JEFFERSON COUNTY IL 
OBITUARIES

Mrs. Emily Gilbert:

Augusta Emily Hirons-GILBERT, eldest daughter of Sidney and 
Rhoda Place was born Aug. 2, 1828 in the state of Ohio and departed 
this life July 6, 1916 at the ripe old age of 87 years, 11 months and 
4 days. She was united in marriage with Benjamin Level Hirons 
March 23rd 1848. 
To this union three sons were born. John C., who died Jan.30, 1883, 
aged almost 35 years, Sidney T. who died June 13, 1910, aged 60 years, 
and Luther B. who died Dec.31, 1903, aged 54 years.
All her children grew to manhood and became useful men in this community, 
but all preceeed the mohter to the spirit land.Immediately after her 
marriage, she and her husband began housekeeping in a log cabin on the 
hill where she lived, continuously up to the time of her death. A year 
after her marriage her husband became a cripple, unable to look after his
farming and livestock interests as he had done, and these duties developed 
upon the wife and little boys. In this work she was very successful and by 
and through the experience thus obtained made her life a notable one for 
the resolute manner and business-like way in which she conducted her 
affairs. 
She was an untiring worker, devoted to her home, her family, and 
her children, ever mindful of the poor and unfortunate ones in the 
community around her. She was especially noted for her many charitable 
deeds, living as she did during the Civil war, was a time that tried 
men’s souls and brought forth the loyalty and devotion of the wives, 
mothers, sisters and sweet-hearts, and this opportunity was made use of 
by grandma to aid and assist in every way possible those gallant boys 
who wore the blue and who were giving their lives, their all for the 
salvation of their county. She was one of the first as well as one of 
the most liberal in responding to the needs of the soldiers with clothing 
and all things necessary to their welfare whether in the hospital, sick 
or wounded, on the march on in the tent. An incident is related of her 
riding from Knob Prairie on horse back in the month of December, probably 
in the year of 1863, to the home of Aunt Hannah Ketchum in Ashley, about 
fourteen miles, where she and Aunt Hannah worked all night baking bread 
and cookies which were sent to the soldiers the next morning. 
Many times she rode miles and miles over this country gathering up linen
which was torn into strips, scraped, sewed and rolled in form for bandages
for the purpose of being used to bind up the wounds of the soldier boys, 
and also yarn which was knit into socks by herself and other patriotic 
and loyal women of the community. 
It is said of her, and said truly, that never was there a decendent of 
hers born into this world but what Grandma was one of the first to visit 
the home of the little strangeer to make to the little one her customary 
donation of money or some useful article to minister to the needs of the 
child, so you see benedictions of charity did not end with the war. 
Whenever she heard of a family losing their home by fire she was soon 
seen wending her way toward the needly and ofttimes almost helpless 
family, with food and clothing and whatever was for the comfort and 
assitance of the unfortunate ones, often leaving with them more to these 
things than they possessed before. Many are the incidents that might be 
related in the life of this remarkable woman, of her many kind acts and
noble deeds and what a blessed thought it is that comes welling up in 
our minds to say "She had done all she could". 
Some years after the death of Mr. Hirons, she was married to Cyrus Gilbert with
whom she lived until his death in 1902 and since that time she has made 
her home with Mrs. Mattie Hirons, where she has been attended with all 
the care and devotion that could be given to a mother. Grandma always 
appreciated her neighbors and frieds visit her and the diary she wrote 
during the many years of her life made mention of many of these visits 
as well as other useful and valuable information. She was always a great 
reader, but not of fiction, but of her Bible and the daily papers
and in this way she became well informed and was able to hold intelligent
conversations on the curent events of the day, and probably to this habit
may be attributed her strong mind which she retained even to the close of
earth life. Keeping up with the spirit of the times made her an 
interesting conversationist and it was a delight to any one to hold 
conversation with her.
She lived the live of the present filled with a bountiful supply of 
knowledge of the past, and she was a woman of unusually good judgement, 
resolute in purpose and in her convictions. 
She leaves to mourn her departure two brothers, Isaac Place of Palmer, 
Neb., and Luther Place of St. Frances Mo., sixteen grandchildren and 
nineteen great-grandchildren. 
Aunt Em as she was so familiarly called, began her wedded life on 
this hill, Knob Prairie as it has always been called, where her funeral
was held on Saturday, July 8, 1916 at three o’clock. She was a charter 
member of the first Universalist Church ever organized in this community 
and has always been one of our most devoted and loyal members, never 
missing a service when able to attend. The funeral was conducted by 
her pastor, Rev. J. B. Foster on the lawn where she made her home and 
was largely attended by relatives and friends. The floral offerings 
were many. Internment took place at Knob Prairie Cemetery.
The loved ones have the sympathy of the entire community. 
 

 
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