KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


SHAWNEE COUNTY, Part 23

[TOC] [part 24] [part 22] [Cutler's History]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (GAVITT - GORHAM).

W. W. GAVITT was born in Delaware County, Ohio, February 9, 1840. He completed his school education at the Ohio Wesleyan University, in 1861. Traveled in the interest of the I. O. O. F. for five years. Located at Topeka, Kan., in 1869. He is classed among the successful business men of Topeka. He commenced the real estate and loan business in the spring of 1869, Mr. Edwin Scott becoming his partner in 1870. August 1, 1874, the real estate branch of their business was given up, and the business changed to that of banking. Their business is large and remunerative. They have just completed the finest business block in the city. One of the business rooms will be used by the firm as a banking house. Mr. Gavitt is connected, either as a director or stockholder, in several important enterprises.

ALBERT GANDY, merchant tailor, 206 Kansas avenue, was born in Newburg, W. Va., in 1851. His parents removed to Troy, Iowa, and he was educated in the schools of that State. He went to West Virginia in 1869, learned his trade and then returned to Danville, Ill., and worked as journeyman until 1871. From that time until 1873 he was in Bloomington, Ill., and then in Champaign until 1876 when he removed to Newton, Kansas and established himself in the merchant tailoring business, continuing until 1881, when he came to Topeka, and engaged in the same business. Mr. Gandy's father is living in Cuba, Mo. His mother died in 1853. He has four brothers; two, Charles and Lafayette, are in Missouri, the others, William and Francis, are in Iowa. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., No. 40, of Topeka. Mr. Gandy has established a first-class reputation in the business which he follows, and is a successful and energetic young man. He is a consistent member of the Methodiss sic Episcopal Church of Topeka. He was married in 1881 to Miss Addie Morgan, of Danville, Ill. They have two children.

L. B. GARLINGHOUSE, Section 29, P. O. Topeka. Farmer, nurseryman and horticulturist and broom manufacturer; also raises fine stock; has at present forty head of cattle, eighty acres all improved on his place, and forty acres in Williamsport Township. Manufactures brooms largely and ships by the car-load. Has an orchard of forty acres of the finest kinds of fruit, 3,000 apple, 800 peach, 75 pear and 75 cherry trees. Also raises fine Norman horses. Came to Kansas in the spring of 1870, locating on this place. Has held the position as director on school board for two years. Born in Licking County, Ohio, April 26, 1844, and came from his native place to his present farm. He was married November 17, 1867, to Miss Matilda Hanawalt, whose father, George Hanawalt, was a celebrated Methodist minister in central Ohio for fifty years. Her father and mother are deceased. They have six children--Elbannis C., Orestes L., Almina T., George L., Lewis F. and Nellie A. Both Mr. and Mrs. G. are teachers of music and are fine musicians, both vocal and instrumental, and both are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

GEORGE GEIGER was born in Harrisburg, Pa., January 11, 1811, and remained a resident of his native State and city until 1832. He then removed to Circleville, Ohio, and lived in Pickaway and Franklin counties in that State, until he migrated to Kansas in April, 1866. Soon after his removal to Kansas, Mr. Geiger located with his family at the new town of Ellsworth, being a member of the original Town Company. While there Mr. G. engaged extensively in building and dealing in town lots, erecting seven buildings during his two years residence in the town, although at that time building lumber was worth $100 per 1,000 feet, and not easily procured at that. He was also, during those years, engaged in mercantile business and serving as the first Postmaster, the business of the office increasing during his incumbancy sic from $1 per month to $100 per month. He was twice appointed Probate Judge of Ellsworth County, but never qualified for that office. March 4, 1868, he removed to Topeka and was engaged in mercantile business in that city until 1874, nearly all the years of his life from the age of twelve until 1874 having been devoted to that branch of business. Mr. Geiger was married at Martin's Ferry, Belmont Co., Ohio, June 17, 1852, to Mrs. Rebecca C. (Wallace) McGrath, a native of Harrisburg, Pa. They have buried two sons--John, aged two years and eight months, and George, aged four years. Their surviving children are, Mary, now Mrs. Charles S. Lee, of Kansas City, Mo.; Fannie, now Mrs. Dr. A. H. Thompson, of Topeka, and Malvina E., now Mrs. A. T. Rodgers, of Topeka.

