ANDREW GADDIE is a self-made man, whose life history can not fail to prove of interest, as it indicates what may be accomplished through strong and determined purpose, guided by honorable effort. Long a resident of Menard county, he is now largely living retired from active business cares, although he is yet to some extent engaged in buying and shipping stock. In community interests he has been as active factor and the trust which his fellow townsmen have in him has been indicated by his election on various occasions to county offices.
Mr. Gaddie was born on the Orkney islands of Scotland, on the 31st of May, 1837, and when but thirteen years of age he went to sea with his maternal uncle, David Spence, as a cabin boy. He followed the sea until nineteen years of age, after which he returned home and attended school for two years. On the expiration of that period he came to the United States in company with his sister Jane, crossing the Atlantic in 1859, and since that time he has continuously made his home in Menard county -- one of its respected and worthy citizens, co-operating in many measures for the general good. He filed his paper, indicating his intention of becoming an American citizen August 23, 1862. A few days before this he had manifested his loyalty to the government by joining the Union Army, enlisting on the 14th of August, 1862, as a private under Captain John A. Hurt, of Company K, One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Infantry. He participated in the siege of Vicksburg, the capture of Little Rock, Arkansas, and other engagements and was discharged at Little Rock, October 14, 1864, after more than two years of active service, on account of disability. In the meantime he had been detailed as a recruiting officer under Captain Christie with offices at Atlanta, Illinois, and he thus sent many soldiers to the front.
After his discharge Andrew Gaddie returned to Menard county and in 1867 he purchased a farm of two hundred acres in township 18, range 5 west. He then turned his attention to the production of the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and also to the raising of live stock. He purchased his farm of Robert A. Creswell, of McLean county, September 23, 1867, and as he found opportunity he added to his possessions until he now owns three hundred and twenty-six acres of very rich and arable land, which for many years returned to him good harvests and now yields him a gratifying financial income. In 1891, however, he put aside the active work of the fields and retired to private life, removing to Greenview, where he purchased a home, which he has since occupied. He has continuously engaged in shipping stock since 1866 and follows this pursuit to some extent at the present time. In addition to his home farm he has two hundred and ninety acres of land two miles north of Greenview and one hundred and sixty acres adjoining the corporate limits of the city on the west, together with five acres of timber land in Irish Grove. He also owns the home that he now occupies, together with four lots there and across the street he has a nice cottage situated on two lots. He also has a nice house and lot north of town and when he first took up his abode in the city he formed a partnership with G. G. Spear, now deceased, in the conduct of a grocery and meat market, but not meeting with the success that he anticipated in this venture he sold out October 1, 1893. He has now retired from all business interests, save that to some extent he yet buys and ships stock.
Mr. Gaddie has been called to several public offices by his fellow townsmen who recognize his ability and trustworthiness. He was first elected county commissioner in 1876, was re-elected in 1879 and 1882 and again in 1885, serving in all through twelve consecutive years upon the county board. He was also a member of the school board for twenty-one years and was president of the town board of Greenview for one year. He has ever exercised his official prerogatives in support of the measures which he deemed would prove of greatest benefit to the majority and his interest in the welfare of his county is deep and sincere.
On the 20th of November, 1866, Mr. Gaddie was married to Miss Sarah Keene, a daughter of Thomas and Martha (Warner) Keene, of Menard county. Unto them have been born eight children: John T., born February 17, 1868, is residing upon the old homestead; Cora Nellie, born November 8, 1869, is the wife of George A. Stevens and resides across the street from her father; Katie Gertrude, born January 27, 1872, is the wife of Frank Montgomery, now living on her father's farm north of Greenview; Charles H., born January 25, 1873, resides upon the old home place; Mary Emma, born March 14, 1876, is the wife of Seymour Sanders, of Greenview; Jessie Artamise, born January 26, 1878, is the wife of Ernest Tripp, a hardware merchant of Greenview; Mattie Ann, born December 5, 1880, is the wife of Elijah G. Spears, of Greenview; Elsie Margaret, born August 31, 1882, is the wife of Charles Ramsey, and they reside with Mr. Gaddie. Mrs. Gaddie, who was born October 8, 1848, died April 22, 1887, and on the 13th of August, 1889, Mr. Gaddie was again married, his second union being with Eliza A. Conant, of Menard county, who was born November 10, 1842, and died September 26, 1901.
Mr. Gaddie attends the Presbyterian church and is a member of Hurst Post, G. A. R. His political allegiance has long been given to the Democracy. He certainly deserves the praise that is accorded to term of the self-made man, for he never inherited a cent nor does he owe a single cent, yet he is the possessor of extensive and valuable property interests, all of which have been acquired through his unfaltering enterprise, capable management and judicious investment.