James Gillespie, ex-sheriff of Harper county, Kansas, is a native of Illinois, born in Carroll county, October 20, 1856. He is a son of Hugh and Jane (Carrothers) Gillespie, both natives of Ireland. The father came to America in 1849, locating at Galena, Ill., where he was employed in the lead mines a few years. He then bought a farm of government land in Carroll county, Illinois, where he was engaged in farming until his death, in October, 1896. The mother died in March, 1897. They were the parents of nine children: Margaret, widow of James Anderson; James, the subject of this sketch; Robert W., farmer, Boone, Neb.; Mary, married John White, Grundy, Iowa; William T., deceased; Charles H., farmer, Carroll county, Ill.; Hugh, deceased; Rebecca, married John Miller, farmer, Savannah, Ill., and Arnetta, married Watson Tomazon, farmer, Platte county, Nebraska. James Gillespie was reared on a farm, and educated in the public schools of Illinois. In 1877, he came to Kansas and located on the government land in Harper county. This was a year before the county was organized. He sold his original homestead in 1881, and for a few years was engaged in buying horses and cattle in Texas, driving them to Kansas over the historic Chisholm trail. He spent four years in the saddle, on the range, handling horses and cattle, and during this period experienced all the vicissitudes of frontier life of the early times on the plains. He prospered in his business undertakings, and invested in Harper county land, from time to time, until he now owns over 1,000 acres of well improved farm land. His home farm is located three miles north of Danville and consists of 640 acres. This is one of the best improved farms in southern Kansas, and is thoroughly equipped with twentieth century farming methods. Mr. Gillespie is a successful and up to date farmer, and is a close student of the science of agriculture. He is extensively engaged in the horse and cattle business and runs to high grade stock. His herd of Polled-Angus and Galloway cattle are as fine as can be found in the State. He is also a breeder of high grade swine, in which he has been very successful. Mr. Gillespie takes an active part in political affairs, and has always been identified with the Republican party, and is the present chairman of the Republican County Central Committee. He was elected sheriff of Harper county in 1897, and during his occupancy of that office won the reputation of doing his duty without fear or favor. He was united in marriage February 20, 1885, with Miss Flora E. Mott, a daughter of M. T. Mott (for the history of the Mott family see sketch of F. O. Mott). Mrs. Gillespie died March 3, 1911, leaving eight children as follows: Ada, born in 1886, married R. W. Mott, farmer, White City, Kan.; Edna, Glenn H., Russell R., Howard B., Eva E., Mildred A., and Margaret Flora, all at home. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Gillespie is a member of the Masonic Lodge.Pages 167-168 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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