Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 291 - 292
Henry Gilman, a resident of Plymouth City, is one of the early and well-known pioneers of Sheboygan County. Mr.
Oilman dates his coming from September 24, 1845, he having been a resident of the county for nearly half a century.
He was born in the town of Loraine, Jefferson County, N. Y., May 24, 1815, and is a son of Solomon and Polly (Wyles)
Gilman, natives of Connecticut, who belonged to early families of that State. The paternal grandfather of the
subject of this sketch was Calvin Gilman, who emigrated with his family to Jefferson County, N. Y., where he lived
the remainder of his life. Solomon Gilman was one of quite a numerous family. On attaining to manhood, he was united
in marriage with Miss Polly Wyles. He was a farmer by occupation, and continued a resident of Jefferson County until
his death, which occurred when he was more than eighty years old. The wife and mother passed away before the death
of her husband.
Henry Gilman was one of a family of seven children who grew to mature years, the family comprising three sons and
four daughters. He was married on July 4, 1838, to Miss Polly Beard, a native of New Hampshire, and a daughter of
Joseph Beard, who removed with his family from that State to the town of Adams, Jefferson County, N. Y., where Mr.
and Mrs. Gilman were married. In 1845, seven years after their married life had begun, Mr. Gilman, with his family,
started West. Taking a steamer at the historic point called Sacket's Harbor, on Lake Ontario, they made the entire
journey to Sheboygan by way of the Great Lakes, the trip consuming fifteen days. Mr. Oilman's younger brother,
Martin Gilman, had come out in June of the same year, and our subject expected to meet his brother in Sheboygan.
However, the latter had suddenly decided to return to the old home State, and the brothers, unaware of the fact,
passed each other on Lake Erie, just out from Buffalo, the one on his journey Westward, and the other en route to
the old home in the State of New York.
Mr. Gilman located in the town of Plymouth, about two miles south of the present city of "that name, where he
pre-empted a quarter-section of land; but about a year later he disposed of that claim and purchased a farm on
section 26, in the same town. This farm comprised the greater part of the east half of the northwest quarter of the
section, and consisted of one hundred and twenty acres of heavily timbered land. Mr. Gilman cleared up this land and
made of it a homestead, and there he lived until December 1, 1885, when, having from advancing years and the effects
of hard work become unable to longer carry on the farm, he removed to the city of Plymouth, having already sold the
old home where he and his family had lived so long.
Mr. and Mrs. Gilman have been blessed with a family of twelve children, of whom six sons and three daughters are
living. Lois, the eldest of the surviving members of the family, married Darius S. Noyes, a farmer by occupation,
who resides in Sun Prairie, Dane County, Wis.; Mrs. Laura Mellen lives in the town of Lyndon, Sheboygan County;
Arthur P. and Marvin Monroe are residents of Plymouth, the former having been a soldier in the Civil War, as a
member of Company B, Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Infantry; Mrs. Mary Hallenbeck, of Odell, Neb., is the next in order
of birth; Gilbert, H. Lagee and Ernest A. are all residents of Plymouth; and Dylone M., the youngest of the family,
resides in Minneapolis, Minn. Chester enlisted in Company B, Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Infantry, and died at Helena,
Ark., August 23, 1863. He was a gallant soldier, and his early death was greatly deplored. The others deceased were
two sons who died in infancy.
When Mr. Gilman came to Sheboygan County, in 1845, what is now Plymouth City was unknown even as a hamlet. In fact,
there were then but few settlers within the present limits of the county. He has lived to see the county developed
from a wilderness to a condition of fertile fields and pleasant homes. Mr. Oilman's relations with his fellow-men
have ever been characterized by fair and upright dealing, and he has always commanded their respect and confidence.
He has been a life-long Democrat, and has voted that ticket at every Presidential election for fifty-four years,
having cast his first Presidential vote for Martin Van Buren in 1836.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer