Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 667-71. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


Robert Gibson, a retired farmer and dealer in poultry and cream, is a valued citizen of Rockwell and of Cerro Gordo county, where he has lived since 1875. He is a Civil war veteran and belonging as he did to the Army of the Potomac, saw some of the hardest service. He was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, June 2, 1844, but he is Irish in extraction, both of his parents being natives of the Emerald Isle. Their names were Alexander and Jane (Hammond) Gibson. They came to the United States about 1838, bringing with them three children and the father, who was a farmer, almost at once took his family to a farm in Pennsylvania, where he and his wife lived during the remainder of their lives, he dying in 1872 and she, in 1869. Mr. Gibson was the sixth of seven children, four of the family having been born after the emigration to America. Of these Mrs. Margaret McDowell lives in Pennsylvania; George came to Iowa at the time of the war, settled in Bath township, Cerro Gordo county in 1875, and died in Rockwell in 1906, having retired some time previously; Joseph died at St. John while the family were en route to the United States; Mrs. Maria Austraw died in Pennsylvania, as did William H., the fifth member; the youngest child is Alexander D., who lives in Hansell, Franklin county, Iowa.

Robert Gibson received his education in the public schools of Pennsylvania and gave of his youthful energies to the labor on his father's farm. On May 28, 1863, he enlisted for three months in the Pennsylvania state troop, which was stationed for a time around Pittsburg and then sent to Ohio in pursuit of raiders. On February 24, 1864, he enlisted in Company D, Fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, the regiment being sent to Virginia and being incorporated in the army of the Potomac. Mr. Gibson saw much fighting, at the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Spottsylvania, and Petersburg, not to mention many skirmishes and smaller engagements. While upon a scouting expedition in search of Mosby's Guerillas he was wounded in the left side and the right shoulder, (March 13, 1865). He was sent first to the field hospital, then to City Point, Virginia, then to Washington, and was finally transferred to Philadelphia. He rejoined the regiment at Lynchburg, Virginia, in the latter part of May, 1865. There on the 2d of July he was mustered out and was discharged at Pittsburg July 13.

Upon his return to civil life Mr. Gibson engaged in farming and teaming. He was married in 1867 and in 1869 moved to LaMoile, Bureau county, Illinois, where he rented land and devoted his energies to farming. In 1872 he came to Franklin county, Iowa, and bought eighty acres of wild prairie. He broke about half of this and built a house and there lived until 1875, when he came to Cerro Gordo county. He located in Bath township and bought land, ultimately coming to possess three hundred and twenty acres. Only the first eighty acres was wild land. A frame house and barns were constructed and here Mr. Gibson made his home until 1895, when he came to Rockwell. He kept one hundred and sixty acres of his holdings, giving his son eighty acres and selling him the same amount. He bought a home in Rockwell with the intention of making it his permanent home, an intention which he has carried out. For two years he conducted a meat market and has since dealt in poultry, eggs, cream and stock. Latterly he confines himself to cream and poultry. He has Republican convictions and has served as a member of the school board in Bath township and Rockwell. He has several fraternal associations, his membership extending to the G. A. R., the I. O. O. F. and the Mystic Toilers. He and his wife belong to the Methodist church.

Miss Susan M. McDowell became the wife of Mr. Gibson January 9, 1867. She is a native of Pennsylvania, as were her parents, Bar and Martha (Austraw) McDowell, the father being born on the old homestead where the grandfather also had his nativity. Mr. and Mrs. McDowell lived upon this ancestral place for many years, the mother dying there in 1880 and the father remaining until 1895, since which time he has lived with Mr. and Mrs. Gibson, being now ninety years of age. Robert Gibson and his wife are the parents of nine children: William D. is a stock buyer; Bar died at the age of one year; Robert Elmer died at nineteen; Myrtie is the wife of C. R. Saylor; Gertrude is the wife of A. L. Saylor; Winnie married Frank Johnson; Hattie died in infancy; Jennie is the wife of Leo Zeidler; and Lu is a teacher at Rockwell.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2014



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