Gilderoy Settles
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 444-445, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Gilderoy Settles, one of the largest landowners in Schuyler county and a man of great force and integrity of character, is the subject of the following biography. It is fitting that the history of such men be preserved to the coming generations, that they may have some idea of the vicissitudes and privations and trials which beset the path of those sturdy pioneers which prepared the way for the onward march of progress. To this worthy band belongs Gilderoy Settles, who was born in Fulton county, Illinois, November 14, 1837; one of seven children: Polly Ann, Gilderoy, David J., Serena, Penina, Nancy and Josiah. His father, William Settles, was a native of Tennessee, and emigrated from that State to Illinois, becoming a pioneer of Fulton county; there he was united in marriage to Peggy Carlock, a daughter of Abraham and Mary A. Carlock; he spent more than fifty years in Fulton county, but died in Morgan county, Illinois; his wife died in Fulton county; their son Gilderoy was reared to the occupation of a farmer, and remained under the parental roof and guidance until he was twenty years of age; he then began to face the world laying the foundation of the fortune which has since attended his path. He rented land, as he had no capital to invest, and managed in this way until 1859, when he made his first purchase of eighty acres, at $10 per acre; there was a log cabin on the place, and this was the extent of the improvements, but it was truly a home, the first he could call his own.
  Mr. Settles was occupying this quiet little place, when in March, 1865, he enlisted in Company I, Third Illinois Cavalry; he joined the regiment at Springfield, and did garrison duty until October of the same year; he was then honorably discharged, returned to his home, and resumed the pursuit of agriculture. The following year he bought another farm in the same township, and afterward sold the farm he had first purchased; he resided in Browning township until 1871, and then removed to land he had bought in Frederick township; this was his home until 1884 when he bought the farm on which he now lives; this tract consists of 204 acres in an advanced state of cultivation and improved with excellent buildings; besides this Mr. Settles owns another farm of 200 acres in the same township, 120 acres in Oakland township, and 160 acres in Clark county, Kansas.
  In 1857 he was united in marriage to Miss Penina Tracy, who was born in Fulton county, May 24, 1835, one of the eight children of her parents: Perry, Leonard R., Mary A., Thomas C., Penina A., Minerva, Arminda and Cynthia A. Her father, Lyman Tracy, was born in the State of New York, and came to Illinois when a young man; he was one of the early settlers of Fulton county, lived there a few years, and then removed to Missouri; at the end of seven years he came to Schuyler county, and settled in Browning township where he passed the remainder of his days; his wife, Annie Carlock, died on the farm in Browning township. Mr. and Mrs. Settles are the parents of six children: Leander, Florentine, Logan, Doran, Charles and Orpha. Politically Mr. Settles affiliates with the Republican party.

From: “Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois Illustrated 1908, edited by Newton Bateman, LL. D. and Paul Selby, A. M., Volume II, Schuyler County”, edited by Howard F. Dyson, pages 925-926, a Reprinted by Stevens Publishing Company, Astoria, Illinois 61501, 1970, is sold by the Schulyer County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Settles, Gilderoy - An example of inspiring adaptation to the agricultural life, an expression of that resource, business insight, unremitting industry, wise investment, keen grasp of the political, social and general situation, and shrewd knowledge of human nature which lifts a man to the highest country achievement and usefulness, is found in the career of Gilderoy Settles, a retired resident of Rushville, who in youth knew but moderate advantages, and in later life is the owner of 680 acres of farm lands, besides several town lots and dwellings in Schuyler County, and 320 acres of prairie land in Clark County, Kan.  The acquisition of these valuable holdings has been gradual and legitimate, and in his accomplishment the owner sends out from his own to the lives of those around him the most wholesome and beneficent encouragement.  This ex-soldier of the Union and observing traveler has spent more than half a century of his life in this county, and in Rushville Township has bought and sold more land than any other dweller within its borders.  No one has contributed more substantially to the making of local history, or to the character, purpose and integrity of this part of Illinois.
  A native of Kurtin Township, Fulton County, Ill., Mr. Settles was born November 14, 1837, a son, William Settles, who, born in Tennessee, journeyed overland to the wilderness of Greene County, Ill., about 1827.  To his frontier cabin William Settles brought a wife, formerly Miss Moody, and here were born two children, Charles and Jordan C., both of whom survived their mother’s death in Greene County.  Mr. Settles changed his habitation to Fulton County, Ill., about 1833, and here was united in marriage to Peggy Carlock, who became the mother of the following children: Polly Ann, who died in Schuyler County, and whose husband, Abram Weddle, died in Iowa; David J., a soldier of the Union during the Civil War, who died at Helena, Ark., and whose body was sent home for burial; Serena, deceased wife of Seth Griggs, of Clinton, Mo.; Penina, wife of John Strawsbaugh, a farmer of Table Grove Township, McDonough County, Ill.; Fluent, deceased wife of John Flint; and Josiah, who died at Sedalia, Mo., December 28, 1905.  The mother of these children died in Fulton County, and about 1850 Mr. Settles located in Browning Township, Schuyler County, from whence he moved to Morgan County, Ill., where his death occurred about 1868.
