History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index


FRANKLIN GILKESON. The late Benjamin F. GILKESON, for many years one of the leading attorneys of the Bucks county bar, and prominently identified with the political affairs of his native county, was born in Bristol, Bucks county, August 23, 1842, and spent his whole life there.

His father, Andrew W. GILKESON, Esq., was born in Montgomery county, but was of Bucks county ancestors, and spent most of his life in this county. His father, also named Andrew, was a lieutenant-colonel in the war of 1812, and prominently identified with the volunteer militia in the years immediately following the second war with Great Britain, and the family were among the early settlers of Pennsylvania. Andrew W. GILKESON was a prominent attorney, being admitted to the Bucks county bar April 29, 1840, and practicing for many years at Bristol. He took an active interest in the affairs of the county, and filled the office of prothonotary of the county for the term of 1854-7. He married Margaret M KINSEY, of that borough, whose ancestors had been among the early English settlers in Bucks county, her great-great-grandfather, Samuel KINSEY, having settled in Bristol township in 1728. Andrew and Margaret M. (KINSEY) GILKESON were the parents of four children, of whom Benjamin Franklin was the eldest, and the late A. Weir GILKESON, also a prominent attorney of Bristol, was the youngest.

Benjamin F. GILKESON was educated in the graded schools of Bristol and at the academy at Hartsville. He studied law with the late Anthony SWAIN, of Bristol, and was admitted to the bar February 2, 1864, and at once engaged in practice at Bristol. Possessed of more than ordinary ability in the line of his profession, an earnest and careful student, his unflagging energy and indomitable will soon brought him to the front, and for twenty-five years prior to his death he was the leader of the Bucks county bar, and represented vast corporate interests both in the county and elsewhere. Soon after his admission to the bar he launched into the political arena, and was a prominent figure in the political councils of the county and state for many years. Reared in the Democratic faith, he was an early convert to the principles of the Republican party, and was for several years a colleague of Hon. Caleb N. TAYLOR, at the period a potent political factor in Bucks county and twice her representative in congress. TAYLOR and GILKESON later became estranged, and the rising young attorney became the recognized leader of his party in the county, and held that position in local and state politics for many years. He served as the representative of his county in many state, national and congressional conventions, and also in the state committee, of which he was for some years chairman. He was intimately associated with the leading statesmen and politicians of his day, serving in the cabinet of Governor Daniel H. HASTINGS as commissioner of banking, and taking an active part in state affairs for many years. He was second comptroller of the United States Treasury during the administration of President HARRISON, and made an excellent record. He was prominent in the Masonic fraternity, and served as district deputy grand master for Bucks and Montgomery counties. He was one of the trustees of the State Lunatic Asylum at Norristown, and held many other positions of trust and honor.

Mr. GILKESON was twice married: first in 1870 to Charlotte B. JONES, daughter of George B. JONES, of Pittsburg. She died in 1872, and he married (second) in 1874 Helen E. PIKE, daughter of Samuel PIKE of Bristol, and they were the parents of three children: Franklin, a member of the Bucks county bar, and of the firm of GILKESON & JANES, and two daughters, Helen and Ethel.

Test taken from page 345 of:

Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed February 2002 by Joan Lollis of IN. as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project,

Published September 2002 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb

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