Biography - James Gardiner

JAMES B. GARDINER was born in Greene county, Ill., September 19, 1824, and is the eldest child of Rev. C. J. and Margaret Gardiner. Mrs. Gardiner's maiden name was Margaret Maines. J. B. Gardiner's earliest education was attained in the schools of this county, and on arriving at the age of fourteen he went to Alton and there commenced to learn the printer's trade, in the office of the Telegraph, where he spent about three years. He then came home and worked on the farm about a year. In 1844 he went to Greenville, Bond county, Ill., and there published the Medical Truth Teller, which was the first general newspaper published in that county. The climate, or some other cause, not explained, induced the young journalist, in about eight months, to cease the publication of his paper. Probably it did not prove a paying investment. From Greenville he went to St. Louis, and was employed in the office of the Missouri Republican. After making a sojourn in that city a few months, he returned on a visit to his parents. He subsequently went to New Orleans, where he was engaged in the office of the Delta, the leading journal of that city, for upward of two years. The war with Mexico soon coming on, he, with many other young men of the city, promptly volunteered to go down and have a skirmish with the "Mexican greasers." He was a member of Lieut. Col. Biscoe's battalion of Louisiana mounted men. They were mustered in at New Orleans, and went by steamer to Vera Cruz, where they rendezvoused for about eleven months. Our gallant soldiers had but little to do in the way of fighting, except with the mosquitoes, roaches, leeches and other insects that infest that country; - not but that they might have been brave enough, had they smelt powder; however, we guess fat pork and beans were more congenial to their appetites than Mexicans. After the war was over and peace concluded, they returned to New Orleans, and were mustered out July 12, 1848.

Our young hero of the quill and sword returned to Greene county, and was married on the 17th of September following to Miss Anna M. Parker, daughter of Jacob and Mary Parker, old residents of this county; and there with his young bride he settled on a tract of timber land, near the old homestead, where he set to work with considerable vim to make a farm, and was so indefatigable in his efforts that ere long he had cleared a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. In addition to cultivating the soil, children began to grow up around them until they had five, two daughters and three sons. Their eldest daughter, Mary C., is now the wife of that gallant soldier Capt. W. H. De Long, of Lamar, Missouri. He has an honorable fighting record in the late civil war. Susie E., their youngest daughter, and the sons are yet single. Mrs. Gardiner died at their residence November 17, 1860. On the 14th February, 1862, Mr. G. was married to Miss Nannie Griswold, daughter of Elias and Lucinda Griswold.

When James B. Gardiner started out in the world on his own account he had but a small amount of money, but he possessed a good brain, an active temperament, and abundant energy, and these, united with steady application to business, made him successful in acquiring a competence for himself and family. Besides possessing good business qualities, he is a genial and social gentleman, and is highly respected in the county where he resides. He is also a staunch republican, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1866 he sold his farm and moved to Kane, and is now a partner of the well known firm of Gardiner & Bro., merchants.

Extracted 05 Jan 2017 and 11 Jul 2018 by Norma Hass from Atlas Map of Greene County Illinois, 1873, page 42.

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