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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
George V. Gist
GEORGE V. GIST, who is engaged in farming and stock-raising on section 7, Bethel Township, has been a resident of the county for twenty years. His entire life has been spent in the Mississippi Valley. He was born in Green County, Wis., March 24, 1845, and is a son of Jesse and Harriet (Trimbley) Gist, the former born in Ohio, April 21, 1816, and the latter in New Jersey in the same year, of German descent. Mrs. Gist during her maidenhood removed to Ohio, where she formed the acquaintance of the gentleman who afterward became her husband. Mr. Gist was a farmer by occupation and continued to engage in that pursuit in the Buckeye State until 1843, when he removed to Green County, Wis., making his home in that community until his removal to Fayette County, Iowa, in 1878. He located in West Union, where two years later the death of his wife occurred. He survived her some ten years, and died in April, 1890. They were highly respected people and the community mourned their loss. In their family were Clarissa, who became the wife of William Prime, of Green County, Wis., and died in 1868, leaving one child; Sarah Ellen, who died in infancy; George V., of this sketch; Isaac, who makes his home in West Union; John, who married and resided in this county until his death in 1879; Charles, who married, resided in Fayette County for some time and died in Green County, Wis., in 1883; Cornia, who died in West Union, in June, 1878; and Elnora, whose death occurred in West Union, in April, 1881.
During his boyhood days, the time of our subject was taken up by work upon the home farm and attendance at the district school. In August, 1864, although only nineteen years of age at the time, he enlisted for the late war in Monroe, Green County, Wis., and was assigned to Company D, Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry. The regiment was attached to the Ninth Army Corps in the Army of the Potomac and took part in the engagements around Petersburg. When the war was over Mr. Gist took part in the Grand Review at Washington, D. C., and was honorably discharged at Madison, Wis., June 14, 1865.
Returning to his native county, he again resumed his work upon the farm, this time in his own interest. On the 4th of April, 1866, he was united in marriage with Miss Miranda Kessler, a native of Geneva County, Ill., and a daughter of Walter C. and Sylva Ann (Bane) Kessler. Her father was born in Pennsylvania in 1817, her mother in New York, April 12, 1812, and their marriage was celebrated in Ohio in 1836. By occupation he was a farmer and at an early day removed to Illinois, going thence to Green County, Wis. in 1848. The remainder of his life was there spent, he being called to his final home in 1865. His wife survived him thirteen years, dying in 1878. In their family were four children: Emily, wife of Lucius Tone, of Dickinson County, Iowa; Miranda, the honored wife of our subject; Irene, wife of Robert McFarland, who enlisted in Green County, Wis., in 1861, as a member of the Third Wisconsin Infantry and served until 1864, when he lost a leg and in consequence was discharged, after which he came to this county, served as County Recorder from 1874 until 1878, and is now living near Topeka, Kan.; Adeline, the youngest of the family, is now the wife of Robert McKnight, and they reside in Nebraska.
By the union of George Gist and Miranda Kessler five children have been born, four of whom are yet living: Jesse, Charlie, Leona and George Harry. Clara, the eldest daughter, died in infancy. Jesse married Miss Myrtle Davis on the 4th of September, 1890, and resides in Bethel Township. The others are still under the parental roof.
Mr. Gist continued his farming operations in Wisconsin until 1870, which year witnessed his arrival in Fayette County, Iowa. He first settled in Bethel Township near his present farm and during a twenty years' residence in this community he has won the warm regard of his fellow-townsmen who esteem him highly for his sterling worth. He has always taken an active interest in political affairs and is an ardent supporter of the Republican party but has never sought public office. He is a member of Sullivan Post, No. 171, G. A. R., of Waucoma.
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