Allen J. Gilham, a resident of Cherokee, is a conductor on the Frisco Railroad and one of a family of railroad men who have made fine records in the great army of railroad industrials. He has been connected with railroad service for the past twenty-five years, having entered in 1879, and by strict adherence to duty and fidelity to the interests of all concerned he has been promoted to his present responsible place and is one of the best known and most popular railroad conductors in southeastern Kansas. He was born in Schuyler county, Illinois, August 16, 1862, and came to Crawford county from that place. Besides being so actively identified with railroading he has given his attention to another enterprise which has made him especially useful in the stock-raising circles of Crawford county. As a breeder and raiser of fine hogs he stands second to none in the county, and his Chester Whites and Duroc Red thoroughbred and registered swine are notable and always favored wherever on the market or on exhibition. As may be inferred from these mentioned facts, Mr. Gilham is a man of great enterprise and ability, and is a factor of importance in town and county.
He was married in 1884 to Miss Jennie Coray, who was born in Lafayette, Indiana, a daughter of M. R. Coray, an ex-soldier of the Civil war, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Gilham have nine children: Florence, John M., Sayle, Jessie, Jennie, Ruth, Allen, Jane and Alma.
Mr. Allen J. Gilham is a son of Thomas J. Gilham, another well known resident of Cherokee, and a man who has passed a life of long and useful activity. A native of Greene county, Indiana, where he was born December 26, 1841, he was at the age of five years taken to Schuyler county, Illinois, and in that county, in August, 1862, he responded to Lincoln's call and joined Company B, One hundred and Nineteenth Illinois Infantry, under Captain Kinney, who was later made colonel of the regiment. The regiment went into camp at Quincy, was sent to Kentucky under the command of General A. J. Smith, was at Vicksburg, took part in the Red River expedition, was in the three days' fighting at Nashville, was in the operations about New Orleans and Mobile, and in many other phases and campaigns of the war. He was honorably discharged at St. Louis, and then returned home.
This old soldier was a son of Enoch and Anna (Hodges) Gilham, both natives of North Carolina, who from Schuyler county removed to Warren county, Illinois. The father died in Illinois at the age of ninety, and the mother in Pratt county, Kansas, at the age of seventy-seven. They had ten children, four sons and six daughters. Thomas J. Gilham was married in 1861 to Miss Rebecca Huft, who was born in Virginia of an old family of that state, being a daughter of Ben Huft. In 1884 Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Gilham moved to Pratt county, Kansas, where they lived five years, and then lived in Lynn county, Missouri, until 1903, since which time they have been residents of Cherokee. They are the parents of nine children, of whom Allen J. is the eldest. The son Thomas B. is also a railroad man, and resides in Cherokee. John is a railroad man in St. Louis. Oscar, of Scammon, Kansas, is also in the railroad business. Ed is a railroad man at Fort Madison, Iowa. Anna and Rebecca are both at home. Two other sons lost their lives in the service of railroads, Ben being killed at the age of nineteen and Bell at the age of twenty-five at St. Joseph, Missouri. Mr. Thomas J. Gilham and his sons are Republicans. He is a Grand Army man, and in religion is a Methodist.Pages 555-556 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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