From A Biographical History of Central
Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1403
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
Jeremiah Jasper Gilmore
Jeremiah Jasper Gilmore, a well known resident of Washington township, Rice County, was born in Fayette county, Illinois, December 23, 1851. His father, Jeremiah Gilmore, was a native of Kentucky, born in 1852(?), and at an early age went to Illinois, casting in his lot among the pioneer settlers of Fayette county, in 1825. There his death occurred in the year 1866. He wedded Mary Landshom, who was born in Kentucky in 1807. Her father was a farmer of that state and lived and died there, rearing a family of six children. Her grandfather, John Murphy, was a native of Ireland and was accidentally drowned at the very venerable age of one hundred and four years. After their marriage Mr. Gilmore began farming and devoted his life to that occupation. He and his wife became the parents of sixteen children, thirteen of whom reached mature years, were married and had families of their own. The eldest, William, is still living, at the age of seventy-eight years, his home being in Effingham county, Illinois. Eleven of the number are still living, Jeremiah J being the youngest. The mother also departed this life in Illinois, passing away in 1875. She was a very industrious woman and made all of the clothes for the family, taking the raw material and carding, spinning and weaving the wool into cloth, of which she made the garments. Both Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore were devoted members of the Baptist church, taking an active part in its work and contributing in a large measure to its success.
Jeremiah J Gilmore, whose name forms the caption of this review, was reared to farm labor and from early boyhood assisted materially in the work of the fields and meadow. He acquired a fair common school education, pursuing his studies until fifteen years of age, when his father died and he was therefore required to give some of his attention and time to farm work. He remained at home until his marriage, which occurred August 6, 1872, Miss Mary E Whitzell becoming his wife. She was born in Marion county, Ohio, a daughter of H R and Hannah (Dunkleburger) Whitzell, both of whom were natives of the Buckeye state. They were farming people and on the old homestead they reared their family of seven children. The mother died in November, 1878, when about sixty-two years of age, and the father passed away in the fall of 1885. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore have been born nine children: William, Sherman and Olive, at home; Myrtle, the wife of B L Swearins, by whom she had one living child; Samuel, a salesman of Newton, Kansas; Carry E, Nellie, James, John and Ethel, all still under the parental roof.
After his marriage, Mr. Gilmore engaged in the operation of the home farm, residing in the stone house built by his father. The latter gave to each of his thirteen children a farm, having through an active business career become a wealthy man, although he started in life without capital and his first crop in Illinois was planted with the aid of one ox, the other of the team having been lost. His market was at St Louis, one hundred and forty miles away, and that was reached but once or twice a year. Wild animals were a continual menace to his poultry and pigs. The same resolute spirit which enabled the father to work his way steadily upward was manifest in the son. Our subject continued his residence in Illinois until 1874, when he sold his eighty-acre farm there and came to Rice County, Kansas, securing a homestead here. He began life over again in this wild western district, for it was then during the pioneer epoch in the history of this portion of the state. He secured eighty acres of land, a tract of raw prairie, and with characteristic energy began its development. His farm now comprises one hundred and sixty acres and he also leases two hundred and forty acres. He carries on general farming and makes a specialty of the production of wheat, planting from one hundred to three hundred acres to that cereal. He keeps from twenty to sixty head of cattle and works six horses. He is an energetic farmer, whose diligence and strong determination have been the means of enabling him to overcome difficulties and obstacles and work his way steadily upward to prosperity. He is a member of the Odd Fellows lodge and encampment and has passed all of the chairs in the order. In politics he is a Democrat, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Through the years of their residence in Kansas they have made many friends, who esteem them highly for their genuine worth. Fidelity to duty and strict adherence to the teachings of their church are potent elements in their lives and such qualities always gain respect and admiration.