John Gibson , 1754–1828 (aged 74 years)
Stories about John Gibson and family, written 1889
Mr. John Gibson, father of Thos Gibson was born in this country somewhere not very far from Haggerstown, and married Miss Martha Park sometime in 1773, settled in Penn. Near to Carlisle. His wife was a true woman to the countries cause at that time and as was Mr Gibson her husband. She was at Hagerstown, as housekeeper for one of her brothers, a Merchant there, when the trouble began with Great Britain, her brother was a Tory and had made a fine dinner for some of his friends of that side while she was there. They had a black woman do the work, but she was busy helping, was then about 17 years of age, her brother kept china and delph ware for sale. While she was hurrying around she accidently broke a pile of plates that stood on a bench where they had set them after dinner she said that the trail of her fine chinz gown caught them and threw them over such ware was costly then and she did not want her brother to know of the loss so she went down into the cellar where he had his wares stored and picked out a set just like the ones she had broken and replaced them in the cupboard and then gathered up the broken ones and took them out to the garden and buried them under the currant bushes so he never knew anything about it. She was a gay lively handsome girl, blue-eyed, brown haired, and very fair, not tall but slender and of medium height, quick and active, and a good rider, and when John Gibson then about nineteen and a cavalry man, belonging to the militiamen of the United States would come by she would take a gallop off with him, as her tory brother did not like it very well to have a rebel waiting on her so this is the way they managed until finally they were married and lived together a long and happy life. They first settled in Penn. Near Carlisle, on a farm Mr Gibson’s father gave them. They had a large family of children.
Thomas being the eldest one, while there they lost some of their children by death. They had a little boy they called Jimie, one day when at school he with some more of the children went to get some pine knots to burn in the school house fire and seeing some nice ones he said to the boys he would go back to get them so he went. In the evening when school was out the other children missed him but thought maybe he had gone home so went on but he was not there, then they thought he had gone to grandfather Gibsons, so sent someone to see, but he had not been there. Then they sent some other friends and relations to see if he had been there. But none of them had seen the child, he was about six years old, so they raised the alarms that a child was lost, men with torches started in search in all directions for the child, it was now dark and clouds threatening snow, it was in the month of March. They searched all night but could find no trace of the boy, his mother was almost insane. They could not keep her in any longer so two men walked on one each side of and held her up as she too tottered out in search of her child. The snow came on and it turned cold but all night long the search went on and for days, but the child could not be found. They thought maybe he was drowned in a stream that he had to cross to get to the knots. They searched the stream but found no trace of him there and after all that could be done he was not found.
The next August one of the neighbors was out hunting and in crossing an old log saw some clothing lying beside the log. He stopped and looked at it and found some bones and some buttons. He took the buttons to Mr Gibsons and they knew them and now knew that their darling child had perished there. It was close to where the children had gathered the pine knots, they thought that the child had become bewildered and night coming on had lain down and covered himself with leaves and had gone to sleep and perished with the cold as it turned cold and snowed. This was never forgotten in the families. For years and years it was told to the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of whom the writer of this little sketch is one. Such sorrowful things cannot be forgotten. The parents never could fully recover from the trial. This Mr John Gibson moved to west Tennessee along with a Mr Hogg, who married a sister of Mrs. Gibson, Miss Margaret Parks. Mr Hogg and had settled in Virginia and had a large farm, which he sold, and moved to Tennessee, they located in Blunt Co. on the State Road, not far from Knoxville. Here Mr Gibson (Thomas) owned a farm and lived there until 1807, when they all sold their places and moved to Ohio and to Indiana. Here they helped to found and build up churches of the seceders, Mr and Mrs John Gibson lived with their son Thomas for many years, died when old and are buried in the graveyard near to Massies Creek. Here is where the first congregation of seceders was organized in that part of the country. Rev. Armstrong was their pastor. Mr Thomas Gibson lived two miles east of Xenia, his farm was between the Kendall farms, on William Kendall west and Robert Kendall east of his. He had a fine farm there and well improved, but as his large family began to settle he thought it would be so much better to go to a new country where he could secure homes for them all and have them settled under the gospel. So he came to Ills. In 1829 and selected his place in Warren County and the next year three of the sons and one son-in-law all came along with some others.