Henry Smith Gillespie married Johanna Charlotte (Hannah) Schwanke
December 25, 1901
They were parents of two children:
Carl Earnest Gillespie, October 8, 1902 - September 14, 1968
Elva Gillespie, November 2, 1905 - December 9, 1991
In addition they lost one or two children at childbirth.
Elva & Carl
Hannah & Henry Gillespie
Granny & Grandpa G
H. S. Gilespie and his wife Hannah (Schwanke) Gillespie, Gandpa and Granny to Lois, Uncle Henry and Aunt Hannah to me, began farming after they were married and continued farming for most of their lives. He had taught school for a couple of years prior to their marriage and she had a certificate to teach but never used it. They began farming on a place East of LaPrairie, Illinois but in 1907 they moved to a farm near Ponca City, Oklahoma moving their livestock on the train. They farmed there for just one year and not being happy there, moved back to the same farm they left East of LaPrairie.
In the Spring of 1919 they moved to Missouri to a farm near the Fabius Community House, North of Palmyra. They farmed there until 1932 when they lost the farm during the Great Depression. While there they were very active in the building and establishment of the Fabius Community House. It still exists today and is used often for reunions and other such meetings. The production of purebred Hampshire hogs also dominated their farming operation.
After losing the farm they moved to Palmyra for a time where Grandpa was an agent for State Farm Insurance and managed Marion County Shippers, a livestock buying business. After a couple of years they moved to a farm in Illinois, near Bowen. They purchased the neighboring farm in 1937 in partnership with their daughter Elva and her husband, Wilfred Bowles, where they remained the rest of their lives, always active in the production of purebred Hampshire hogs. They showed them in the local fairs and also the Illinois State Fair. He was also an avid beekeeper with numerous hives of bees to tend. Grandpa G was short of stature, around 5 to 5.5 feet, but very powerful. Dad said he had a reputation around LaPrairie of being the only man who could load a barrel of salt in his wagon without the assistance of a ramp or help from others. He would simply upend it from the ground into the wagon.
Granny died of cancer in Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois on October 3, 1947
and Grandpa died in the nursing home in Golden, Illinois on September 12, 1965.
Not very good photos but the left one shows the August Schwanke home in LaPrairie, Illinois and the right one is of Hannah (Granny) holding her son Carl, standing on the front step of her parent's home.
Left: Uncle Theodore Schwanke and Aunt Ovelle (Gillespie) Schwanke
Right: Aunt Ovelle holding young Carl Gillespie
The Boys In the Band
L to R: Theodore Schwanke, Charles (C. F.) Schwanke, Herman Schwanke,
Henry S. Gillespie
It would seem music runs in the family, just not far enough nor fast enough
to catch me.
Carl & Elva with cousins, James Milligan, left and McWilliams, right.
No dates but Carl looks about 7 or 8 so 1909 or 10. Christmas on he right
and summer on the left.....note the bare feet. Not uncommon then.
James Milligan of California and the McWilliams of Monmouth, Illinois
Butchering Day on the farm was a day of hard work.
Looks like at least five hogs. The meat had to be cut up and canned, cured or salted because there was no refrigeration. It was a winter job to utilize nature's deep freeze.
Grade School class at LaPrairie, Illinois, Carl on right.
Gillespie family, 1917
Elva, on the right, is the lady responsible for almost
all the genealogical data that is assembled here.
Carl at graduation from Palmyra High School
About 1920 or 1921
S. S. Huston
J. M. Bennett
Any biography about Grandpa G would be lacking without mention of Faye Stewart. She became his housekeeper and companion a few years after Grannie's death. She was a grand lady and I'm sorry I don't have a better picture.
Reroofing the old barn.
This barn was built to replace one destroyed by a tornado.