Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

William J. Gilchrist

WILLIAM J. GILCHRIST, probate judge of Sheridan County, is an early settler of this part of Western Kansas, and his wide acquaintance with men and affairs has fully justified the confidence and the votes of his fellow citizens which brought him his present office.

Judge Gilchrist is a native Scotchman, comes of a family of Scotch coal miners and was himself a mine engineer before he came to America. While he makes no pretensions to poetry, he comes from the same district that produced that old bard, Robert Burns, and has always been an appreciative student of the great Scotch poet.

William J. Gilchrist was born at Ayrshire, Scotland, August 5, 1852. His father, Hart Gilchrist, was born at Duntocher in 1819, spent his life as a coal mine engineer, and died at Lanarkshire in 1881. He was liberal in politics and a very enthusiastic Presbyterian. He married Ann Jamieson, born in Ayrshire in 1828, and died there in 1892. A brief record of their children is as follows: Peter, dedeceased;[sic] Robert,, a retired engineer at Glasgow, Scotland; Janet, who lives in Ayrshire, widow of Hugh Stirret, a coal miner; Margaret, wife of William McCrae, a cooper of Ayrshire, Scotland; Judge William J.; Jane, who lives in Lanarkshire, widow of William Greenshields, a coal miner who was killed in the mines in 1916.

William J. Gilchrist had a common school education in Ayrshire, and as a youth learned the trade of engineer in the coal mines. He continued to live in Scotland four or five years after his marriage, and in 1880 brought his family to the United States. For one year he worked as a railroad man at Monmouth, Illinois. In the fall of 1881 he came to Kansas, first locating on a farm in Republic County, and in 1887 moving to Sheridan County, where he established his home early enough to be considered a pioneer. Much of the land here was still the public domain, and he homesteaded a quarter section and lived on it for twenty years. On leaving his farm Judge Gilchrist moved into Seguin, where he bought a store and built an elevator. He was a merchant and grain buyer there until 1916, when he sold those interests. While he has sold his original farms in Sheridan County, he owns three farms aggregating 480 acres, devoted to wheat and stock, in that county. He also owns a comfortable residence at Hoxie.

Judge Gilchrist was elected probate judge of Sheridan County in 1916 and was re-elected in 1918. He is a democrat politically and a member of the Presbyterian Church. He is affiliated with Hoxie Lodge No. 348, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

In 1875 Judge Gilchrist married in Lanarkshire, Scotland, Miss Janet Young, daughter of James and Margaret Young. Her parents both died in Lanarkshire, where her father was a coal miner. Judge and Mrs. Gilchrist have every reason to be satisfied with their family of children, nine in number. The oldest, Margaret, is the wife of J. L. Teel, a farmer in Sheridan County; Ann is the wife of William G. Doubleday, a farmer at Deer Trail, Colorado; Hart and James, are both farmers in Sheridan County; William is secretary of the Retail Coal Dealers' Association of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Christina married Frank Thompson, a farmer in the State of Wyoming; Janet is the wife of Clarence Williams, a Sheridan County farmer; David is a farmer in Sheridan County; Lorena, at home with her parents, married Victor Newland, who went with the American Expeditionary Forces to France.

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