T. B. GEORGE, real estate dealer, was born in Charleston, S. C., February 21, 1826, and lived in Louisiana and Ohio, emigrating from Stark County in the latter State, to Kansas in December, 1878. He entered the army in April, 1861, and served in the Thirteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry until October 24, 1864, being the adjutant of the regiment from April 6, 1862, with rank of Captain. He started as Orderly Sergeant and was promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company K, October 25, 1861; to First Lieutenant May 13, 1862, and to Captain September 30, 1864, being never absent from his command during his term of service. After the close of the war he lived four years in New Orleans. He was married at Massillon, Ohio, March 21, 1863, to Anna J. Jarvis, a native of Lewis County, N. Y. She died August 1, 1875, at Columbus, O. He married Nancy A. Stone, at Cleveland, Ohio, in April, 1879. Mr. George is a member of A. F. & A. M. and of G. A. R.

W. B. GIBSON, M. D., was born at Piqua, Miami Co., Ohio, February 14, 1838, that place remaining his home until the spring of 1860. He graduated from the Ohio Medical College in the class of 1860 and located at Morrison's Bluff, near Clarkville, Ark., where he remained from April, 1860, to April, 1861. He then returned to his native town and entered the army as contract surgeon about a month later. During the summer of 1862 he was post surgeon at Camp Piqua, and subsequently served as assistant surgeon of the Ninety-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, being on detached service in the hospitals of the Cumberland until July, 1863, when he rejoined his regiment, of which he was commissioned surgeon in September, 1863. In August, 1864, he was commissioned surgeon of the First Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. Made the march to the sea with Sherman's army and was finally discharged in June, 1865. In October of the same year he emigrated to Kansas and remained at Leavenworth until the spring of 1866 when he located at Springdale, Leavenworth County, and resided there until May, 1873, at which time he removed to Topeka, his present home. Dr. Gibson has been coroner of Shawnee County since January, 1876; also member of the Board of Education since 1877, chairman of the committee on teachers; also served as chairman of the building committee since 1879; and secretary of the board of Pension Examiners since 1878. He was married in October, 1865, to Ada M. Barlow, a native of Dayton, Ohio, and a resident of Piqua from the age of ten years. They have two children--Bessie S., born June 23, 1871, and Fred D., born November 21, 1874. Dr. Gibson is a member of the State and Eastern District Medical Society; and also of the A. F. & A. M., and is surgeon in the G. A. R.

JAMES I. GILBERT was born and passed his early childhood in Hardin County, Ky. When he was three years of age, his parents moved to Prairie du Chien, Wis., and that place remained his home until he was twenty-one. He then went to the headwaters of Red River, at Red Lake, and traded with the Indians two years, and afterwards, for five years, with the Indians and lumbermen of Lake Pippin. He raised the Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry in 1861, which was mustered into the service in October of that year, and was in command of the regiment, until he was promoted to Brigadier General at the Battle of Nashville, being placed in command of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps. At Mobile he was breveted Major General, but remained in command of his brigade until he was mustered out after the close of the war. The first army service in which Gen. Gilbert was engaged was at Mill Lax, Minn., a short Indian campaign of eighteen days. He was then ordered to Cairo, Ill., and soon after reported to Gen. Sherman, at Memphis, and took part in the Mississippi campaign, being among the first to enter Holly Springs with his troops. He participated in the battles of Port Drusa, La., Alexandria, Pleasant Hill, in which he was wounded and lost 515 men; Marksville Plains, Old Oaks, Atachafalaya Bayou, after which he was ordered back to Memphis, and subsequently with the command of Gen. A. A. Smith, fought and whipped Forrest, at Tupelo; then the battle of Nashville, after which he was promoted to Brigadier General; and finally at Mobile, where he took a prominent part in the gallant and daring charge which resulted in the capture of Fort Blakely, and where he was breveted Major General. After the close of the war, he returned to Iowa, and located at Burlington, where he was engaged in the lumber business until 1876, when he went to Colorado and embarked in mining operations. He removed to Topeka in January, 1882, and is now a resident of that city, having started a wholesale and retail grocery house, February 9, 1882. Gen. Gilbert was married at Stillwater, Minn., November 6, 1848, to Susan A. Samson, a native of New Hampshire. Their only child, John W., is in business with his father. The General is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and of the G. A. R.

