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Biography - J Gum

J. R. GUM, a retired farmer of Bond County, Ill., and now a valued resident of Old Ripley, has devoted almost his entire life to the successful cultivation of the Western prairies, and has watched with eager and intelligent interest the growth and upward progress of the neighborhood and county which have been his home for over fifty years. Born July 10, 1822, our subject was but two years old when his parents emigrated from his birthplace, Columbus, Ohio, and settled in Madison County, Ind., in 1824.

Mrs. Isaac Gum, the mother of our subject, was of Scotch descent, but as she died when the son, J. R., of whom we write was very young, he never learned much of her early history or antecedents. His father, Isaac Gum, was a native of Virginia, and a pioneer settler in Ohio. His wife had shared his home and with him experienced many cares and the privations of frontier life, and when, after years of faithful devotion, she died in 1825, her death was indeed an irreparable loss. The father remained with his children in Indiana for a number of years, but in 1839 he located with his family in Illinois, settling in Bond County, where he died in 1848.

Our subject was one of a family of nineteen children, of whom but five are now surviving. Sarah, the widow of Charles Wall, resides in Ripley Township. Catherine, who married a man of the same name, but no relation of the family, is the wife of Lemuel Gum, and lives near St. Joseph, Mo. Elizabeth is the wife of James Jones, a successful farmer of Madison County, Ill. Perry is now a citizen of Alton. Our subject, J. R., was among the youngest of the large family of brothers and sisters. He had but very limited advantages for an education, and is mainly a self-made man. The occupation of his life has confined him to a daily round of general agricultural duties, and through unflagging industry and patient toil he has won an independence, and now makes his home in Old Ripley with his sons.

In 1845, J. R. Gum and Alvina File were united in marriage. The wife of our subject was a daughter of Daniel File, an early settler of the county. Mrs. Gum, who was a highly esteemed lady, died in 1878, after becoming the mother of five children, three of whom are yet living and reside within easy distance of the old homestead. Sarah Jane is the wife of Elisha Ray, a well-known and prosperous farmer in Ripley. Isaac, the present Tax Collector of the Township, a prominent factor in local politics and a successful business man, was born June 14, 1858. He received a good education in the public schools of the county, and about five years ago he bought an interest in the mercantile business with his brother E. R. at Old Ripley. After a time, other affairs requiring his attention, he disposed of his share of the business to E. R., who became sole proprietor of the store. Isaac is politically a strong Democrat, and has held his present official position of Tax Collector for three terms, discharging the duties of his office with prompt fidelity and energetic service. In 1879, he was married to Miss Elizabeth A. Ray, a native of the town of Ripley. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Gum are the parents of a bright young girl, Alice Ethel.

E. R. Gum, a leading merchant and progressive citizen of Old Ripley, is the youngest son of our subject, and was born February 24, 1863, the last child to come into the family group. He remained on the farm with his father long after his mother's death, and was twenty-five years old when, in 1888, he entered into the mercantile business at Old Ripley with his brother. He had well improved the advantages of study in the public schools and engaged with efficient ability in the duties of mercantile life. Continuing his interests in the store in Old Ripley, he also managed a store at Alton Junction for a time, but when he became the sole owner of his present prosperous establishment, he disposed of his interest at Alton Junction. Now, giving his undivided time to his large and rapidly increasing business, he finds but little leisure, yet, taking a deep interest in local and National affairs, is widely known as a progressive citizen.

July 3, 1887, E. R. Gum and Miss Rosella Peterson were united in marriage, and are now the happy parents of two promising children, Mabel and Clarence E. A lovely little infant, Florence, died at the age of five months in the spring of 1892. Mrs. Gum is the daughter of Daniel Peterson, an old settler of the county, and was herself born within its boundaries. This attractive lady has a wide acquaintance and many friends.

The Gum family represents a long line of sturdy Whigs and Democrats, but E. R. Gum has departed from the paths of his ancestors and affiliates with the Republicans.

Extracted 20 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 359-360.

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