JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
BIOGRAPHIES

Alvin Gilbert



ALVIN GILBERT.  How frequently is it the case that natural ability and 
energy combined accomplish truly wonderful results, raising a man from 
poverty to the importance and publicity that wealth brings.  The subject 
of this sketch commenced life with virtually nothing so far as finances 
go, and has by dint of good judgment, pleasing address and energy 
amassed quite a comfortable fortune.  At this writing he is living upon 
his valuable farm, including six hundred and forty broad acres on 
section 25, Blissville Township, Jefferson County.

Mr. Gilbert was born in Washington County, Ohio, March 3, 1839, and is 
the youngest child of Eli and Susan M. (Gale) Gilbert.  The father was a 
native of Washington County, N.H., and was born in 1789.  He was a cloth 
dresser by trade, and the year of our subject's birth he emigrated to 
Illinois, making the journey down the Ohio River in a flat-boat to 
Shawneetown, whence he came overland to Jefferson County.   After coming 
to the Prairie State, he turned his attention to farm pursuits, which he 
followed in connection with operating  a store at Williamsburg, and 
later at Ashley, this state, until his decease.  His property was 
located where our subject now resides, and was embellished with all the 
improvements of a first-class estate.  He died in 1875, at the age of 
eighty-six years; his good wife had departed this life some years previous.

Alvin Gilbert received his education in the country schools, and 
remained at home assisting his father in cultivating his estate until 
reaching his twentieth year, when he began farming on his own account at 
his present place.  Two years later he removed to Ashley, where he was 
engaged in clerking in his father's store for two years, and then 
returned to his farm.  For some time he has been interested in dealing 
in stock, and buys and ships each year a carload of mules.  He has one 
of the finest farms in the county, and his life has been an eminently 
useful and successful one.

Alvin Gilbert and Miss Anna M. Watkins were united in marriage June 4, 
1859.  The lady is the daughter of Jacob R. Watkins, a native of 
Virginia, who came to Illinois in 1853.   Their union has resulted in 
the birth of six children, as follows: Walter J., who married Miss 
Linnie Dodds and is a resident of this county; Thomas E., who married 
Isabel Crane and also lives here; Orloff Watkins, who died when 
twenty-five years of age; Linnie, who married Walter Philps and makes 
her home in this county; Maggie and Maude, who are at home with their 
parents.  At the time of his demise, Orloff W. was engaged in the 
clothing business at Mt. Vernon, and was a prominent Knight of Pythias.

Though not a member of any denomination, our subject rather includes 
toward the Universalist belief, while Mrs. Gilbert is a member of and 
regular attendant at the Methodist Church.   He is a Republican in 
politics, and is interested in local and national issues, and as a 
liberal-spirited citizen is ever ready to aid in all matters of public 
enterprise.  Although never aspiring to office, he has been Collector of 
his township for two terms and is quite prominent in local affairs.


"Portrait and Biographical Record of Clinton, 
Washington, Marion and Jefferson Counties, Illinois"
Published by Chapman Publishing Company of Chicago in 1894

Submitted by Sandy (Whalen) Bauer

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