HISTORY OF MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS DESCRIPTIVE OF ITS SCENERY,
AND

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS.

Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia 1879

Page 231

J. W. GILSON was a native of Pennsylvania. He was of Scotch ancestry on the paternal side, and on the maternal Scotch-Irish. He married Miss M. Merrewether. She was a native of Louisville, Ky., and was a resident of that state at the time of her marriage. Mr. Gilson emigrated to and settled in Brighton as early as 1836. During his life he was chiefly engaged in general merchandising, speculating in real estate, and stock raising. He was of an enterprising turn of mind, and to him is due the credit of building up the town of Brighton. He was more than ordinarily successful in all of his business ventures, and at his death was possessed of considerable property. When he came west he was penniless and without friends, but by energy and economical habits and rare judgment he soon succeeded in placing himself in the front rank with the prosperous business men of his adopted county. His activity continued until his death, which occurred the 29th of August, 1864. His wife died August, 1873. Seven children were born to them, four of whom have survived the parents. Mrs. M.S. Brown, who resides at the old homestead in Brighton, and Mrs. H.H. Herdman are the two daughters living; E.P., the eldest son, after graduating at the Blackburn University, read law in the office of Hon. Lyman Trumbull, and is now a practicing attorney in Carrollton, Greene county, Illinois, and Dr. George H. resides at Shipman. During his life, Mr. Gilson was an active and consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, and took a prominent part in that organization.


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