Transcribed by Pamela Wagler from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


Delos A. Gillette, now deceased, devoted his life to general farming and stock-raising, finding ample opportunity for the exercise of his energy and business ability in that line of work, wherein he gained a creditable measure of success. He was a native of the State of New York, born in Randolph, Sept. 12, 1828. His parents were Comfort and Caroline (Dodds) Gillette. The father, who was born at New Lebanon, Columbia county, N. Y., in 1797, afterward removed to Ohio. His wife was a native of Phelps, Ontario county, N. Y., born in 1804.

During his residence in the Buckeye State the father engaged in general agricultural pursuits, and upon coming to Iowa purchased three hundred acres of land in Franklin township, whereon he lived up to the time of his death, which occurred on the old homestead. He passed away Dec. 20, 1865, at the age of sixty-eight years. He was of the Baptist faith, of which church he had long been a consistent member. His political allegiance was given to the Republican party. His widow died when seventy-five years of age, and of their family of eleven children only one is now living.

Delos A. Gillette acquired his education in the common schools of his native town, and in his youth assisted in the work of the home place. About 1852, when twenty-four years of age, he came to Iowa, settling in Burlington, where he was employed as one of the surveyors on the railroad then being extended to Mt. Pleasant. He continued at that work for some time, and afterward removed to Franklin township, where he was engaged in farming. After the arrival of his parents in this county he went to live with them in Franklin township, and he and his brother Henry operated the home place. There Delos A. Gillette remained for a number of years, but eventually removed to Louisa county, Iowa, where he purchased a farm, which he owned and cultivated for three years. He then sold that property and came to Franklin township, where he bought a tract and carried on general agricultural pursuits for a number of years. Later he sold this property and lived in the village of Sperry up to the time of his demise.

Jan. 13, 1856, at Upper Sandusky, Mr. Gillette was married to Miss Mary E. Eggleston, who was born in Ontario county, New York, and was a daughter of Joseph and Maria (Buttles) Eggleston, both of whom were natives of the Empire State. The father was a stone-mason by trade, and after living in New York for many years, removed to Upper Sandusky, Ohio, where both he and his wife passed away. Mrs. Gillette was educated in the common schools at the place of her birth, and by her marriage has become the mother of five children, all of whom were born in Des Moines county, but only one is now living: Alice May, born May 16, 1857, died at the age of two years; Frank A., born Oct. 3, 1858, died in September, 1859; William M., born July 9, 1860, died at the age of nineteen years; Carrie, who died at the age of nine years; Elma, living at home with her mother, is the successful teacher of the Diamond School of Franklin township.

In his political views Mr. Gillette was an earnest Republican, yet neither sought nor desired office. For many years his attention was given in undivided manner to his farming and stock-raising interests. In 1877 he took up his abode in the village of Sperry, but still carried on farming. He remained there until called to his final rest Dec. 28, 1901, his remains being interred in the old Stone Church cemetery. He had passed the seventy-third milestone on life's journey, and his had been an active and useful career that had made his name an honored one..

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