Genealogy Trails - Jersey County, Illinois

Volunteers Dedicated to Free Genealogy
Real Data - Always Free & Always Updating!
Genealogy - Preserving the Past - Inspiring the Future!

Return to Home Page

Return to Biography Index

Surnames - G -

Gillham, Richard C., - a substantial farmer and stockman of Jersey County, holds the confidence and respect of all who know him. He as born in the county, May 25, 1853, a son of Marcus Gillham. Marcus Gillham was born in Madison County, Ill., in 1810, where his parents had settled upon coming to Illinois from North Carolina. In 1818, the family moved to Jersey County and entered land here from the government. Here Marcus Gillham grew to manhood, and when his country had need of him, during the Black Hawk War, he served it as a soldier, and during his period of service was injured by being thrown from his horse, and was sent back home for disability. The remainder of his life he was engaged in merchandising, and he died in 1876. The mother, a native of Tennessee, ws brought by her parents to Jersey County in her girlhood, and was reared in the vicinity of Newbern. She died in 1882. Their children were as follows: Laura P., who is now Mrs. John W. Dodson, resides in Jersey County; William, who resides in Jersey County; Mary C., who is now Mrs. L. H. Palmer, resides in Jersey County; and Richard C., whose name heads this review.

Richard C. Gillham attended the schools of his district until he was sixteen years of age, and then he began to put to practical use the lessons in farming he had taken from his father, and proved so efficient that he had been engaged in agricultural pursuits ever since Mr. Gillham owns 360 acres of land in Mississippi Township, and conducts it in such a manner as to add to his own prosperity, and to the prestige of his township as an agricultural center.

On October 14, 1875, Richard C. Gillham was married to Miss Ida Chappell, born in Macoupin County, Ill., near Carlinville, March 16, 1858. Mr. and Mrs. Gillham have the following children: Charley C., who lives on the farm adjoining his father, married Martha Dempsey of Jersey County, and they have two children, Ruth and Theda I.; Cora M., who is now Mrs. Harry Beatty, lives at Alton, Ill., and has two childdren, Stewart and Anna Louisa; Luther M., who lives with his father, married Miss Edna Watson of Alton, Ill., and they have one child, Edith L., and two who died in infancy.

Gilmore, James - who is engaged in farming and fishing, is one of the men who is well and favorably known at Grafton. He was born in Mason County, Ill., a son of George and Millie (Morgan) Gilmore. George Gilmore was born at Bowling Green, Ky., being of Irish descent. Moving to Jersey County, he engaged in farming, buying a large property. His children were as follows: Joseph, who is deceased; William, who is deceased; James; Sarah, who is deceased; Mary Jane, who lives at Alton, Ill.; Charles, who lives at Pawnee, Neb., where he owns a farm; Lizzie, who is deceased; and Martha, who lives at Jerseyville.

The birth of James Gilmore occurred March 4, 1849, and he went to school until he was sixteen years old, at that time beginning to work for his father. As soon as he attained his majority, he began farming on his own account, and he has been very successful. He has also been engaged in fishing since 1898. When Mr. Gilmore was twenty-five years old, he was married to Sarah Claridge, and their children were as follows: Laura, Norah and Roxy, who are deceased; George M., who lives at Grafton; and Rector, who is in the United States Army.

After the death of his first wife, Mr. Gilmore was married (second) to Mary Frances Miller, an old schoolmate, who saved Sarah Claridge from drowning when they were children. Sarah fell into an old mill pond, and Mary Frances, with remarkable presence of mind, pulled her little companion out of the water. Mr. Gilmore is a Baptist. In politics he is a Democrat. A man of sound principles, he stands well with his community.

Gilworth, Elmer C. - one of the extensive landowners of Jersey County, operates about 320 acres of land in Jersey and Ruyle Townships, and is actively interested in agricultural matters. He was born in Ruyle Township, Octover 14, 1879, a son of Harvey and Mary Ann (Pritchett) Gilworth, born in Ruyle Township. The grandfathers, John Gilworth and John Harrison Pritchett, were early settlers of Ruyle Township. After their marriage, the parents of Elmer C. Gilworth settled in Ruyle Township on what was known as Hawkins Prairie, where the father owned 120 acres of land, but in 1905 he moved to Medora, Ill., where he is living retired. His children are as follows: Edward, who lives at Medora, Ill.; Ida, who is Mrs. French Farrow, of St. Louis, Mo.; and Lottie and Elmer C.

During his boyhood, Elmer C. Gilworth attended the Hawkins Prairie district school, and when old enough to begin working for himself, he rented land from F. J. Means of Ruyle Township for a year, and then rented another farm from Preston Randolph for fourteen years, farming 160 acres of that land and eighty acres belonging to his mother, and he still resides on the Randolph farm. In the meanwhile, he has bought 380 acres and has half interest in 134 acres, eighty acres being in Jersey Township, and the balance in Ruyle Township. He farms about 320 acres and rents the remainder of his holdings, raising mules, cattle and hogs, and in partnership with V. J. Ruff, buys and ships cattle and hogs.

