Ringgold County Biographical Sketches
Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa
Lewis Publishing Company, 1887. pp. 304 - 305.
ANDREW J. GILLETT
"Andrew J. GILLETT, of section 32, Union Township, has been a resident of Ringgold County
since April, 1855. He and the old pioneer, John Folts, who lives on section 3, are the first two
settlers of Union Township, the latter having made his home here in the same month as our subject,
but a few days before. Mr. Gillett is a native of Genesee County, New York, born May 5, 1832, a son
of Archibald and Mary (Scott) Gillett, who were natives of Massachusetts and New York respectively.
In 1847 the family left Genesee County, for Noble County, Indiana. The parents moved to St. Joseph
County, Michigan, in 1857, where they lived on a small farm the rest of their lives. They were the
parents of seven children, our subject being the only son and sixth child. Of their daughters, Nancy
Ann lives at Stugis, Michigan; Catherine lives in Missouri, near Fort Raleigh; Melvina and Violette
live in Indiana; Mariette is deceased, and Rosina, the youngest, lives in Southern Kansas.
Gillett, the subject of this sketch, left his native county when about fifteen years of age, and grew
to manhood in Noble County, Indiana, making that his home till he came to Iowa.
He was married in
Noble County, January 29, 1853, to Miss Elizabeth Wright, a daughter of Stanbury Wright, the pioneer
settler of Tingley Township, but now a resident of Denver, Colorado. Mrs. Gillett was born in Ohio,
in 1836, but reared in Noble County, Indiana.
In the fall of 1854 Mr. and Mrs. Gillett left Indiana
with a view of making a home in the Hawkeye State, spending the following winter at Iowa City, and
there their eldest child was born. In December, 1854, Mr. Gillett, in company with his father-in-law,
Mr. Wright, and his brother-in-law, John Strouse, visited Ringgold County where each entered
Government land, Mr. Gillett entering eighty acres of prairie and forty acres of timber land in Union
Township, where he has since made his home.
To Mr. and Mrs. Gillett have been born thirteen
children – Archibald S., of Tingley Township; Mrs. Helen French, living in Southern Kansas; Mrs. Alice
Buell, living in Wirt, Ringgold County; Andrew J., Jr., living in Dakota; Mrs. Diadama Ruth, living
in Wirt; Mary died, aged eleven months; Ray, Traverse, Ida, Charles, Orr, May and Maud (twins); the
last seven living at home with their parents.
Mr. Gillett was reared to agricultural pursuits, and
has made that his life work. Since coming to Iowa he has met with excellent success, and is proud of
the State and of Ringgold County. Commencing poor – having barely enough to pay for his first entry,
and leave himself part of a team to begin improving his farm – he has by his industry and strict
frugality accumulated a fine property, his home farm containing 400 acres of as timely-improved land
as can be found in the township.
The rude pioneer log cabin has now given way to one of the best
farm houses in this part of the county, and the barns and out-buildings are substantial and
In his political views Mr. Gillett is a Republican. He has held several official trusts
in the early years of the township; served several years as township clerk, and also several terms as
township trustee. He is a member of the Odd Fellows order.”
Submitted to the Ringgold County IAGenWeb Project by Christy Jay, email:
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