William J. Gillilan was born in Daviess county on the 6th day of May, 1849, and is a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Jordin) Gillilan, natives of Pocahontas county, Virginia. They came to this State in 1839, and to Daviess county the year following. Our subject received his education and grew to manhood in his native county, and began business for himself at the age of eighteen years as a blacksmith at Jamesport and continued that business about eight years, then entered mercantile business in company with George W. Miller, in 1877, under the firm name of Miller & Gillilan, which business they still continue very profitably.
Mr. Gillilan was married in Grundy county, Missouri, October 30, 1872, to Miss Melissa King, daughter of Rufus and Henrietta King. The issue of this union has been two children, named Bessie and Virgil.
Mr. Gillilan is a member of Evening Star Lodge No. 39, A. O. U. W., of Lodge No. 339, I. O. O. F., and of Lodge No. 201, A. F. & A. M.