Pages 142-143, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




E. G. GILBERT—Northeast Allen County, or what is now Osage township, is fortunate in the possession of many of our splendid citizens. In the year 1860 when the first settlers stole across the border and laid the foundation for homes and thereby established civilization within its borders Edward G. Gilbert was of the few. He entered the southwest quarter of section twenty, township twenty-three, range twenty-one, built a cabin and returned to his home in Ohio. He reached there on election day and helped elect Lincoln the first time. The events leading up to the Civil war transpired rapidly and its outbreak caused him to delay his return to Kansas. He remained in Ohio, participated in some of the events which ended the war and then turned his face toward his new home. He took possession of his cabin near the river, furnished it with a peg bedstead, box cupboard and antiquated chairs and began a bachelor's existence. The work of reducing nature with art which he began then he has continued with such success and such profit as to place him among the large landowners of the county.

All that is left of the settlers of 1865 is Mr. Gilbert, the Tucker brothers and Charlie Ross. The Brays and the Manns, pioneers, are all gone, and the prairie which Mr. Gilbert predicted would all be settled in his time and which many thought could not happen, is all settled, improved and turned into one vast field and meadow.

Mr. Gilbert came to Kansas from Champaign County, Ohio, He was born in Harrison County, West Virginia, December 9, 1832, and is a farmer's son. Amos Gilbert, his father, was born in Buck's County, Pennsylvania, of Quaker parents. In about 1850 the latter came into Ohio where he died in 1854, at fifty years of age. His wife, who was Phebe Wilson, died in 1852. Of their seven children six survive. viz.: Edward G., Mary, wife of George Millice, of Mechanicsburg, Ohio; Ann E., widow of N. B. Johnson, of Champaign, County, Ohio; Benjamin B., of Champaign, County, Ohio; George and Amos G., also of that county; Nellie, deceased, wife of G. M. Nelson.

Edward G. Gilbert acquired only a limited education. He began life


without other than his physical resources and earned his first money as a wage worker on a farm. He was induced to come to Kansas by an old acquaintance, Mr. Black, who settled in Anderson County in 1858, and he made the trip by rail to St. Louis, by boat to Kansas City, and by stage (for $11) to Mound City, Kansas.

August 19, 1866 Mary E. Tucker became Mrs. Gilbert and took possession of his residence (a log cabin 14x16) and all its furnishings. Mrs. Gilbert was a daughter of Robert Tucker who came to Kansas from Missouri but was a Virginian by birth.

Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert's children are: Mary, wife of Rev. Geo. W. Trout, of Rochester, New York; Millie J., wife of Hiram Huffman, Robert E., who married L. Harvey; Conney, deceased and Cora Gilbert.

Mr. Gilbert went into the army toward the close of the war. He enlisted in Company F., 134th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, one hundred day service, under General Butler's command. He contracted lung fever and was warned that he would die if he entered the army but it did not deter him.

Mr. Gilbert has been one of the most influential men in the politics of Allen County. He cast his first vote for General Scott and his next for Fremont and on down the Republican ticket to November 6, 1900. Thirteen times has he presented himself at the ballot box to make his choice for President and only four times has he failed of his man. Mr. Gilbert possesses, in a high degree, the confidence of his fellow countrymen which fact, alone, is worth a life time of active industry and personal sacrifice.

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