For forty-three years Mr. Gillaspie has been a resident of Nemaha county, the time of his arrival antedating that of almost all other settlers in this section of the state. He was born February 15, 1832, in West Virginia, and is a son of T. D. and Elizabeth (Low) Gillaspie, both of whom were natives of Virginia. The father was born about 1807, made farming his life work, and died in Missouri. In his family were six children, Alexander being the eldest. Caroline, Cyndia, George and two who died in infancy completed the family, and Alexander is the only one now living. He was a lad of only six summers when he accompanied his parents on their removal from Virginia to Illinois, and remained under the parental roof until twenty-four years of age. On leaving the latter state they went to Iowa, where Mr. Gillaspie made his home until he had attained his majority. He then came to Kansas, and in 1857 began farming upon section 28, Clear Creek township, Nemaha county, where he has since made his home. Not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made upon the one hundred and sixty-acre farm which he secured, but with characteristic energy he began following the plow and soon transformed the wild land into richly cultivated fields. He built here a good barn and substantial residence and made other excellent improvements. He is now the owner of one of the best farms in the county. He also set out an excellent orchard, but it was destroyed by grasshoppers in 1874, his crops also suffering from the same pest, and his losses in consequence were quite heavy, but with resolute purpose he overcame such difficulties and has continued his active connection with farming interests until he is now the possessor of a comfortable property, the income from which supplies him with the necessities and many of the luxuries of life.
Mr. Gillaspie was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Dickison, who was born in Indiana, December 9, 1838, a daughter of Richard and Catherine (Ellis) Dickison. The father was a native of Tennessee and died in Iowa. The mother was also born in the south, and in 1859 became a resident of Kansas, where her death occurred in 1873. In their family were five children, three of whom are yet living, namely Mary, John and Sarah. Those who have passed away are Theodore and Kins. Mrs. Gillaspie was the fourth in order of birth, and was married in Clear Creek township, Nemaha county, in 1862. This union has been blessed with seven children, but four died in infancy. Those still living are Eldora, George and John. The family is widely and favorably known in the community, and its members have many warm friends. Mr. Gillaspie has served as school director for six years, and the cause of education found in him a trusted and progressive friend. He also served as road supervisor for two years, and in his political views has ever been a Republican. He holds membership with the United Brethren in Christ and as a citizen is loyal to every interest which he believes will contribute to the public welfare.
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