GABRIEL PEAVLER, farmer, P.O. Spring Garden. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch, is probably one of the oldest settler in this part of the county. He was born on the Holstein river, in Sullivan County, Tenn., January 27, 1813, and is a son of Jacob and Margaret (Steward) Peavler. The parents were both born in Virginia, the father of German parents, the mother of Irish. Our subject was the youngest of four children, of whom two are living - James, in Cooper County, Mo., and Gabriel Peavler. When about seven months old, his father went to Norfolk, Va., where he enlisted in a Virginia regiment being formed to fight the British in the war of 1812. At that time the city of Norfolk itself was threatened, and the regiment was stationed at that point. While serving at his post, the father was stricken with an epidemic which was then raging in that town, and died, as did thousands of his comrades. The mother also died when the subject was about five years old, and he was left at the mercy of the world. His half brothers helped him some, however, and at the age of twelve he was bound out to a man by the name of Allan, at Monticello, Wayne Co., KY., and under him subject learned the trade of making and laying brick. He remained there until seventeen, and then deciding to follow that occupation for himself, he came to Clark County, Ind., and worked for some time at that point. Next went to Bloomfield, Greene County, and from there to Marion County, when Indianapolis was but a small village, and there he made and laid bricks on the State road leading from that point. The next few years were spent in running around in different points in Indiana working at his trade, and then made Washington County, Ind., his home. In regard to his education, our subject never had a chance to go to school but about a month in his life, but after he had settled down at this point, he first commenced to teach himself, and has since obtained a rather fair education. His first occupation in Washington County was that of farming, and followed that occupation for about two years and then went to Providence, Clark County, and there opened a grocery store which he conducted for nine months, and then sold that out and opened a dry goods store, but after running that store six months at that point, he went to Pekin, Washington County, and there carried on the same business. Here he ran a store for three years, and then turning his attention again to farming, he purchased a farm near that town, which he operated for nine years. In connection with his farm he also ran a store for the accommodations of his neighbors. In 1850, he came to Illinois and first settled in Clark County, where he both farmed and carried on a store. The first year of his residence there he opened up and put under cultivation a farm of 160 acres. In that county he lived six years, and then came to Spring Garden, Jefferson County, and settled on his present farm. Here he now owns about 456 acres in Section 22, 23, 26, and 27; has about 370 acres in cultivation - about eight acres in orchard. Mr. Peavler was married, November 27, 1834, in Washington County, Ind., to Nancy McKinney, a daughter of Alexander and Susannah (Turner) McKinney, natives of Virginia. This union resulted in twelve children, six of whom are now living - Dr. J.W. (whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work), born July 20, 1840; Mary Jane (wife of J.W. Fitzgerald), born December 31, 1842; Henrietta (wife of William H. Dorr), born September 3, 1844; W.T.C. (now in Huron, Dakota Territory), October 18, 1846; Nancy Frances (wife of George Will), October 20, 1858; and G.N.E., February 18, 1862. Our subject is a member of the Spring Garden Methodist Episcopal Church; also of Williams Lodge No. 242, I.O.O.F. In politics, is a Republican. Mrs. Peavler is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 

"History of Jefferson County" Wm. Henry Perrin
Submitted by: P. Davidson-Peters  
Oct 1, 2002 

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