Biography of John H. Gass

JOHN H. GASS. This gentleman is one of the most prominent farmers of Boone County, Arkansas, and there is no one who more fully illustrates in his career the unbounded energy and activity of the agriculturist of his section than does he. His birth occurred in what is Clay County, Tennessee, in 1839, and he received very little schooling, much of his time being spent in the arduous duties of the farm. On February 1, 1858, he was married to Miss Susan J., daughter of Lewis and Abigail Pipkin, natives of South Carolina and East Tennessee respectively. Mrs. Gass was born in Tennessee and was four years of age when her mother died, and sixteen when her father passed away. By her marriage she became the mother of ten children, as follows: Sarah A., wife of James E. Rand, of Fulton County, Arkansas; Lusetta F., deceased, was the wife of William Niblett; Clemency E., wife of William Porter, of Boone County, Arkansas, William N., Lewis S., Jesse H. (deceased), James 0., Arthula (deceased), Robert F. and Otis M.

When the tocsin of war sounded in 1861, Mr. Gass enlisted in Company B, Ninth Kentucky Infantry, Union Army, and was with Gen. Rosecrans in several prominent engagements, Perryville, Murfreesboro, etc., and was discharged in 1863, after two years’ service, for disability. After this he made his home in Tennessee until 1872, when he moved to Indiana and from there to Fulton County, Arkansas One year later he moved to Baxter County, Arkansas, and made his home there for three years, after which he resided the same length of time in Fulton County. From there he moved to Boone County and for about ten years has lived on his present farm of 187 acres, about 50 acres under cultivation and well improved. Mr. Gass has been postmaster of Burlington Post office since February, 1891, and has been justice of the peace for about eight years. He is a member of Omaha Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and he and Mrs. Gass are worthy members of the old Christian Church. Politically he formerly affiliated with the Democratic party, but since the war he has been an ardent Republican. His first presidential vote was cast for Breckinridge in 1860.

Mr. Gass is a son of Jesse and Sarah (Bray) Gass, natives of the Keystone State, and both born in the year 1804. When quite small they moved with their parents to Tennessee, married there and passed the remainder of their days, the mother dying about 1853, and the father about 1867. They were members of the Disciple Church. Farming was the father’s occupation in life, and he was justice of the peace for eight years.

Our subject’s maternal grandfather, Richard Bray, died in Monroe County, Kentucky, when John H. was a boy. He was an early settler of Tennessee. Of the eleven children born to his parents our subject was seventh in order of birth. The others were named as follows: Mary, deceased; Richard, died in Texas; William C., died at Nashville (he was a soldier in the Union army with Gen. Rosecrans, and died from the effects of a wound received at Murfreesboro); Andrew J., died in Kentucky before the war; Nathan Jasper, died in Indiana (he was with Gen. Thomas during the war); Rachel died in Illinois; Catherine J., died in Tennessee; James B., died in Indiana; Jesse Newton, died in Indiana (he was also with Gen. Thomas during the war); and Josiah, died in Tennessee The father of these children was twice married, his second wife being a Miss White. She bore him six children, as follows: Anna Jane, died in infancy; Peter Harvey, of Tennessee; Francis M., of Kentucky; Sarah Ann, of Tennessee; Melvina, of Tennessee, and Rhoda, also of that State.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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