GEORGE T. GILMORE was born in Yellow Springs, Greene Co., Ohio, March 5, 1851, and resided in his native town until he removed to Topeka, Kan., in June, 1871. He was educated at Antioch College, and after leaving that institution, was connected with his father for two years in the mercantile business. In 1871, he accepted a situation as clerk in the office of the Secretary of State, of Kansas. He served for six years as Secretary of the Shawnee County Republican Central Committee, and was a member of the City Council, representing the Third Ward of the City of Topeka in that body. In 1879, he was promoted to the office of Assistant Secretary of State, and held that position until January 9, 1882, when he assumed the duties of the office of County Clerk of Shawnee County, to which position he had been elected November 7, 1881. Mr. Gilmore was married at Yellow Springs, Ohio, June 15, 1876, to Mary Ellen Anderson. Phelps A. and Mary A. are their two children.

J. C. GORDON immigrated to Kansas in November, 1854, and remained at Lawrence until March 1855, when he removed to Topeka, and commenced mercantile business there the following May. He was associated with Asaph Allen, under the firm name of Allen & Gordon, until 1856, when Mr. Allen sold his interest to G. F. Gordon, and the firm became Gordon Bros. In 1859, J. C. Gordon sold out to his brother, and engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1863, at which time he rented the old Topeka House, on the present site of the Government building, corner of Kansas avenue and Fifth street, and kept it one year. In 1864, he remodeled and changed his little store on Kansas avenue, just below Fourth street, into a hotel of fifteen rooms, which he enlarged in 1880, to a fine hotel of ninety-five rooms, and sold in June, 1881, for $52,000. In 1881-82, he erected a fine residence in this city, which he afterwards sold, and in June, 1882, commenced the construction of his new hotel on the corner of Ninth and Kansas avenue. Mr. Gordon was born May 13, 1831, at Rushford, Allegany Co., N. Y., where he lived until he moved to Kansas. He was married in Topeka, August 4, 1857, to Mary F. Fellows, a resident of Topeka since 1855, and a native of New York State. They have two children--Maria, now Mrs. James A. Troutman, and Anna. Mr. Gordon is a charter member of Topeka Lodge, No. 17, A., F. & A. M.

WILLIAM C. GARVEY, local freight and ticket agent, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in June, 1848. He moved to Kansas in August, 1855, with his mother, father, C. C. Garvey, having preceded them some months. The family settled in Topeka, where he engaged in mercantile and real estate business many years. Was a prominent Free-state man in the early days. The subject of our sketch was educated in the district and high schools. Became connected with A., T. & S. F. R. R. in 1874, holding a position in the general offices. Was appointed agent at Topeka in 1876, three years later being transferred to Denver, Col.; from there was sent to Winfield, Kan., and in October, 1881, was again appointed agent at Topeka. He was married in Winfield, Kan., April 14, 1880, to Miss Maggie, daughter of J. N. Dever, Esq., one of the first settlers in that section. They have one child--Edward B. Mr. G. is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Is also a member of the A. F. & A. M. and A. O. U. W. of Topeka.

