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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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James Gillen

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 583 - 584

James Gillen, a pioneer of Sheboygan County, and one of the well-to-do farmers of the town of Mitchell, is a native of County Monaghan, Ireland, born in September, 1812. He is the only survivor in a family of eight children, comprising three sons and five daughters, born to Patrick and Susan (Conlan) Gillen. The parents were natives of the same county as their son, he being the third child in order of birth in their family.

James Gillen grew to manhood in the Fatherland, and when twenty-eight years of age emigrated to America, sailing from Liverpool the 2d of April, 1840, and landing in Portland, Me., June 30 of the same year. From the latter city he went to Boston, Mass., where he made his home until 1850. In that year he came to Sheboygan, landing at the old Lintz Pier, well known to the early settlers of this part of the State. Spending but two weeks in the city of Sheboygan, Mr. Gillen proceeded to Mitchell Township, where he bought forty acres of land, situated on section 24, a part of which had been cultivated. In 1863, an additional purchase of eighty acres of timbered land on section 23 was made, and some three years later eighty acres lying on section 26 were purchased. This was also covered with timber, and the entire amount, two hundred acres, lies in the town of Mitchell, on range 20.

Mr. Gillen was united in marriage to Miss Ann Garke in February, 1840. Mrs. Gillen was a native of the same county as her husband, and a daughter of James and Nancy (Coyn) Garke. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gillen were born seven children, five sons and two daughters, of whom six are living. Owen, born in Boston, Mass., resides in Marquette, Mich.; Patrick, a native of Mitchell Township, makes his home in London, England; Simon, who is also a native of this county, holds the position of County Judge; James lives in California; Peter was accidentally killed in 1891, while working as bridge-builder for the International & Great Northern Railway; Mary Ann is the wife of Timothy Sullivan, a farmer of Sheboygan County; and Catherine resides with her sister.

Mr. Gillen and his family are members of the Catholic Church, and in politics he adheres to the principles of the Democratic party.

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