James F. Gilliland, principal of the high school of Arkansas City, is a graduate of the University of Kansas and had been active in educational work from school days. He worked his way through college and university partly by teaching.
A native of Kansas, he was born near Beloit, in Mitchell County, March 22, 1881. His Gilliland ancestors were Scotch-Irish people who were early settlers in the State of Pennsylvania. His father, Henry Clay Gilliland, was born in Iowa, March 31, 1842, grew up near Washington, Iowa, and spent his active career as a farmer. When he was still under age in 1861 he enlisted in the Seventh Iowa Infantry and made a notable record as a Union soldier. He first participated in some of the great campaigns in the Middle West under General Grant, serving during the siege of Fort Donelson and Fort Henry, afterwards in the battles of Shiloh and Corinth, and then became part of Sherman’s magnificent army, serving at Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, on the Atlanta campaign, and was severely wounded at the battle of Resaca. After that battle he was confined in an army hospital for several months.
In 1871 he settled on a quarter section homestead near Beloit, Kansas. He developed a farm there, and most of his children were born and partly reared in that community. In 1895 he sold out his interest in Mitchell County, lived as a farmer in Fayetteville, Tennessee, for a time, in 1899 removed to a farm near Superior, Nebraska, and in 1910 returned to Kansas and followed farming at Hill City until his death on December 12, 1913. He was an ardent republican, held various township offices, and was a member of the United Presbyterian Church. His first wife, whom he married in Iowa, died near Beloit, Kansas, and was the mother of two children. The first born, a son, died in infancy. Rose is the wife of Harry D. Treaster, a farmer near Beloit. Henry C. Gilliland married for his second wife Jennie Humphrey, who was born in Iowa, April 3, 1850, and is now living near Beloit. Their children were: Addie M., wife of Oliver Cameron, a farmer at Hill City, Kansas; Leonard W., a farmer at Redwood Falls, Minnesota; Evelina, wife of W. A. Braden, a bookkeeper at Superior, Nebraska; James F.; Mark A., in the feed and grain business at Superior, Nebraska; Mattie B., wife of Ross Blackford, a farmer at Hill City; Mabel, wife of David E. Schlingloff, a farmer at Hill City; Elma, who married Arthur Honn, a carpenter at Marion, Kansas; Margaret, who died in North Bend, Nebraska, in October, 1914, married Arthur Boyd, a miller at North Bend; Ola, wife of Ora Leslie, a farmer at Beloit; Harold C., who lives with his mother and attends the State Normal at Hays City; Irene, who is also at home with her mother.
James F. Gilliland received his early education in the rural schools near Beloit and for two years was a student in Molino Academy at Molino, Tennessee. His higher education was acquired in Cooper College at Sterling, Kansas, where he completed the preparatory course and finished the sophomore year in college. From there, in 1908, he entered the University of Kansas and studied the classical course and was given the degree A. B. in 1910.
Mr. Gilliland had been principal of the Arkansas City High School since the fall of 1910. Besides his experience here he had a record of six years as a Mitchell County, Kansas, and Nuckolls County, Nebraska, teacher. He is an independent in politics. Mr. Gilliland is an elder in the United Presbyterian Church. At Arkansas City he belongs to the Rotary Club. His home is at 411 North Summit Street, and he extensively remodeled it in 1915. On December 28, 1910, at Sterling, Kansas, he married Miss Charlotte Inches, daughter of Rev. D. and Hattie (Johnson) Inches. Her father was a minister of the United Presbyterian Church, was a native of Scotland, and effectively carried on his work as a pioneer preacher at North Bend and at other places in Nebraska. Mrs. Gilliland’s widowed mother now resided at Sterling, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Gilliland have one child, Donald James, born July 12, 1912.