Biography - Sarah Stansberry

MRS. SARAH E. STANSBERRY, wife of C. W. Stansberry, is a daughter of George W. Gossage, who was born in Caswell County, N. C. near the Virginia line, December 26, 1812. Her grandfather, William Gossage, was born in 1773, and probably in Maryland, where he followed the occupation of a farmer, which his father pursued before him. The latter, who was defrauded of a large fortune in England to which he was the rightful heir, was also a silk weaver by trade, and came from England and settled in Maryland. When he was a boy of fifteen he was present at the crowning of George III. His first wife died in Maryland, leaving four sons and one daughter, after which he removed to North Carolina, where he was again married. He died in Caswell County, N. C, in his ninety-seventh year. When ninety-six years old he walked two miles to church, and also did some plowing, working in this way up to within two weeks of his death. His funeral sermon was a very able and remarkable one, from the text, "Man dieth and wasteth away; yea, a man giveth up the ghost and where is he?" This sermon was preached by a Baptist preacher who was born blind. Mr. Stansberry left four children, three sons and one daughter, of whom William Gossage was the second child and son in order of birth. He married Mary Ferguson of South Carolina, and in 1820 they removed to East Tennessee, where both died near Knoxville on a farm, and left four sons and five daughters, of whom George W. Gossage, the father of Mrs. Stansberry, was the third child and second son. The sons were: James Patton, George W., William and Andrew Jackson; and the daughters: Nancy, Betsy, Peggy, Mary and Sally. All have died except George W., the father of Mrs. Stansberry, and his sister Mary, widow of John Chilton, residing on her farm in Jefferson County, and in her seventy-sixth year.
The father of our subject was married in 1832, to Nancy Hart, of Bedford County, Tenn., where they lived until 1854, in October of which year they removed to Illinois with their own teams and covered wagons in regular emigrant style, bringing with them their eleven children. They had in all thirteen children, two of whom were born in Illinois. They buried their seventh son when an infant, and also their son James W., who died in La Grange, Tenn., in 1863. He was a volunteer in the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, served two years, and died of disease at the age of thirty-one years, leaving a family. Mary A., wife of John H. Hester, died in Saline County, Ill., in 1869, leaving a large family. Fanny M., wife of Isaac M. Robertson, died in Johnson County, Ill., in 1888, aged forty-two years, leaving seven children. The living children are as follows: Mrs. Sarah E. Stansberry; William D., a farmer of Pope County, who has by two wives ten children; H. I., a farmer of Pope County, and also a preacher, the head of a large family; Thomas D., a farmer of Missouri, with a family of seven children; Mahulda C., wife of J. W. Hancock, who is the mother of sixteen children; Nancy, the widow of William Williams, with a family of five children; George W., Jr., a farmer of the same county, with a family of seven children: Andrew J., who has a wife but no children; and Virginia, wife of Asa Owen, who has nine children.
The mother of these children died at the home of her son, Henry L., July 4, 1890, aged seventy-four years. The father, who is still living, vigorous in body and mind, at the age of eighty is the grandfather of ninety-six children, and the great-grandfather of fifty-one. His activity is remarkable, he being able now to jump up and strike his heels together twice before again coming down on the floor. Two of his sons, Henry L. and Thomas D., were in the service of the United States during the War of the Rebellion. Mrs. Stansberry resides in Cobden, where her husband is City Marshal. Her son, George W. Stansberry, is the agent of the Adams Express Company at Rock Island and Police Magistrate. Her second son, S. Finley, is a printer in Cobden, and is married. Her daughter Nannie is the wife of Henry Bahr, and her daughter Emma is the wife of Thomas O. Milton. Our subject is a lady possessing an amiable and social disposition, and is liked by all who know her.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 348-349.

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