Mercer County PAGenWeb

Thomas J. Gillespie  

THOMAS J. GILLESPIE, leather merchant, was born in Clarksville, Mercer Co., Penn., July 14, 1840, and is a son of John and Sarah (Clark) Gillespie. The former was born in Fayette County, Penn., July 19, 1806, and was a son Samuel and Martha (Luckey) Gillespie, natives of Pennsylvania, of Irish ancestry. They were married in Fayette County, Penn., and removed to Pymatuning Township, Mercer County, where both spent the balance of their lives, dying March 7, 1850, and August 9, 1855, respectively. They reared the following children: John, Mary (who married John Duncan), Harriet (who married John Fell), Anna (who became the wife of a Mr. McDowell, and afterward of a Mr. Rutledge), James, Sarah J. (who married John Woods), David and Samuel L., all of whom became the heads of families, and only one, Mrs. Sarah J. Woods, of Iowa, survives. John, the father of our subject, married Sarah, daughter of Samuel Clark, a pioneer of Clarksville. He was a cabinet maker by trade, and carried on the manufacture of furniture in Clarksville until his death, September 25, 1840, in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church. John and Sarah Gillespie reared the following children: Samuel (deceased), Martha (deceased), William, James D. (deceased), John, Jacob, Thomas J. and Mary (deceased). The mother died in Clarksville, January 26, 1883, in her eighty-second year, and throughout her life she was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject grew up in Clarksville, and the age of seventeen went west, where he spent two years. He then returned home and learned the blacksmith’s trade, at which he worked a few years. In June, 1867, Mr. Gillespie opened a boot and shoe store in Sharon, which he gradually gave up for the more successful business of a dealer in hides, leather, etc., in which he has built up a large and lucrative trade. He was married May 27, 1887, to Miss Almira, eldest daughter of Henry and Zula Clark, pioneers of Pymatuning Township. Mr. Gillespie enlisted in Company B, Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Militia, to repel Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania. His brother, John, was captain of Company B, Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served three years. Jacob served three years in an Illinois regiment. William went South in 1852 and served in the Twentieth Mississippi, was captured at Fort Donelson, and subsequently exchanged and returned to his home. Mr. Gillespie is a Republican, and has served two terms in the council and two years as burgess of Sharon. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, I.0.0.F. and N.U. 

Source: (History of Mercer County, 1888, page 725)

Thomas J. Gillespie is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Sandy Lake Township

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