On February 26, 1902, Mr. Gilworth was married to Alma Armstrong, born in Fidelity Township, a daughter of William and Rebecca (Price) Armstrong, born in Macoupin County, Ill. Mr. and Mrs. Gilworth have two children, namely: Leo Claude and Walter Dean. Mr. Gilworth attends the Baptist Church. He is a Republican and has served two terms as a school director.

Goodrich, Ralph C. - a contractor and builder of Grafton, who has been connected with some of the best contracts in his line in this part of the county, was born in Quarry Township, January 19, 1869, a son of Ralph C. and Lucinda (Caldwell) Goodrich. Ralph C. Goodrich was a blacksmith, born near New Haven, Conn., who came to Illinois in young manhood, and worked at his trade which he had learned in his native city, in the employ of the New Haven Cutlery Company. He learned how to temper steel, and his son has a razor which his father made a few years prior to his death, that he uses in shaving. Upon coming to Jersey County, the father located in Otter Creek Township, and operated a shop behind Salem Church, continuing actively engaged in his trade until within three years prior to his demise, when he met with an accident, being kicked by a horse which so injured him that he never recovered and that finally caused his death. The family is an old English one and a maternal grandfather ws Lord Churchill, of England. It is a rather remarkable circumstance that Ralph C. Goodrich, Sr., was one in a family of nine children: his wife was also one in a family of nine, and they had nin children of their own. One son, J. C. Goodrich, is head carpenter at the Powder Mill, Grafton.

Ralph C. Goodrich, Jr. attended the schools of Elsah until he was fourteen years old, and then began working in a stone quarry at Grafton, so continuing for twenty years, when he branched out as a contractor and builder, and he has secured the contracts for some of the most important building operations at Grafton and in the vicinity, among them being that for the handsome and substantial three-story brick hotel. Mr. Goodrich is a member of the Knights of pythias, and is deputy grand chancellor of his district. An Odd Fellw, he has passed all the chairs and he also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. A sound, reliable and enterprising business man, he deserves the prospertiy to which he has attained.

Gotter, Godfrey - one of the heavy landowners and stockraisers of Piasa Township, owns and operates a fine farm on sections 10, 11, and 14. He was born in Prussia, Germany, October 8, 1841, a son of Frederick and Johanna (Scheple) Gotter, who in 1858 came to the Untied States, and after spending a few months at Sheyboygan, Wis., the son went to work in the copper mines of Michigan.

Godfrey Gotter learned the trade of a stonemason, and built many of the stamp houses at different copper mines. He is a good businessman. After the close of the Civil War he went to New Orleans, La., where he bought and sold cotton, and was also interested in various lines of business in Tennessee and St. Louis, Mo., and he also worked at his trade in St. Louis, where he remained for eleven years. While there, he bought several pieces of property in the central part of the city, which in 1875, he traded for 430 acres of fine land, of which 300 acres were cleared, all located in Piasa Township, Jersey County, Ill. In 1902, he added 140 acres more to his farm, and he is now egaged in raising cattle, horses and hogs upon an extensive scale. Within recent years he has sold 110 acres to his son.

In May, 1867, Godfrey Gotter was married to Sarah Christman of Bavaria, Germany, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Cruse) Christman. Mrs. Gotter came to the United States from Germany in 1866, stopping at St. Louis, Mo. Mr. and Mrs. Gotter became the parents of the following children: William, who lives at Sayre, Okla., was married to Elizabeth Schreader, and their children are Edward, Fred, Hazel and Stella; Albert, who lives at St. Louis, Mo., was married to Meda Smith, and they have one son, Fletcher; Julia, who is Mrs. Bernard Johnson of St. Louis,, Mo., has a son, Godfrey; George, who lives at Sayre, Okla.; Fred, who lives at St. Louis, Mo., was married to Paulina Thabenstriet, and their one son, Elmer, is deceased; Godfrey; Clara, who is Mrs. Henry Stamm of Macoupin County, Ill., has two children, George and Alvin; Alice who is Mrs. Henry Thabenstriet of St. Louis, Mo., has a son, Robert; John, who lives in Piasa Township, was married to Olga Wieser, and their chldren are Ermas, Alice and John Jr.; and Johannah, who lives at home. Mr. Gotter belongs to the German Evangelical Church. In politics he is a Republican, and he has served as a school director for over thirty-five years. His fraternal connections are with the Odd Fellows of St. Louis.

Green, Herman - one of the leading general contractors of Jerseyville, and a man well and widely known throughout Jersey County, was born in Jersey County, January 24, 1872, a son of Lewis and Rhoda (Cope) Green, natives of Madison and Jersey Counties, Ill. The mother died about 1913.

While attending school Herman Green made himself useful in his spare time as his age would permit and began to be self supporting at the age of fourteen years working on a farm, so continuing until he attained his majority. He then engaged in farming on his own account and continued as a farmer until 1897, when he embarked in a teaming business. After five years in this line at Jerseyville, he became a cabinetmaker, and in 1910, branched out into general contarcting, and has executed some very desirable contracts in Jerseyville and the vicinity, and farther away, as some of his contracts have come from as great a distance as Mexico, Mo., where he put up a business block. His work has always been well done and satisfactory. In addition to his contracting business he maintains a fully equipped carpenter shop.

