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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, p. 254-55


Civil War Flags.jpg R. P. LILLIE, of Kellerton, a prominent pioneer of Decatur and Ringgold counties, was born in Athens County, Ohio, April 4, 1823, son of Apollo LILLIE, a native of Connecticut, who immigrated to new York, thence to Ohio. His mother was Dorcas (SEYMOUR) LILLIE, who was reared in New York. His parents reared a family of six children - Joseph, Hannah, Benjamin, Rufus, Lucy and Nimrod. Rufus P. was the fourth child. His early life was passed on the farm. He received his education in the subscription schools of that day, and worked for 25-cents a day to pay for the same. By improving his opportunities and studying at home, he received sufficient education to enable him to teach school. Arriving at the age of manhood, he was united in marriage with Sarah GILPIN, a native of Morgan County, Ohio, and daughter of Jonas and Nancy GILPIN. In 1856, Mr. LILLIE, with wife and four children, came to Iowa by team, first locating in Decatur County, Eden Township, where he resided two years. In 1859, he removed to Woodland Township, and one year later returned to Eden Township, where he resided at the breaking out of the Civil War.

He enlisted August 2, 1863, in the Ninth Iowa Cavalry, and was transferred by request to Company G, Fourth Iowa Cavalry. He was in the engagements at Tupelo, Old Town Creek, Hurricane Creek, Bear Creek, Independence, Missouri, Big Blue, Little Blue, Mine Creek and where General MARMADUKE surrendered, near Fort Scott on WILSON's raid from Selma, Alabama, and Monte Valley, Ellerton, Plantersville, Ebenezer Church, and several others. He was mustered out in August, 1865, at Atlanta, Georgia, receiving his final discharge at Davenport, Iowa, then returned to his home in Eden Township.

His wife died a few months before he returned from the service. She was the mother of six children - Charles W., Lorenzo Dow, Lewis C., William J., George C. and Rufus P.

From 1868 until 1872 Mr. LILLIE was engaged in contracting and building. He was married a second time * February 15, 1872, to N[aomi] J. McDONALD, a native of Perry Co. OH. They have one child - Mary Myrtle.

In 1872 Mr. LILLIE located in Bloomington Township, where he resided until 1884, then removed to Kellerton, where he owns a fine residence, one and a half stories in height, finished in modern style, and well furnished. He owns a good farm in Bloomington Township and a residence property in Davis City [Decatur Co. IA]. He is a member of the Good Templars order, and is politically a Republican. By fair and honorable dealing he has secured the respect of all who know him.

NOTE: *According to Iowa Pioneer Certificates, Rufus' second marriage was to Dorothy THOMPSON and his 3rd marriage was to Naomi McDONALD.

Jonas GILPIN, son of Elias GILPIN (ca. 1781, VA - 1848, VA) and Lydia (BALL) GILPIN (1786, MD - 1857), was born in 1801, Maryland, and died after 1855. Jonas married in Morgan County, Ohio on December 7, 1825 to Nancy McLAIN. Nancy and Jonas GILPIN's first-born child was Sarah, born 1824, Chauncey, Athens County, Ohio. Jonas and Nancy GILPIN appear on the 1850 Federal Census as residing in District Starr Township of Hocking County, Ohio: Jonas, age 45, laborer, born in MD; Nancy, age 45, born in PA; son Barbary, age 19, born OH; son Matthew, age 16, born OH; daughter Lyddia, age 15, born OH; son Jonas, age 10, born OH; son Julian, age 8, born OH; son Rufus, age 6, born OH; daughter Caroline, age 2, born OH.

Rufus P. LILLIE died on July 22, 1899 and was interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, p. 254-55, 1887.

Iowa Genealogy Society, Pioneer Certificates

1850 Federal Census, Hocking County, Ohio

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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