William P. Gaut

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 493-494
William P. Gaut
, the subject of this notice, was born in Jefferson county, Tennessee, April 16, 1862 (Note: obvious error -- s/b 1832 re: researcher E. Lee Eltzroth).
His father was Robert Gaut, born in the same place, in 1800, and his father, the grandfather of our subject, was George Gaut, born in Pennsylvania, who went to Tennessee when a young man. This family is of Huguenot origin. He had by one wife thirteen children, of whom ten grew to adult age. One of these, James Gaut, lived to the age of ninety-seven years, and the average of these ten were over eighty, and the one still living, George Gaut, is on the old home farm. The father of our present subject was reared to farm life and has good common schooling. He married Mary P. Woods in Tennessee, who was born there in 1799. She was of a family of ten children: James, Mary P., Lutetia, John C., Martha J., W. P., E. Flora, Mary E., Sarah P. and Julia Ann M., the last two twins. Some of these children died in infancy. Of the six that came to adult age, five are still living. The mother of this family died in her forty-seventh year and the father lived nineteen years a widower. He died in 1864, in his sixty-fifth year, still mourning his wife.
  William P. Gaut is a photographer. At the age of seventeen years he went to work in a blast furnace in Monroe county where he was reared and at this place he worked for six years at low wages. He had the promise of $20 a month, but at the time fifty cents a day was average wages when six cords of wood, pine and chestnut, could be bought for a dollar. He next went to work at the trade of carpenter and millwright and for six years this claimed his attention. From 1861 to 1886 he became a photographer, and he worked at this through Knoxville, Tennessee, and New Orleans.
  Our subject was married in Versailles, in 1866, to Miss Elizabeth E. Reily, of Davidson county, North Carolina, who was born there December 21, 1840. She was the daughter of Solomon and Polly (Williams) Reily, both natives of North Carolina. She came to Illinois in 1850 with her mother, in a covered wagon, emigrant style, and were four weeks making the trip. They camped out all but two nights, when the weather was stormy. She was an only child and lived with her mother until her marriage.
  After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gaut lived in Mount Sterling for a few months and then moved to Marietta, Georgia, where they remained about nine years when they returned to Mount Sterling and Mr. Gaut continued the old business which he had started during the war. They bought their present farm of 611 acres, all bottom land except eighty acres, where they reside on the Bluffs, paying $8,000 for it. They have buried two sons and two daughters, all in infancy, but have four of the finest boys left that can be found in the township. R. Eugene is twenty-one, James B. is nineteen, Charles W. is fourteen and George Lea is a bright lad of ten years. All are at home in the sense of not having thought of any separate home; Eugene is attending college at the State University at Champaign; and James B. is following his fancy by learning the carpenter's trade.
  Mr. Gaut makes a special crop of his corn, and raises many hogs. He has his hill land for a fruit farm and has it planted mostly in apples and peaches. The native products of uplands are pawpaws and of the bottoms are pecans. He expects his land to yield from fifty to 100 bushels of corn to the acre.
  Mr. Gaut is an ancient Odd Fellow and is a Royal Arch Mason and is a Democrat in politics. He was in the Confederate army from 1861 to 1863, and although he was not wounded he lost his health. He was made a prisoner at Knoxville. He has voted for every President since 1861 and has been active in his party.
  The aged mother of Mr. Gaut lives with him and is strong and vigorous still.

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