In August, 1893, Mr. Green was married to Ida May Storey, born in Macoupin County, Ill., a daughter of George Storey, a native of England. Mr. and Mrs. Green became the parents of the following chldren: Jessie Helen, who is Mrs. Josie Hicks of Alton, Ill.; Ida Vida, who is Mrs. Ray Smith, of Jerseyville; Virgil, who lives at Alton, Ill,; Mildred F., who is at home; Beulah Irene; Velma Fay; Theodore Maurice and Juanita. The family belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically, Mr. Green is a Democrat, and fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America.

Grimes, Jarret Tramel - now deceased, had the distinction of being the first white child born in what is now Jersey County, and was a remarkable man in many ways and one who was held in highest respect and even affection by his associates. He was born, January 20, 1820, a son of Phillip and Polly (Boyd) Grimes. He was born in Oldtown, Va., and she in Tennessee. They came to Illinois in 1818, by way of Missouri, in covered wagons, and entered over 2,000 acres from the government in what later became Jersey County.

In 1839, Jarret Tramel Grimes was married to Charity Brown, who was born at Portage Des Sioux, Mo,. May 3, 1829, a daughter of Joseph and Polly (Piper) Brown, natives of Virginia, who located in Missouri. Later Joseph Brown traveled to Grafton, Ill., on a ferry boat, and located in what is now Jersey Township. A southern planter, holding somewhat advanced views with regard to slavery, he freed his slaves when he decided to settle in Missouri. However he was so beloved by them that several of the freed slaves afterward accompanied him to Illinois. The paternal grandfather, Phillip Grimes, served in the Black Hawk War and also in the War of 1812, and the muskey he carried is still in possession of the family. He was with victorious troops at the famous battle of New Orleans, in 1815, under General Jackson.

After his marriage, Jarret Tramel Grimes settled on a farm in a log cabin, and carried on general farming for many years. Here he and his wife had born to them the follwing children: Philip, who died in Nebraska, November 2, 1910; Edward, who lives at Raymond, Montgomery County, Ill,; Joseph, sho died at the age of ten years; James Know, who died at the age of sixty-eight years, November 6, 1914; Mary, who is the widow of Uriah Hartwich, of Raymond, Ill.; Jarret T., who died in infancy; Isabel, who is on the home farm; Robert, who died at the age of eight years; and Florence, who also is the owner of the home farm. Mr. Grimes was practically a self educated man, and certainly was a self made one. In boyhod, he walked barefoot a distance of four miles to school until snow came, when his mother made moccasins out of deer hide for him. In his early life he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically, he was a Democrat. A Blue Lodge and Chapter Mason, he took deep interest in his order and also belonged to the Eastern Star. Mrs. Grimes died, July 21, 1876, but Mr. Grimes lived until July 11, 1915. A man of sound principles and high ideas, he lived up to what he believed was right and did unto others much better than he expected them to do to him.

Gross, Joseph - one of the prosperous general farmers and stockraisers of Rulye Township, is a man of consequence in his neighborhood. He was born in West Baden, Germany, February 1, 1856, a son of William and Catherine (Peaton) Gross, who in 1857 crossed the Atlantic Ocean and located in Ruyle Township, Jersey County, Ill., there buying eighty acres of timberland, which the father lived long enough to clear and improve, although he died in 1877. The mother lived until January 21, 1895.

Joseph Gross grew up on the farm and went to the Hawkins Prairie district school. At the age of twenty years on November 19, 1874, he was married to Sarah Schimmehorne, born in LaGrange County, Ind., a daughter of James and Charlotte (Prough) Schimmehorne, natives of Indiana and Ohio, respectively. They came to Jersey County, Ill., in 1867. After his marriage, Joseph Gross remained with his parents for a year and then moved to an eight-acre farm owned by his father, fifteen acres of which were cleared of timber. After his father died, he bought the farm from the other heirs, and has made on it all the present improvements, including the buildings and has added to his holdings until there now are 200 acres in the farm of which about sixty acres are in timber and the balance is under cultivation. On this land Mr. Gross raises horses, cattle and hogs and carried on general farming meeting with success that is gratifying.

Mr. and Mrs. Gross became the parents of the following children: Mary E., who was born September 12, 1876, is Mrs. George Morhman, of Fidelity Township, John W., who was born November 20, 1878, died April 14, 1914; Curtis J., who was born July 20, 1884, lives in Ruyle Township; Charlotte G., who was born January 6, 1887, died December 6, 1915, the wife of John Williams; and Ada C., who was born June 6, 1889, married W. F. Bennett and lives in Macoupin County, Ill. Mr. Gross is a member of the Bethel Baptist Church, of which he has been a trustee for many years. He is a Democrat and served for one term as tax collector and for three as road supervisor.

Source: History of Jersey County Illinois, 1919
Edited by Oscar Hamilton
President Jersey County Historical Society, 1919
(Actual Book Pages 497 - 664)(PDF Pages 632 - 799)