I. B. Gurney was born April 10, 1845, near Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Asa H. Gurney, was a native of Ohio, and his mother, Catherine Sortor Gurney, a native Allegany County, New York. When he was ten years of age his parents moved to Lake County, Ohio, where they were located on a farm, and where Mr. Gurney received his education, attending school during the winter for several years, and afterward entered college at Berea, Ohio.
In August, 1863, he went to Venango County, Pennsylvania, where he became foreman in the office of the McClintock Oil Company, where he remained until 1866 when he moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, and had charge of a drug and grocery business for a year and then came to Daviess County and settled in Colfax Township. In the fall of 1871 he was appointed United States mail agent on the North Missouri Railroad, and held the position three years when he again went into the drug business at New Castle, Gentry County, finally returning to Daviess County where he has since resided, engaged in teaching and farming.
Mr. Gurney has been twice married; first in 1866, to Miss Carrie M. Cole, a native of Ohio, and by whom he had one son; Asa G., born January 25, 1868. He was again married, May 17, 1879, to Miss Marilla Mullins, of Daviess County.