Augusta Emily Hirons 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
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
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.