Myron W. Gilmore, of Topeka, Kan., is president of the Gilmore Construction Company, which does a large and extensive business in municipal construction, especially in street paving, and is also one of Shawnee county's most successful horticulturists. He is a native of the old Bay State, having been born at Greenwich, Mass., Aug. 23, 1851. He comes of stanch English and Scotch ancestors who came to Massachusetts in an early day. His parents were Thomas S. and Elizabeth Adaline (Bailey) Gilmore, both natives of Greenwich, Mass. The former was reared to agricultural pursuits and was highly respected in his day. He was a member of the Congregational church and politically was first a Whig and later a Republican. He served for over thirty years as a selectman of Greenwich, Mass., and filled many other positions of responsibility and trust. After a long and useful career he passed away in 1893 and is buried at Westboro, Mass. His wife, Elizabeth Adaline Bailey, had died in 1873. She was the daughter of Eben Ocea and Adaline Bailey, both natives of Greenwich, Mass., where they spent their entire lives. The former was the son of Ocea and Sophia Bailey, both natives of Lancashire, England, who settled in Massachusetts prior to the Revolutionary war. Ocea Bailey served as a captain in the Massachusetts line during the Revolutionary war and ended his days in Massachusetts. Thomas S. Gilmore had three brothers and two sisters: George A., of Northfield, Mass.; Charles E. and John F., of Westboro, Mass.; Alice, who died at Greenwich; and Lydia Ann, who married E. P. Bond and had two sons, Rufus and John Bond, the former of whom married and reared a son, John Bond, a banker of Sterling, Kan. Thomas S. and Elizabeth Adaline (Bailey) Gilmore became the parents of seven children: Edward T., of Westboro, Mass.; Elizabeth A. and Mary F., both deceased; Stephen A., of Boston, Mass.; Henry A. and Hervey A., twins residing in Westboro, Mass.; and Myron W.; of this review.
Myron W. Gilmore was reared on the home farm and attended the local schools to the age of twelve, when he went to Springfield, Mass., and remained there one year. He then went to New York City and spent one year as a porter in a wholesale fruit and provision house after which he was promoted to the position of shipping clerk, which he filled one year. He then went to Westboro, Mass., where the family had removed in the meantime, and for the next few years he had charge of the home farm. The greatest event of his whole life occurred about that time when on July 25, 1878, he chose for his life companion Miss Etta Wadsworth of Westboro, Mass. She is the daughter of Cyrus and Sarah (Burns) Wadsworth, old and respected residents of Westboro. Cyrus Wadsworth was born there in 1812 and was the son of John Wadsworth, a lifelong resident of Massachusetts and a descendant of an old Massachusetts pioneer. Sarah (Burns) Wadsworth was descended from Revolutionary ancestry, her mother being Hannah Thistle, a niece of the patriot Thistle, who crossed the Delaware with Washington and helped gain the victories at Trenton and Princeton. This honored ancestor's name appears among those who fought at Bunker Hill and with them is recorded on the famous Bunker Hill monument. Cyrus and Sarah (Burns) Wadsworth became the parents of seven children: Benajah, who died at Providence, R. I.; Welcome, who resides at Providence; Etta, born July 21, 1859, who is the wife of Mr. Gilmore of this review; Horace G., who resides in Elk county, Kansas, and three who died in infancy. Mrs. Gilmore was reared and educated amid the refined and cultured influences incident to the prosperous Bay State home and retains to a marked degree the courtliness of manner and correct expression inculcated in her youth. She is a well known member in church circles in Topeka, being a member of the Central Congregational Church, of which Dr. Sheldon is pastor. Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore have two children. Walton W., born in Chase county, Kansas, June 7, 1882, was educated in the local schools, supplemented by a commercial course in the Topeka Business College and later by a course in mechanical drawing at the Railroad Young Men's Christian Association in Topeka. He married Miss M. Elizabeth Kemper of Topeka, on June 27, 1909, and at present has charge of and is general manager of the Gilmore Construction Company, with headquarters at Lawrence, Kan. The second child, Isadore A., was born Oct. 29, 1887, and was educated in the Topeka graded and high schools, with special work in music, and at present resides with her parents.
Mr. Gilmore's business career, though connected with varied industries, has been very successful. The year following his marriage he spent in farming; then in 1878 he decided to remove to Kansas, having been influenced to that decision of Colonel Johnson's exceptionally fine exhibit of Kansas products which he saw at the Centennial Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia, Pa. As Mr. Gilmore had acquaintances in Chase county, Kansas, he came to visit them in the spring of 1878 while on a prospecting tour of the state. He was so pleased with the country and its prospects that he brought his family to this state in the fall of 1878 and located in Cottonwood Falls, Chase county. The first year after his removal there he was employed with the B. Lantry Construction Company, but the next year he began contracting independently, his contracts being principally for heavy stone construction work, such as bridge piers, abutments, etc. About that time he traded for a partly improved quarter section of land on which there was a large deposit of good building stone. He improved sixty acres of the land to crops and for the following eleven years did stone contracting, using some stone quarried from his land. During those years he served two terms as township trustee in Chase county. That county having bought a quarter section of land for the county infirmary, Mr. Gilmore was appointed to construct and arrange the buildings, and later accepted the position of superintendent of the farm, which position he filled so acceptably that he was reappointed superintendent of the infirmary five consecutive terms. In 1897 he came to Topeka and soon began taking contracts for street paving and other municipal improvements, in which business he has been actively engaged to the present time. He and his son, Walton W. Gilmore, have averaged $60,000 a year in contract work, nearly all of which has been municipal and railroad contracts in various sections of the country. They own the finest sand dip in Lawrence and have extensive municipal paving contracts in that city on which they have been engaged for over three years.
During all these years, however, Mr. Gilmore has been deeply interested in horticulture and has given close and special attention to fruit growing. He owns two fruit and truck farms, one of which is located one and a half miles west of Topeka on Munson avenue, and the other, located four and a half miles northeast of Topeka, is the "Cedar Ridge Farm," which he purchased in 1904 and which at that time had an apple orchard of five acres, the trees of which were seven years old. Mr. Gilmore has made a close and scientific study of the value of spraying and has gained at first hand a fund of valuable knowledge on that subject. He thoroughly believes in the efficacy of spraying and in 1910 made his "Cedar Ridge Orchard" famous, due to its remarkable yield. As stated, it contains five acres on which are 286 bearing trees from which in 1908 he packed 3,100 bushel boxes of apples. He brought this same orchard to yield 5,200 bushels of fine selected fruit in 1910, a car load of which being purchased by a wholesale fruit dealer of Denison, Tex., was pronounced by him to be the finest lot of apples he ever inspected. This is one of the greatest yields on record and demonstrates what a practical horticulturist can accomplish in Kansas, both as to the quantity and the quality of the fruit raised. Mr. Gilmore is also giving considerable attention to the growing of small fruits.
Politically, Mr. Gilmore was reared a Republican but in later years he has mainifested a spirit of independence and at present is proud to be termed a progressive Republican. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and is also a member of the Kansas State Horticultural Society. Mr. Gilmore has achieved his success in life through perseverance and industry and by giving value received in all of his dealings with his fellow man.Pages 1108-1111 from volume III, part 2 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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