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Below is a family biography included in History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott, published by Iola Register, 1901.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM O’GILVIE, who follows farming in Toronto township, where he owns and cultivates three hundred and twenty acres of land, was born in Madison County, Ohio, on the 19th of May, 1847. His father, Elisha O’Gilvie, was a native of Virginia and married Charlotte Thompson, who was born in the Buckeye state. For many years he engaged in merchandising in Ohio and was also a farmer and stock-raiser. In 1883 he came to Kansas, settling in Toronto, where he resided until his death which occurred in 1896, at the age of seventy-seven years. His wife is still living in Toronto, at the age of seventy-four.

On the home farm in his native state William O’Gilvie was reared and in the common schools mastered the branches of English learning usually taught in such institutions. At the age of twenty-two he left home and was married, the wedding being celebrated April 15, 1869, Miss Margaret Hunter becoming his wife. Her parents were Charles and Martha (Fitzgerald) Hunter and both were natives of Virginia but spent their last days in Ohio. Unto Mr. and Mrs. O’Gilvie have been born five children: Ed, Walter and Ezra, all residing upon farms of their own in Oklahoma; John who is operating his father’s farm, and Minnie, the only daughter, also with her parents.

After his marriage Mr. O’Gilvie rented land and began farming in Ohio on his own account. For fourteen years he carried on agricultural pursuits thus, and then tiring of operating rented property he resolved to remove to a district where he could secure a farm of his own. Kansas was his choice of a location, and in 1882 he came to Woodson County where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of raw land in Toronto township, seven miles north of the town of Toronto, and there he and his wife began life in the west, determined to gain advancement if it could be won through earnest effort. He soon had his farm under a high state of cultivation and well stocked with cattle, and today he owns three hundred and twenty acres of rich land on Cedar creek. A comfortable residence, good barn and richly cultivated fields are among the leading features of the place and he keeps on hand about fifty head of cattle and from fifty to one hundred head of hogs, together with such a number of horses as are needed to operate the farm.

In 1891 Mr. O’Gilvie met with a very sad accident—his team running away and throwing him out of the wagon thus crippling him for life. After his recovery he engaged in the hardware business in Toronto, conducting the store while his wife superintends the operation of the farm. For five years he was engaged in commercial pursuits and then sold his store since which time his entire attention has been given to his farming interests. “In America labor is king” and it is the only sovereignty which our liberty-loving people acknowledge but they never fail to accord due respect to the man who has conquered fate and won advancement through his own effort. Thus Mr. O’Gilvie receives in large measure the respect and esteem of his fellowmen at the same time he is enjoying the rich fruits of his diligence.

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This family biography is one of 204 biographies included in History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott, published by Iola Register, 1901, Iola, Kansas.  For the complete description, click here: Woodson County, Kansas History and Genealogy

View additional Woodson County, Kansas family biographies here: Woodson County, Kansas

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