Zachariah J. Gibson, one of the highly respected citizens and successful farmers of Hilyard township, Macoupin County, Illinois, still operates a farm of 80 acres, situated in section 22, this tract being all that he has retained from more than 200 acres that he once owned. Mr. Gibson comes of fine old Kentucky stock. He was born in Hardin County, June 11, 1839, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Jones) Gibson.
The father of our subject was a resident of Kentucky all his life, and died there in 1842. He had been the owner of farming land in Meade County, where he also held political office. He married Elizabeth Jones, who was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, and died in Macoupin County. She contracted a second marriage after Mr. Gibson's decease, with a Mr. Greenwood. Our subject is the sixth member of a family of 12 children, born to his parents, namely: Thomas; James; Green; Nathaniel, of Kentucky; Mrs. Maria C. Adams; Zachariah, of this sketch; Margaret; Joseph T.; and four who died in infancy. Our subject and his brother Nathaniel are now the only survivors.
Zachariah J. Gibson was nine years of age when he came to Macoupin County. His education was such as could be obtained in the district schools and his interests have always been of an agricultural nature. While he retained possession of a very large body of his land, he devoted much time to the raising of fine stock, but as he grew older, he sold farm after farm until he has but 80 acres under operation at the present time. This is finely cultivated and well improved and may be considered one of the best farms in Hilyard township. Formerly Mr. Gibson was connected with the Grange movement and was a member of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, but in late years his interests in these directions have lessened. He has demonstrated his capacity as a first class farmer and now, with the assistance of modern methods and machinery, lives in the greatest comfort and independence.
In 1864 Mr. Gibson married Mahala Leach, who was born in Macoupin County, Illinois, and is a daughter of Thomas and Sarah Leach, who are natives of England. The Leach family located in the southwestern section of Macoupin County when Carlinville consisted of but one log house. When they settled in Chesterfield township, their nearest neighbor was five miles away. Mr. and Mrs. Gibson have these children: Tessora, Sarah, Virginia A. and John T., who is a farmer of Hilyard township. Tessora married F. M. Smith, of Alton, Illinois, and has one son - Ralph H. Sarah first married George E. Dey, who is now deceased; one son was born to this union - George E. Dey. Her second marriage was to A. B. Roberts, of Hilyard township; they have one daughter - Sylvia M. Virginia A. married Isaac Combs, of Hilyard township, and has three children - Sarah, Abigail and David H. John T. has one son - George E.
Mr. Gibson has never taken a very lively interest in politics and generally casts his vote according to the dictates of his judgment, selecting the man before the party. He has filled a number of positions on the School Board, and during his long life in Hilyard township has used his influence in improving the schools and in developing the township in such a way as to benefit all its citizens. For a long time he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity. He was made a Master Mason in Plainview Lodge, No. 445, A.F. & A.M. He is known in his locality as one of its most upright and useful citizens and is held in very high esteem.