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JOHN A. GIBSON. No theme has greater interest to the biographer than that of pioneer times, and the life history of those who have passed through that trying period and have made their way to comfort and prosperity through hardships and privations, is appreciated by every reader. Such a history do we have in the life of the one whose name is given above and who has been a resident of this county since the age of ten years. Mr. Gibson was born in Giles County, Tennessee, December 14, 1824.
His parents, John K. and Ann (Knox) Gibson, were natives of the Old North State. They were early settlers of Tennessee, and the father died in that State in the year our subject was born. They were the parents of four children: Nanny C.; Ann B., who is living in Lawrence County, Missouri; Joseph K., a resident of Boone County, Arkansas; and John A., our subject. Mrs. Gibson came to this county with the family in 1840, and in this county passed the remainder of her days, dying in 1873, when quite aged.
A few years after coming to Christian County our subject started out to fight his own way in life, and as he was obliged to work hard in youth his educational advantages were rather limited. He chose his companion in life in the person of Miss Sarah J. Wilks, daughter of W. S. Wilks, who was an early pioneer of this county. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gibson settled where they now live, on a farm of 40 acres and began to clear and make improvements. As the years passed by he added to his original tract until he is now the owner of 354 acres of as good land as is to be found in the county. From 1866 to 1876 he was engaged in the manufacture of tobacco and his sons are now successfully engaged in that business. At the same time Mr. Gibson did not lose sight of the farming and stockraising industry and has been unusually successful. He is a self-made man and all he has accumulated is the result of his own hard work and good business acumen. In politics he is a Democrat and in religion he and wife are members of the Christian Church. Seven living children are the fruits of their marriage: Mary B., William K., C. P., L. P., A. B., Mattie and Ella. Although he experienced many hardships and privations in early life, and was many times without means, working one week for a pair of shoes worth a dollar, Mr. Gibson’s industry and thrift brought him to the front and he has made a success of life. Mr. Gibson has one child at home and she is not married. The eldest daughter, Mary B., married Frank Cotten and Ella married N. Shananhan.