Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois,
Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, Page 587 nbsp;
THOMAS GAPEN, a retired farmer of Rushville township, Schuyler county, is the subject of the following biographical sketch. He was born in Clearfield county, Pennsylvania, May 3, 1833, a son of Zachariah T. Gapen, also a native of the Keystone State. The paternal grandfather, John Gapen, was descended from English ancestors; he was a farmer by occupation, and owned land in Greene county, Pennsylvania, on which he lived the last years of his life. His son, Zachariah T., was reared and married in Pennsylvania; there he resided until 1841, when he removed to Illinois; the journey was begun March 19; he floated down the Monongahela to Pittsburg, and there took a boat, going via the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers to a point in Schuyler county then known as Erie; by team he came to Rushville township. His means were very small, and he was obliged to rent the lands he cultivated; later he purchased the tract on which he had expended so much labor, and lived there until his death in 1846. His wife's maiden name was Margaret McGee; she was born in Pennsylvania and died in Rushville township, Schuyler county, Illinois, in 1851; they reared a family of eleven children. Thomas Gapen was a child of eight years when his parents came to Illinois. He has since witnessed many changes in the country, wrought by the march of progress. He remained under the parental roof until bereft of both father and mother. He then purchased the old homestead, and now has 320 acres, 130 acres being in an advanced state of cultivation. He now rents the land and lives a quiet life at Rushville. Mr. Gapen was married, in 1872, to Isabelle Williamson, a daughter of L. S. and Margaret Williamson; she was born in Peoria county, Illinois. Three children have been born to them, two of whom died in infancy: Maggie is the name of the surviving child. Mr. Gapen is a man of high and honorable principles, and has the respect of the entire community.
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