Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JOHN J. GILL is the senior partner
of the firm of Gill & Company, the pioneer mercantile house in Edwall.
Owing to the energy and wisdom of our subject, this firm is becoming one
of the finest in Lincoln county and is now doing a large and extensive
business. The other member of the firm, C. H. Moffatt, a sterling
business man, is mentioned in another portion of this work.
John J. Gill was born in Montreal, Canada,
on July 16, 1836, the son of J. J. and Addie (Mason) Gill, natives of Canada.
Our subject spent the first twelve years of his life in Montreal, then
went to Vermont, where he finished his education. After leaving school,
he took up a farm, conducting the same until 1857. In that year,
he moved to Houghton county, Michigan, being in the copper mining country
when the first mines were opened. For twelve years Mr. Gill was occupied
in teaming in that section and also took a very active part in political
matters. At the breaking out of the war, he tried to enlist but was
refused. It was 1869, when he journeyed west to where the great city
of Duluth now stands, there being only three houses there then. He
followed carpentering for one year in that place then was employed on the
St. Paul and Duluth railroad for nine years. In 1878, Mr. Gill came
to Todd county, Minnesota, and engaged in farming. For fourteen years
he tilled the soil with excellent success then came to Davenport, Washington,
it being 1893. In the same year that the Great Northern railroad
crossed the Big Bend country, Mr. Gill came to Edwall and opened a large
general merchandise store. His was the first establishment here and
from that time until the present, the firm has done a large business.
They own their buildings and warehouse and carry a large and well selected
stock of general merchandise and farming implements of all kinds.
In Houghton county, Michigan, Mr. Gill married
Miss. Christian McKay, a native of Nova Scotia. To this union four
children have been born; Henry, in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Ira, in Grand
Forks, British Columbia, Mrs. Addie Moffatt in Edwall; and Margaret Gill
Plough, living in Spokane. Mr. Gill had very limited capital when
he came here but is now one of the wealthy men of Lincoln county.
He is a member of the Maccabees and a leading and influential citizen.