REV. JAVAN GIBSON, the owner of the farm located on section 20, North Otter Township, has for some time been the shepherd of the little flock of the German Baptist Church at West Otter Creek. He is a Southerner by birth, his father being Isham Gibson, who was born in Tennessee. His mother, Elizabeth (Gates) Gibson, was a native of Kentucky. They early removed to this State, settling in Morgan County in 1829, where they lived until 1846, and then removed to Macoupin County, where they lived until 1871. They then went to Bates County, Mo., where they died.
Our subject is one of twelve children, of whom he was the fourth child. He was born in Morgan County, this State, March 5, 1835. He spent his early life in his natal place until he reached eleven years of age, and then with his parents removed to Macoupin County, where the years were spent until he reached manhood. Until his marriage he made his home in his father's house, after which he settled in North Palmyra township.
The first marriage of Mr. Gibson was with Miss Mary Cummings, and the bridal ceremony took place March 13, 1856. The lady was a daughter of William and Julia (Davis) Cummings, both of Kentucky. Her father died in Girard, this State; the mother still survives. Mrs. Gibson was born in Palmyra township March 7, 1836. She presented her husband with nine children who are named as follows: Julia E., Amanda J., Ida A., Emlus N., Sarah B., Albert Q., William M., Lillian M., and Olly B. The oldest child and daughter is the wife of Oscar Carr; the second daughter married J. W. Crump; Ida A. is the wife of Peter Brubaker; Sarah B. died in infancy; Lillian M. is the wife of G. W. Wrightsman. Mr. Gibson's first wife died in North Otter Township, April 2, 1889.
Our subject was again married in Montgomery County, this State, December 1, 1890. His bride was Mrs. Elizabeth (Studebaker) Leer, daughter of John E. and Mary (Neff) Studebaker, and widow of the Rev. Abraham S. Leer, who died in Christian County, this State, January 6, 1883. The family comprises four children by that marriage. They are Asa A., who married Leotha Mertz; John W. married Martha E. Shull; Elma N., and Laura E.
Mrs. Elizabeth Gibson was born in Elkhart County, Ind., July 2, 1846. Our subject has taken a deep interest in educational affairs and has held various offices in the school district. He is also an active worker in the church, a member of the German Baptist Church, as is his wife and family. He has always been engaged in agricultural work and now owns one hundred and sixty-eight acres in North Otter Township. With the exception of some eight or ten months Mr. Gibson has always resided in Morgan or Macoupin Counties. In that short interval he lived in Jackson County, Mo. For many years he was a Deacon in the church and since 1874 has been a preacher. In 1883 he was appointed pastor of the West Otter Creek Church. Mrs. Gibson's first husband, the Rev. Abraham S. Leer, was elected to the ministry in 1870 and in August, 1876, he became pastor of Bear Creek Church in Christian County, and was thus engaged at the time of his death. John E. Studebaker, the father of Mrs. Gibson, was for a long time Deacon in the German Baptist Church. The Rev. Isham Gibson was an Elder in the church from 1829 until he removed to Missouri and was a minister for upwards of fifty years.
Our subject has a fine place, bearing a good and commodious dwelling. His family are genial, pleasant people who are much liked in the community.