WILLIAM GILLIES, foreman of the boiler shops of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, at Parsons, is an expert boiler-maker, having served an apprenticeship in the boiler shops at Vincennes, Indiana, in the "'sixties," and has, since that time followed his trade, working in various railroad shops.
Our subject was born at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1850, and is a son of William Gillies, Sr., who immigrated to America with his family, in 1852. He located first at Detroit, Michigan, and later at Marshall, Michigan, where his son, William, supplemented his elementary schooling with a course in the Marshall High School. In 1865, the elder Gillies removed his family to Vincennes, Indiana. He died in 1893, aged seventy-eight years.
After completing his apprenticeship at Vincennes, Mr. Gillies moved to Aurora, Indiana, in 1870, and engaged as foreman for the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad Company, now the Baltimore & Ohio South-Western. He worked there a short time, then moved to Seymour, Indiana, as foreman, where he remained until 1877. He then came to Kansas, and worked a short time at Parsons. He next took charge of a boiler room in Texas, and subsequently went to McComb, Mississippi, to assume the supervision of a boiler department for the Illinois Central Railroad Company. In May, 1883, he returned to Parsons, at once becoming foreman of the boiler shops of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, which position he still ably fills. Mr. Gillies has about 35 men under his supervision. All heavy work on boilers is done in the shops, and preparations are being made to do all boiler work in the new building at Parsons.
Mr. Gillies was married in Sedalia, Missouri, to Caroline McDonald, a lady of Scotch descent. The six children of Mr. and Mrs. Gillies are: W. R., a graduate of the Parsons High School, and a machinist of Shreveport, Louisiana; Hugh A., a graduate of the Parsons High School, and a machinist's apprentice at the "Katy" shops; Celesta, also a graduate of the Parsons High School, who is at home; Nellie, who is in the graduating class of the High School; and Carrie and Ray, who are at home.
Mr. Gillies is all unswerving Republican, and is a member of the board of education at Parsons. Fraternally, he is a member of the A. 0. U. W.; M. W. of A.; Triple Tie; K. 0. T. M., of which he is past state commander; and of the I. 0. 0. F. since 1866. He accepts the doctrines of the Presbyterian church as the ground of his religious belief.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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