CHARLES D. GUM, who is now serving as county commissioner and township trustee, is an active factor in community interests, recognized as a prominent and influential citizen of Menard county, where his entire life has been passed and where he is still engaged in general farming, owning and operating three hundred and sixty acres of land in Tallula precinct. He was born on this farm October 5, 1855, and in the paternal line comes of German ancestry. The family was established in America at an early epoch in the history of the new world and the grandfather of our subject was a resident of Kentucky.
He father, Thomas D. Gum, was born in Kentucky and when a small boy was brought by his parents to Menard county, Illinois, where he was reared amid frontier conditions and environments. His birth occurred December 14, 1813. He married Jemima Carter, a daughter of Robert Carter, who came to Illinois in the fall of 1830, settling at Clary's Grove. His daughter, Mrs. Gum, was born September 26, 1816. Thomas Gum was a farmer and followed that occupation throughout his entire life, thus providing for his family. He was a Democrat in politics. He died November 18, 1859, when his son Charles was but four years of age, and Mrs. Gum departed this life April 14, 1900, having for more than forty years survived her husband. She was a consistent member of the Baptist church and both were laid to rest in Rose Hill cemetery. In their family were the following children: M.D., who died August 17, 1871; Jesse, who died in infancy, in 1841; Leander, who was born March 13, 1841, and died June 7, 1842; Robert G., who was born June 9, 1843, and died November 27, 1871; Margaret, who was born March 26, 1846, and died December 17, 1847; John C., who was born March 22, 1847, and died June 9, 1898; George, who married Belle Miller and lives in Kilbourne, Mason county, Illinois; William of Tallula, who married Marinda Elmore, afterward wedded Adeline Bawn and for his third wife chose Emma Thomas; and Charles D.
In taking up the personal history of Charles D. Gum we present to our readers the life record of one how is widely and favorably known in Menard county. He was educated in the district schools and has always resided upon the farm on which he was born, and here he has so directed his energies as to meet with gratifying success. He has never been off the place for more than a month at a time, although he has visited New Mexico and other parts of the country. He owns the old homestead place, comprising three hundred and sixty acres of rich and arable land, and is one of the more progressive farmers of his locality. He uses the latest improved machinery in the cultivation of the fields and the gathering of the crops, and neatness characterizes all departments of the farm.
On the 22d of April, 1883, Mr. Gum was united in marriage to Miss Anna M. Deppe, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Deppe, who resided in Sand Ridge, but are now deceased. For fifteen years Mr. and Mrs. Gum traveled life's journey happily together, and then the wife was called to her final rest, her death occurring on the 20th of March, 1898, while her remains were interred in Rose Hill cemetery. Five children had been born unto them, all of whom are living, namely: Mary D., who was born April 18, 1885; Lottie B., born July 9, 1887; Estella A., born March 18, 1889; Edna M., born March 26, 1891; and Goldie P., born March 13, 1893. Mrs. Gum was a member of the German Methodist church and was a most estimable lady, who won the friendship of many with whom she was brought in contact.
In his political views Mr. Gum has always been a Democrat and is a recognized leader in the ranks of his party in Menard county. He has served as road commissioner for ten years and is now township trustee, having been elected for a term of three years, and his service in this office altogether covers seventeen years. In 1902 he was elected county commissioner to serve for three years, so he is the present incumbent in that office. His official duties have ever been discharged with marked promptness and fidelity, his devotion to the best interests of the community being one of his most strongly marked characteristics. He has always lived upon the old Gum homestead, and the fact that many of his warmest friends are those who have known him from boyhood is an indication that his has been a straightforward life and useful career.