Hardin County

1893 - John S Gullett

JOHN S. GULLETT, a farmer living on section 32, township 12, range 7, east, Pope County, is a son of John Gullett, a native of Tennessee. The father of John Gullett came to Illinois from Tennessee for the purpose of bettering his condition, and first located in Hardin Count. Like most of the early settlers in this part of the State, he came here poor, bringing with him in a wagon his household goods, and driving some cattle before him on the road. He secured some land, put in a crop, where he had himself made a clearing, and in that way made a living for himself and family. John Gullett came through with his parents from Tennessee, and was brought up on the farm. His educational opportunities were very meager and poor, schools being then few and far between; consequently his education was really obtained by his own individual application and private study and observation. When about twenty-one years of age he left the parental home and began to clear up a farm about five miles away, having one yoke of oxen and borrowing another yoke from his father, with which he hauled together the logs which he cut, camping out meanwhile, and while doing this work had a very uncomfortable time generally. Few young men of the present day, perhaps, would undertake a work of this kind, without a house to shelter them from the cold, which was at times so great as to freeze his ears.

Thus our subject's father began life in the wild and heavily timbered country, and at length got such a start as to be able to build a log house from the logs he was cutting in the woods, a rude, primitive cabin, making in it a loft, in which he slept to keep away from the wolves. On account of the abundance of deer and wild turkeys there was no difficulty in securing plenty of meat in Pope County. He lived there alone for some time, the nearest mill being fifteen miles away, except some mills run by horse power, which were a poor excuse, but as a general thing the best the country then afforded. The mill mentioned as being fifteen miles away was run by water power, and was much superior to the horse power mills; these were very slow and it was not uncommon for the patrons thereof to be compelled to wait some days for their turn to come. He thus lived a lonesome, dreary life for some time, but February 19, 1842, was married to Isabel Thompson, a native of Virginia, who shared life with him in his cabin in the wilderness, amid trials, hardships and deprivations that the young of the present day can hardly imagine to have existed. Churches, schools and society, all were unknown as they exist to-day. He remained there improving his farm and making a good home for himself and family until he died, October 13, 1882, his wife having died April 25, 1863.

November 29, 1866, John Gullett, Sr., was married the second time, to Amanda Meyers, who is still living in Pope County and has lived most of the time on the old place, which is now occupied by one of her sons. She lives with her children, who are taking care of her in her later days. By the first marriage there were eight children, seven of whom are now living, viz: Nancy Jane, wife of August Cluge, of Golconda, Ill.; James, a farmer near the old home; Elizabeth, wife of John Clymer, a farmer near the old home; Margaret, wife of E. Weekly; John S.; Samuel Green, a farmer of Pope County; and Thomas, a farmer also of this county. By the second marriage there was a pair of twins, Albert and Henry, one living near the old place, and one living on it.

Our subject was the fifth child by the first marriage and was born on the old homestead December 24, 1853. He was brought up on the farm, and had to work hard when a boy, though he had excellent opportunities for the times in which he lived to attend school. He did not, however, fully appreciate his privileges, and obtained only a limited education. When he was twenty years old he married Kate Sutherland. When he went for his license to get married he had, all told, only $10 in money, and when the expenses of the marriage ceremony had been paid he had only $6. After raising one crop on the old farm he rented a farm for one year, and then bought a farm in Pope County near Glendale, promising to pay $1,000 for the farm. He sold the farm three years afterward and returned to the old farm, and rented land in the vicinity for a number of years. After the death of his father, forty-seven acres fell to him from the estate, for which he had to pay $50. On this land he lived until 1891, when he sold it and bought the farm where he now lives, which consists of one hundred and sixty acres, and cost him $1,050, the forty-seven acres selling for $750. During the short time our subject has lived on this place he has cleared up a portion, repaired the fences and otherwise improved the farm and has had good success as a farmer. He and his wife have five children, viz: Minnie, Otis, Peter, Bertie and Janey. To these children he is determined to give a good education, seeing now more clearly than he was able to when young the value of intellectual training. Politically, Mr. Gullett is a Democrat, and a member of Golconda Lodge of the Knights of Honor. He is a very pleasant gentleman, courteous and genial, and is highly respected by the entire community for the character he possesses and the success he has attained in life.

Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 435

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