  The environment of Gilderoy Settles in Fulton County was extremely crude, and now that success has abundantly crowned his efforts, no memory is so dear to him as that of the crackling log in the fireplace, the dim light of the tallow dip, the school house on the hill, the river sparkling in the sunlight, and the mill wheezing away the days in its mission of food grinding.  His undeveloped strength was sorely taxed with the hard and exacting duties of the home farm, yet in the open he developed a fine constitution and healthy ambitions, also a keen appreciation of the dignity and nobility of the calling of his sires.  He was about fourteen years old when he came with his father to Schuyler County in the early 'fifties and he continued to live at home until his marriage, in 1857, to Penina Tracy, who was born in Fulton County, Ill., May 14, 1835, a daughter of Lyman Tracy, a native of New York State, and one of the early settlers of Fulton County.  With his wife Mr. Settles established a home on eighty acres of unimproved land in Browning Township, for which he paid a dollar an acre, the same skirting Sugar Creek, a friendly little stream that added much to the value and prospects of his farm.  His first home was a log cabin of small dimensions, but comfortable withal for those days, and here was born his son, Leander, May 28, 1859, and his daughter, Florentine, March 31, 1865.  Leander, whose sketch appears in another section of this work, married Jessie Rebman, and they have four children: Harry, Anna, Hiliah, and Lura.  He is now a retired farmer living in Rushville.  the daughter Florentine, married Clementine Milby, and they lived on a farm in Rushville Township, with a family of three children: Gertrude, Ruth, and Edward.
  With that commendable zeal which had characterized Mr. Settles enlisted, March 15, 1865, in Company I, Third Illinois Cavalry, for one years, and was sent to Springfield, Ill., and to Eastport, Miss., remaining there until the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, April 9, 1865, five days before the assassination of President Lincoln.  From there the soldiers were sent to St. Louis, Mo., and thence to St. Paul, Minn., where they went into camp at Fort Snelling.  One morning early they were ordered out after the Indians, whom, they ran to Devil’s Lake and out of the Territory.  They had many opportunities to fish and hunt, but finally were ordered back to Springfield, Ill., where they were mustered out of the service.  Returning to his cabin on Sugar Creek, Mr. Settles learned of the birth of his daughter, Florentine, during his absence, and he again took up the burden of arming, wielding with renewed vigor his implements of husbandry with peace and good fellowship.
  In 1867 Mr. Settles changed his home to a farm of 180 acres in Browning township, a rough timbered property that left much to be desired in the way of improvement.  Here was born April 14, 1866, his son, Walter Logan, who married Nola Robeson, is now a farmer in Rushville Township, and has six children - Earl, Ralph, Melvin, Manford, Edith and Edna; Dora born August 8, 1870, is wife of William Carty, and mother of Clyde B. and Charles Carty; Charles R., born November 29, 1873, married Myrtle Simpson, and lives on a farm in Rushville Township; Orpha, born July 12, 1876, on the farm where Adam Rebman now lives, and who is the wife of William Phillips, and mother of four children, two of whom died in infancy, those living being Ibanda and Hildreth Eva.  In 1875 Mr. Settles sold his farm and bought land now owned by Mr. Rebman.  His wife died October 16, 1892.  She was a noble and lovable woman, possessed a host of friends and was sadly missed her immediate family and by many who had known the charm of her personal sympathy and hospitality.  December 25, 1895, Mr. Settles married Clair Elizabeth Zeigler, who was born in York County, Pa., January 31, 1864, a daughter of Samuel and Rebecca Zeigler, both of whom still live in the Quaker State.  Mr. Zeigler is a machinist by occupation, and during the war was employed by the Government as a bridge builder, and also assisted in the construction of Fort Monroe.  Calvin Zeigler, a brother of Mrs. Settles, is a prosperous farmer in Browning Township.
  Having abandoned for all time the responsibilities of farming, Mr. Settles and his wife started upon an extended western journey in November, 1906 visiting Pike’s Peak, Manitou, the Garden of the Gods, and other places of interest in Colorado, thereafter extending their trip to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other points in California.  His many sided experiences and keen observations as a traveler were enjoyed by his many friends in Rushville and Schuyler County through the publication of letters written by him and published in the Citizen and other home papers.  Returning to the county that has known and appreciated him for so many years, Mr. Settles took up his abode in his present delightful residence on Jefferson Street, Rushville, which he had purchased in 1906,  and in which on March 10, 1907, he began a less arduous life than he hitherto had lived.  This home is presided over by a gracious and accomplished wife, who understands the art of rendering comfortable those around her, and who is highly esteemed by all who are privileged to enjoy her acquaintance.  Besides his home, Mr. Settles owns twelve other town lots and three dwellings in Rushville, three lots in Long Beach, Cal., and eleven lots in Beardstown, Ill.  In all he has bought and sold in Rushville Township, 1,200 acres of land, a record up approached by any other of its agricultural upbuilders.  As before stated, he paid one dollar an acre in gold for his first farm, going in debt for a part of it, and for his last land he paid $125 an acre, and now refuses $150 for the same.  No finer or more productive property is to be found in the Central Wet, due principally to the careful methods of rotation, fertilization and general cultivation observed by the owner.
  Possessing so unmistakably the faculty of accumulation, Mr. Settles naturally has gravitated towards banking, and is one of the stockholders of the Bank of Schuyler County.  Politically he is a Republican, but no partisan, and no amount of persuasion has caused him to invade the ranks of office holders.  He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Colonel Horney Post, and prominent at reunions and general post undertakings.  Personally, a genial, confidence inspiring and forceful man, Mr. Settles has won and kept friends all along his vigorous and purposeful life, and everywhere that he is known, is regarded as an excellent neighbor, loyal friend, interesting companion and dependable country gentleman.




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