finney.
The father of our subject was brought up on a farm, but he turned his attention to mercantile pursuits when it came time for him to settle in life.  He opened a store on the present site of Goreville and was the pioneer merchant of the flourishing village that grew up around him and was given his name as a mark of the universal esteem in which he was held, the township also being named for him at a later period.  He was a practical, wide awake man of business managing his affairs with discretion and foresight and had a well-kept establishment in which he carried a full line of general merchandise.  He also dealt extensively in tobacco which was a staple product here at the time of the war.  His untimely death in the midst of a useful and honorable career was a blow to the best interests of the village. 
The mother of our subject bore the name of Mary J Bruff.  She was born near Lick Creek, Union County and her father was James Bruff.  She was married a second time after the death of the father of our subject, becoming the wife of J. Q. A. Collins, and resides at Goreville.  She reared six children by her first marriage and has one child by her second union.
The subject of this biographical review was educated in the public schools of this county.  AFter his father's death he commenced to wrk on the farm and was thus employed until he was twenty-two years old.  He then accepted the position of Clerkin the office of the County Sheriff and was engaged in that capacity until the fall of 1876 when he was elected Circuit Clerk.  He held that office four years and after that gave his attention to milling a year and to mercantile pursuits as a clerk in a store another year and he then entered public life again as Justice of the Peace for Vienna.  He occupied that position until the fall of 1884 at which time he was elected County Clerk.  He received the honor of re-election to that office in 1886 and held it until 1890.  In April 1891 he was elected Police Magistrate for a term of two years.  His official career has been such as to inspire trust and respect in the hears of his fellow citizens.  He brings a clear mind and resolute will to the discharge of his duties; his decisions show a competent knowledge of the common law and are given without fear or favor.  Our subject is known in social circles as a member of Vesta Lodge No. 340, I.O.O.F., and Vienna Encampment No.53.  Judge Gore was married in 1876 to Miss Ellen F., a daughter of John M Ridenhower.  Four children compete their pleasant home circle: Olie, Stella, James W. and Dentie.

Extracted from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 143-144.

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