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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


P. E. Gilman

It would scarcely be possible within the borders of the United States to find a greater difference in climate than exists between the most northeasterly and the most southwesterly states in the Union. Mr. Gilman thoroughly appreciates the difference, having been reared in the former, and although he still has the kindliest feeling toward his boyhood home and all its surroundings, still he is grateful that the tide in his affairs turned his footsteps in the direction of California, where for nearly a quarter of a century he has enjoyed its unexcelled climate and at the same time made a success of whatever he has undertaken in a business way.

Main was Mr. Gilman’s native state, born in Houlton May 27, 1859, the son of Charles E. and Augusta (Tucker) Gilman, old-time residents of Main, where the mother died in young womanhood, in 1868. The father was a well-known and prosperous business man of Houlton, in which locality he owned large farming interests, besides which he owned large lumber interests, in fact, was one of the largest lumber merchants in the Bangor section. After giving up his large business interests in that northern state he retired from business can came to California to spend his declining years in the salubrious, life-giving climate which has no equal. Here his earth life came to a close at the age of eighty-two years.

When he had arrived at the age of fifteen years. P. E. Gilman had received all the training in schools that was to be his, and had begun his business career, at that age taking a position in a clothing house in his native town. He continued with his first employer for ten years continuously, being promoted from time to time, but being attacked with the western fever about this time all inducements to continue in the east proved futile. His first move toward the setting sun took him to Minneapolis, Minn., where for two years he was employed in a clothing house, work with which he was familiar through long training in his native town. After giving up his position in Minneapolis he struck out for the newer west, going to Montana, where as a cow-boy on the range he enjoyed the free, out-door life of the ranchman for two years. This experience whetted his appetite for a taste of life in the far west , and in 1888 he completed the journey across the continent, going to the metropolis of the Pacific coast, San Francisco, and one year later coming to Santa Rosa, which has continued to be his home and the scene of his activities ever since. It was quite natural that in locating in his new surroundings Mr. Gilman should seek employment with which he was familiar, and this he found in the general store of D. N. Carouthers Company, where he was given charge of the clothing department, continuing with this company for the following twenty-one years. In the meantime he had made investments in real-estate form time to time, bought and sold five houses, besides buying and selling a number of ranches, until finally he felt justified in giving up his position and turning his entire attention upon the real-estate business. This he did February 1, 1910, and with T. J. Davis as a partner, under the firm name of Davis & Gilman, a very satisfactory business in the line has since been conducted. Although they have been in business but a short time comparatively, many valuable properties have changed hands through their office, and judging from the high-class of work which they have thus far handled a bright and profitable outlook awaits them.

After coming to Santa Rosa, in 1892, Mr. Gilman was married to Miss Harriett E. Tucker, the daughter of Mace Tucker, who was one of the pioneer settlers in the state and a prosperous cattle dealer in Sonoma county. Two daughters have been born of the marriage of Mr. Gilman and his wife, Gladys, an artist in oils who has gained considerable distinction, and Barbara. In fraternal circles Mr. Gilman is well and favorably known, especially in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which he joined in young manhood, becoming a member of Houlton Lodge No. 53. Though not a pioneer of California, Mr. Gilman is entitled to recognition among the upbuilding factors of the community in which he settled, Santa Rosa being vastly benefited by his citizenship of almost a quarter of a century.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011