NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
Gillies is a Scottish surname, meaning servant or follower of Jesus. The McGillis family is of the MacPherson clan, which was established in Invernesshire before the year 1200.
(I) Neil McGillis was born at Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland in 1799 and died in 1858. In 1828 he came from Scotland to Dundee county, Canada, and there he followed farming the rest of his days. He married Mary McCleod, also a native of Scotland. She died in Canada April 19, 1873, aged seventy-three years.
1. Mary, born in Scotland in 1824.
2. John, in Scotland, 1826.
3. Rachel, in Canada, 1828.
4. Neil, 1832.
5. Norman, 1835.
6. Lauchlin, 1836; mentioned below.
7. Isabella, 1838.
8. Mary, 1840.
9. Angus, 1843.
10. Donald, 1845.
(II) Lauchlin, son of Neil McGillis, was born in Dundee county, Canada, May 10, 1836. He was educated in the public schools of Fort Covington and vicinity. In 1859 he came to Watertown, New York, and engaged in the furniture business there until 1876, in the service of George & McGillis. After the death of Henry Rockwell, of Ogdensburg, in 1876, Mr. McGillis, with the late A. M. Herriman, bought the Rockwell furniture store and conducted it in the stores now (1910) occupied by the O'Callaghan estate, 16 and 18 Lake street.
Upon the death of Calvin Gibbs, Mr. McGillis bought the store located at 30 Ford street, and continued in business there until he died. Mr. Herriman, his partner, retired from the firm, and Mr. McGillis was in business alone in the later years of his life. He was active, capable and enterprising in business and developed one of the largest furniture stores of northern New York and an extensive undertaking business.
He was a prominent member of the First Methodist church of Ogdensburg, in which he served on the official board and held other offices of trust. He was a member of Acacian Lodge, No. 705, F.M., of Ogdensburg, of which he was treasurer for twenty-five years; of the Ogdensburg Chapter, No. 63, Royal Arch Masons; of the Ogdensburg Commandery, No. 54, Knights Templar; of Media Temple, Mystic Shrine; and of Ogdensburg Lodge, No. 98, Odd Fellows.
He died from pneumonia, having had a stroke of paralysis a year previous, at his home in Ogdensburg, Sept. 23, 1906. He was an earnest upright Christian citizen, kindly and charitable, helping the poor and unfortunate, giving freely of his substance in worthy causes and joining with the public spirit in every movement to better the city in which he lived. He was held in highest respect and commanded the fullest confidence of his townsmen.
He married, Aug. 13, 1861, Almira Miranda, born 1842, daughter of James and Catherine (Smith) Peters, of Ernestown, Canada.
1. Catherine Isabelle, married Robert F. Baker, undertaker, in the employ of the estate of Mr. McGillis in the furniture and undertaking business at Ogdensburg.
2. Neil, died in infancy.
3. James A., born in Feb., 1867; mentioned below.
5. Norman Peters.
6. Mary, lives with her mother in Ogdensburg.
7. Joseph Leslie, associated with his brother in their father's furniture business.
8. Henry Lauchlin, civil engineer in Seattle, Washington.
9. Alice J., nurse, practicing in New York City.
10. Charles Stewart, associated with his brothers in the furniture store.
11. Flora Louise, (III) James A., son of Lauchlin McGillis, was born in Watertown, N.Y. Feb. 11, 1867. He came to Ogdensburg with his parents in 1876 and was educated there in the public schools. He became a clerk in his father's store and has continued in the business in various positions of responsibility to the present (1910) time. He and his brother, Charles S., have conducted the business as executors of their father's will since his death. In addition to the undertaking and furniuture business of the estate he conducts a farm and has important real estate investments in the city.
In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of the Business Men's Association; of Acacian Lodge, No. 705, Free and Accepted Masons; of Ogdensburg Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, No. 63; of Maple City Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, No. 71. He is a charter member of Eliza White Lodge, No. 590, Odd Fellows of Ogdensburg, and member of Ogdensburg Encampment, No. 32, and Canton Amaranth, No. 12, Patriarchs Militant. He is also a charter member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, No. 772, of Ogdensburg. He is a member of the Independent Order of Foresters, of the National Union, Order of Maccabees and of the national and international union of Maccabees. He is a member of St. John's Protestant Episcopal church.
Mr. McGillis married, in 1885, Harriet Judson, daughter of Daniel and Harriet (Bean) Judson, of Ogdensburg. Mrs. McGillis is active in the work of St. John's church, of which she is a member, and has served as president of St. Agnes' Society. She is an active member of the patriotic society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and is treasurer of the local chapter of that order.
They have one child, Harriet Marjorie, who died at the age of ten years.
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