R. B. GEMMELL, superintendent of telegraphs, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, was born in Greensburg, Westmoreland Co., Pa., April 27, 1839, and received his education in the district schools. In 1854 he became connected with the Pennsylvania Railway Company, at first being engaged in the telegraphing department. After holding various positions in the service of this company, was finally appointed train master of the middle division, having headquarters at Harrisburg and Altoona. He resigned in 1866, and removed to Kansas to take the position of chief clerk and superintendent of telegraphs on the K. P. R. R., three years later being appointed general freight and ticket agent of the same road, with headquarters at Lawrence, retaining this position until 1872. The next two years he devoted to stock raising and other occupations. In 1874 he was appointed superintendent of the Lawrence & Southwestern R. R., now known as the Carbondale branch of the K. P. R. R. Became connected with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R., June 1, 1875, as chief clerk of the general freight department. Was appointed to present position, July 1, 1878. Mr. Gemmell is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a very prominent member of the Y. M. C. A., being at the present time president of the Y. M. C. A. of Topeka, and chairman of the State Executive Committee.

FRANK B. GIFFORD, son of Charles B. and Elizabeth (Buckley) Gifford, was born in Irving, Marshall Co., Kan., August 12, 1860. Only lived in his native place until he was a year or two old, when his parents located at Manhattan, living there five or six years, afterwards locating where they now reside, on what is known as "Elmwood Stock Farm" in Madison Township, Davis County, one of the finest places in the county. Frank left home when he was eighteen years of age, and engaged in lumber business, with which he has since been connected, at present with Kansas Lumber Co., at Topeka.

FRY W. GILES, one of the first proprietors and founders of Topeka, traces his ancestry in unbroken line to John Giles who came from England and settled in Massachusetts asearly sic as 1634. He was the son of John and Lydia Giles and was born in Littleton, Grafton Co., N. H., May 30, 1819. He was bred on a farm, enjoying the educational advantages of the schools in the vicinity of his home. At the age of fifteen years he left home, went to Webster, Merrimac Co., N. H., and entered the store of Wyatt Boyden, a merchant of that place, to whom he was indentured until the age of twenty-one years. Mr. Boyden was an intelligent merchant, but a strict, not to say hard master, and under his tuition young Giles acquired the exact and methodical business habits which have characterized his subsequent successful business career. His apprenticeship being ended at the age of twenty-one, he made what at that time would be deemed a quite extensive tour of observation through New England and New York, prior to deciding on a permanent location. He finally, at the age of twenty-two, first embarked in business for himself at Littleton, N. H., where he opened a general store and dealt considerably in real estate. He was fairly successful and continued there in business until June 1, 1854, at which time he first came West, spending the summer of that year in Chicago. The exciting reports of the border ruffian efforts to capture Kansas for slavery, and the plots of Stringfellow and his co-adjutors to overwhelm the anti-slavery settlers at the ballot-box, instead of intimidating Mr. Giles, impelled him to go to Kansas with the determination to cast his lot with the then oppressed and outraged minority of Free-state settlers, and with them to fight the unequal battle for freedom. He accordingly came to Kansas, arriving at Kansas City on the steamboat "Genoa," the last boat up the Missouri, on one of the last days of November, 1854. Daniel H. Horne, T. G. Thornton, Timothy McIntire, Jonas E. Greenwood, George F. Crow, William C. Linaker, L. G. Cleaveland, and S. A. Clark, started with Mr. Giles, on foot, for Lawrence, which point they reached December 2. Here a party was formed of which Mr. Giles was one to go further up the river to examine the merits of the locality where Topeka now stands, as to its advantages as the site of a future town. Here the party arrived on Monday evening, December 4, 1854, and being pleased with the locality, on the following morning, organized a town company, and decided there to "build a city," which has since grown to be the capital and leading city of Kansas. The details of the early settlement of the town are given in their proper historical connection. Mr. Giles was one of the original founders of Topeka, where he has ever since resided, being intimately identified with every stage and phase of its growth, from its earliest infancy to the present time. He was the first postmaster, appointed in 1855. He early saw the necessity, in the disorder that prevailed, of preserving some accurate record of the various claims and transfers of land titles until some recognized authority might be established. He accordingly took upon himself, gratuitously, the thankless task of keeping a private record of all land conveyances made in Topeka, which record was afterward legalized by act of the Legislature, and adopted as part of the records of the county. No higher endorsement of the business foresight and acknowledged mercantile honesty and accuracy of Mr. Giles could be evinced than that shown in the above. He was elected by the Free-state party, in 1857, to the office of County Recorder and County Clerk, which office he filled until 1860. At that time he turned his energies more strictly to business pursuits. He was a Notary Public, was extensively engaged in the important trust of settling or administering on estates, was the leading conveyancer of the city, an express agent, dealt largely in real estate, and during the closing years of the war attended to the prosecution, or obtaining, of soldiers' claims. During this time no man in Topeka was so nearly acknowledged as the fiduciary agent of the whole community as he. June 1, 1864, Mr. Giles commenced the business of banking, thus becoming the first banker in Topeka. In 1866 he entered into a co-partnership with C. W. Jewell, and continued the banking business under the firm name of F. W. Giles & Co., until April 1, 1872, at which time he, with associates, organized the Topeka National Bank, he becoming president of the bank which succeeded to the business of his firm. He continued its president until it was succeeded by the Topeka State Bank, which traces its lineage to the modest but sound little banking house established in 1864, and its parentage to Mr. Giles, the first banker of Topeka, who founded it. Nearly the whole business life of Mr. Giles has been spent in Topeka, and he is closely and honorably identified with nearly every enterprise that has been an important element in its moral or material progress and prosperity. In the multiplicity of his business cares he has ever found time and seized opportunities to identify himself with all public movements for the establishment of a high grade of schools, the fostering of religious organizations, and the encouragement of benevolent institutions in the community in which he still lives, enjoying the respect and esteem which his unostentatious work justly merits. Mr. Giles was married to Miss Caroline A. Fellows, daughter of Capt. Moses Fellows, and Mehitable (Eastman) Fellows, July 10, 1844.

