MILTON GORDON GILL

Upon the settlement of the Gill family in America they became identified with the state of Virginia. There the grandfather of Milton Gordon Gill was born and reared, and there he married Margaret McIntyre, a native of Pennsylvania of Scotch decent. A few years after his marriage he moved with his family to the banks of the Mississippi and for a time ran the ferry above St. Louis. While still in middle age his earth life ended. His wife survived him for many years, being eight-two at the time of her death, which occurred in Tehema County. Their son, James William, a native of Virginia, grew to manhood on their homestead near St. Louis and was ten years of age when his father died. In 1854 he crossed the plains with ox teams and two years later settled near Colusa, where he improved a tract of raw land. Moving to Yolo County in 1864, he engaged in the meat business at Knights Landing, but in 1870 returned to Colusa and became interested in the furniture business. The year 1877 found him a resident of Tehema County, where he made a specialty of raising grain. More recently he has become a resident of Ono, Shasta County, where he has been engaged in the freighting business and is still active and robust, notwithstanding his long and busy career. In religion he is connected with the Methodist and Episcopal Church South, while fraternally he holds membership in the Masons.

While residing in Colusa County in 1856, James William Gill married Margaret C. Jamison, a native of Kentucky and a pioneer of 1850 in California. The family of which he is a member settled in Virginia during the colonial period and one of the valued possessions of the subject of this article is a deed given to them in 1772 bearing the signature of Lord Fairfax of Virginia. Reverend Milton Jamison, a native of Virginia, went to Kentucky in an early day and from there migrated to Missouri and thence to Iowa, in these various states laboring in the ministry of the Methodist denomination. The discovery of gold in California turned his thoughts toward the Pacific Coast. Accompanied by his family in 1850, he started overland for the gold mines, but died on the way and was buried on the plains. The widow and her children pursued their journey with their ox teams and landed safely in California; the former, who was Nancy Light, a native of Virginia, died in Colusa at seventy-six years of age. Mrs. Margaret C. Gill is still living and is now sixty-nine years of age. In her family there are five daughters and four sons, namely: Martha E., Mrs. Montgomery, of Los Angeles; Nannie, Mrs. Metcalf, of Mendocino County; Milton G., attorney at law, of Red Bluff; Charles W., a stockman residing in Shasta County; Edward S., who conducts a mercantile store in Ono; Laura E., of Shasta County; M. B., who is engaged in farming and stock raising near Ono; Alice, Mrs. Cox, of Mendocino County; and Margaret P., a teacher.

During the residence of the family on a farm six miles south of Colusa, Milton Gordon Gill was born August 16, 1863. When almost fourteen years of age he accompanied his family to Tehema County and settled four miles from Red Bluff, where he attended district school. In a short time, however, he was sent to the Pacific Methodist College at Santa Rosa, where he remained a student for several years. Later he had the advantage of attending the Pacific Business College in San Francisco. From 1881 he was interested in farming with his father and his brother, Charles W., but agriculture did not attract him, his tastes lying rather in the line of professional work. Under R. E. Raglan he took up the study of law, which he later pursued at the Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tennessee, graduating from that institution in 1890 with the degree of L.L.B. Returning to Red Bluff, he opened an office and in time gained a reputation for broad professional knowledge. During 1894 he was elected justice of the peace by a large majority and at the same time served as city recorder and police judge. At the expiration of his term of service he received the honor in 1898 of nomination as district attorney, being elected to the position, he assumed his duties in 1899. At the end of four years, his term having expired, he was elected again by a large majority and is now filling his second term, which expires January 1907. In the capacity of district attorney he has been connected with a number of important cases, all of which he has conducted with keen judgement and in a manner indicative of a high order of intellect.

In Red Bluff, Mr. Gill married Mary Walton, who was born and reared in this city, and by whom he has two sons, Walton William and Milton Thomas. Mrs. Gillís father, Alfred Walton, was born in Walton, Yorkshire, England, and as a boy went to sea, rounding the Horn to San Francisco as early as 1841 and returning from this port with his ship to England. Later he settled in Iowa, whence in 1849 he crossed the plains with ox teams and engaged in mining in the vicinity of Placerville. That occupation he afterward supplemented with the keeping of a hotel in Old Shasta, which proved a remunerative employment. On coming to Red Bluff he became interested in the sheep business, having a well-stocked farm west of town. At the time of the excitement caused by the discovery of gold in Idaho he took a pack train to the mines, but the animals perished in the deep snow and the whole train was lost. Returning to California via Salt Lake City he embarked in the dray business and on selling it purchased what is now the oldest dairy in Tehema County. This he conducted until his retirement from active pursuits. In religion he was reared in the Church of England and since coming to America has affiliated with the Episcopalians. At this writing he is eighty-three years of age. The lady who has been his helpmate for many years bore the maiden name of Mary Ann Ward and is a native of County Tipperary, Ireland. By he first marriage she has a son, J. H. Reeves, who is connected with the freight department of the railroad at Red Bluff. After the death of her first husband in New York she came to San Francisco, where a brother made his home and later was united with Mr. Walton. Of their union two daughters and two sons are now living, namely: Agnes, wife of H. J. Franck, of French Gulch, Shasta County; Thomas R., member of the firm of Walton Brothers, dairymen, and president of the board of trustees of Red Bluff; Alfred J., who is connected with his brother in the dairy business in Red Bluff; and Mary, wife of Milton Gordon Gill, also of Red Bluff.

In fraternal matters Mr. Gill is especially active in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, into which he was initiated in Red Bluff Lodge No. 76, and he is past noble grand of the lodge. In 1902-03 he was honored with the office of grand member of the Grand Lodge of California, and is now grand representative of the Sovereign Grand Lodge. The convention of 1903 in Baltimore and 1904 in San Francisco he attended in the capacity of delegate. In the Encampment to which he belongs he is past chief patriarch and his connection with the order is further enlarged through his membership in the Order of Rebekahs and canton No. 5 of San Francisco.

Contributed by: Walt Gill
Source: HISTORY OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY, J. M. Guinn, Chapman Publishing Co., 1906

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