After a lingering illness, Uncle Philo GILBERT passed peacefully away at his home,
corner of Broadway and First street, at 5 o'clock this morning, his vitality having been
exhausted by the long drain upon his condition by a malignant attack of locomotor ataxia,
complicated by other troubles. Few men had lived longer in the county, or were better
known than Mr. Gilbert, and his death removes a conspicuous pioneer and highly estimable
citizen. He was born of sturdy New England stock in Washington county, O., June 14, 1821,
consequently was but a few days more than 78 years of age. His father, Eli GILBERT,
emigrated from the ancestral home in Vermont to Ohio in 1818, where he resided till the
autumn of 1839, when he removed with his family to Jefferson county Illinois and settled
in Knob Prairie. The elder Gilbert ws the father of fifteen sons and two daughters, twelve
of whom came to this county with their parents, arriving here fifty-eight years ago on the
25th of last October, the others coming here at a subsequent date.
The subject of this sketch was married to Mrs. Harriet TAYLOR, August 15, 1845, from
which three children were born, two sons and one daughter, were born on of which,
Philo Menzes GILBERT, died in infancy. Of the remaining children, James E. GILBERT,
died in 1889, leaving the daughter, Mrs. Susan C. Wells, who resides in this city, as the
sole survivor. Deceased was a prosperous and progressive farmer, first near the old homestead
in Knob Prairie and afterwards in Wolf Prairie.
He continued to reside upon the farm and direct its affairs till 1880 when he retired from
active business and came to Mt. Vernon. He was a member of the Univeralist church.
When Mr. GILBERT came to Illinois, this part of the state was largely a wilderness, there
being but a sparse population. It was in this county in 1840 that Mr. GILBERT cast his
first vote for president of the United States. Although only 19 years of age, he voted for
Henry Harrison. It was not unusual for boys to vote at in that in early day and Mr. GILBERT
and hs brother Cyrus, two years his junior, were permitted to vote through the laxity of the
judges of the election. Of the fourteen brothers and two sisters who came to Illinois with
Eli GILBERT in 1830, all are dead except Iva, Cyrus Alvin, and Raynor GILBERT and
Mrs. Lois ISOM of Grove Springs, Wright county, Mo.
The funeral cortege will leave the late residence of the deceased on West Broadway at
2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, for Salem Church, where the obsequies will be conducted
by Rev. John HUGHES of Table Grove, Ill., assisted by Pastor MINOR of the local
Universalist congregation. The interment will be at Salem cemetery. Friends of the family invited.
June 17, 1899 Mt. Vernon Register News
Submitted By: Sharlet Bigham LaBarbera
Nov 5, 1997