Biography of Harrison Gill

It is fitting that in the biographies of the early settlers of the County some mention should be made of Harrison Gill, who entered among the first land here and lived near Camargo. The grandfather of Mr. Gill was born in Ireland. He came to America and settled m Virginia. His son, Samuel Cresswell Gill, r moved from Virginia to Kentucky and settled in Bath County. Here, on the Licking river, he built Gill’s mills, a noted point in that part of that state. He married Sarah Malone, by whom he had a large family of children, of whom Harrison Gill was the oldest, born in June, 1808.

On arriving at the age of twenty-one he found himself in possession of a few hundred dollars, which his father advised him to invest in western lands. He accordingly traveled on horseback to Illinois, first to his uncle, Thomas Gill, in Cumberland County. He found his uncle busy shingling the roof of a house, and he told young Gill if he would help him finish the shingling he would go with him to Coles County in search of land. The first point above Charleston where they found any one living was Major Ashmore, at the mouth of Brushy Fork. North of that he came to an Indian camp, a French and Indian trading point, where Hugo, or Bridgeport, now is. His uncle mischievously informed the Indians that Gill was a young Kentuckian who had come for the purpose of taking to himself an Indian wife. He selected his land, the northwest quarter of section 35 and the west half of the southwest quartet- of the same section. The railroad reservoir, east of Camargo, is now on these tracts. He returned immediately to Palestine and made his entry. The patents for the land, now in the possession of George C. Gill, of Camargo, were signed on the 8th of March, 1830, and bear the signature of Andrew Jackson. This was the first land regularly entered in the territory composing what is now Douglas County. Most of the land is still in his possession. He returned to Kentucky soon after selecting the land.

At the age of twenty-eight he married Georgia Ann Landsdowne, a native of Virginia. Mr. Gill was elected sheriff of Bath County, Kentucky, in 1860, and from 1862 to 1864 was judge of the County court.

In early life Mr. Gill was a Whig. On the breaking out of the war he became a Union man. Mainly through his instrumentality the Twenty-fourth Kentucky Regiment was recruited at the Springs in 1862. In the fall of the same year the Springs were also the head-quarters of Gen. Nelson, who ordered all the home guards of Kentucky to rendezvous at that point for the defense of the eastern portion of the state. From the fall of 1863 to the fall of 1869 Mr. Gill resided near Kentucky, having been driven from his home on account of his Union sentiments.


Gresham, John M. Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois Logansport, Indiana: Press of Wilson, Humphreys & Co. 1900.

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