J. F. GODDARD, traffic manager Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. Was born in Plymouth County, Mass., January 10, 1843. He was educated in the district and high schools of his native State. In 1857 commenced clerking in mercantile establishments in Boston, Mass., in which occupation he continued until the breaking out of the late war. In the spring of 1862 he enlisted in Company D, Forty-fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. After a few months service was detailed to service in the Quartermaster's Department of North Carolina, remaining in this department until 1867, the last two years as civil clerk. After a short interval spent in Colorado he settled in Chicago, Ill. In 1868 he received a clerkship in the general offices of the C. B. & Q. R. R. Was appointed assistant freight agent January 1, 1872. During the years 1874 and 1875 held the position of general freight agent of the Hannibal & St. Joe. R. R. in the latter year returning to the C. B. & Q. R. R., when after acting a few months as claim agent he was reappointed to his old position. First became connected with the A., T. & S. F. R. R. July 1, 1878, as general freight agent, being appointed to present position December 1, 1882.

A. GOLDSTANDT & BRO., dealers in clothing and gents' furnishings, carry the most elegant stock of clothing to be found in the West. Although having been located at Topeka but a little over a year they have made for themselves an enviable reputation for square dealing. Representations made by this firm can be relied on implicitly. There are a few merchant tailors who are capable of getting up as fine suits as can be obtained at this establishment. Their line of furnishing goods, hats, caps, etc. has been selected with the same attention to the requirements of the people. This firm also carries on a large dry goods and clothing store at Wamego, where they have been doing a lucrative business for several years.

I. E. GORHAM was born near Avon, Fulton Co., Ill., December 14, 1839. He lived in his native town until 1865, when he went to Odell, Ill., and there resided until he came to Kansas, and located in Topeka, December, 1870. He engaged in fire insurance business, in which he still continues January, 1871; also, in the sale of agricultural implements, which business he has continued until the present time. R. J. Hulett is now associated with him under the firm name of Gorham & Hulett. Mr. Gorham is a strong Republican, having been identified with the party ever since he was of age. For several years he has been Chairman of the Sixty-fourth District Republican Committee. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. Mr. Gorham was married near Avon, January 9, 1861, to Eliza A. Patterson, of Union County, Pa. Their three sons died in infancy, their only living child being Jennie.

[TOC] [part 24] [part 22] [Cutler's History]