HON. WILLIAM T. GAMMON, elected to an honored position upon the Judicial Beach of Virginia, served with ability as Judge of the County Court, and afterward made Judge of the Probate Court in La Fayette County, Mo., discharged the responsible duties of his various offices with energetic efficiency. An enterprising and progressive citizen, he has successfully engaged in various lines of business. Our subject was born August 6, 1826, and is the son of Thomas and Jane (Bradshaw) Gammon. His paternal grandfather, Anderson Gammon, was of Scotch-Irish descent, by occupation a farmer, and lived and died in Louisa County, Va. Grandmother Gammon, who was a Miss Strong, became the mother of four sons and one daughter: William, Thomas, Harris, George A. and Mary. The Gammons were of the Baptist persuasion, and upright, earnest, Christian people.
The father of our subject was born in Louisa County, Va., and was a successful farmer and a carpenter by trade. In 1820, he moved to Pocahontas County, and with two others built the first court house. After his marriage he devoted himself entirely to agricultural duties. His wife, born in Augusta County, Va., was a descendant of Judge John Bradshaw, who was the presiding Jurist at the trial of King Charles I, of England. The maternal grandfather of our subject, John Bradshaw, was born in Virginia, and as numbered among the wealthy planters of the State. He served with distinguished bravery in the Revolutionary War, and participated in the battle of Cowpens. His wife was Nancy McCamey, and the children who gathered in their home were James, John, William, Thomas, Elizabeth, Nancy and Jane. In religious belief, the Bradshaws were Presbyterians.
In political affiliation, Thomas Gammon was an ardent Whig. He was an active worker in the Presbyterian Church and a leader in the promotion of its enterprises. He was a sincere, earnest, Christian man, and, when he died in 1851, was deeply mourned by a large circle of true friends. The sons and daughter of his household were John A., William T., Thomas Franklin, Cyrus S. and Martha J. The mother of our subject had been twice married. Judge Gammon was reared upon a farm, received a good English education, and at seventeen years of age began the management of his father's business, superintending slaves. When twenty-four years of age be engaged as a clerk in the mercantile business, and two years later was admitted into the firm as a partner, but lost all his property by fire. Immediately succeeding this misfortune he taught school for two winters, also engaged in farming, and devoted himself to agricultural duties until the breaking out of the war.
In the fall of 1861, Judge Gammon was elected Captain of Company I, Twenty-fifth Virginia Regiment, and was a participant in the retreat from Laurel Hill. He was afterward made Captain under Col. Walker, and was with Gen. Jackson in the battle of the Shenandoah Valley. He was wounded in the battle of Cross Keys by the explosion of a shell, and his left leg being severely injured, was obliged to remain in the hospital at Lynchburgh for six months. Recovering from his wound, be removed with his family to Georgia, where he made his home for four years. In April, 1869, our subject came to LaFayette County, and remained here one year, and in 1871 bought eighty acres of land on Texas Prairie. In 1874, he was elected Judge of the Probate Court, and held the position for six years. In 1880, he removed with his family to where be now resides on two hundred acres purchased in 1879, and pleasantly located upon section 31, township 49, range 27, LaFayette County. To the original purchase a son of Judge Gammon has added eighty acres, all the land now being under a high state of improvement.
Our subject was married March 14, 1850, to Miss Elizabeth A. Slaven, born in Pocahontas County, Va., and the daughter of Jacob G. and Eleanor (Lockridge) Slaven. The father of Mrs. Gammon was an extensive farmer and stock-raiser, In politics, a Democrat, and lived and died in Virginia. His father, also a native of the Old Do minion, was a farmer and a soldier in the War of the Revolution. His wife, Elizabeth Warwick, was the mother of two sons, William and Jacob, and reared six daughters. The family name was formerly spelled Lochridge. The Slaven family is of Scotch-Irish descent, and its members were among the early and most patriotic of our American citizens.
Judge Gammon and his wife are the parents of eight children, but only five of the sons and daughters lived to adult age. Massie A., the eldest, is the wife of G. B. Chamberlin; Ella F. is the wife of H. C. Armstrong; Thomas E., William L. and Minnie A. complete the list of the children, who are now numbered with the prominent and influential residents of their various communities. Judge Gammon and his wife and family are among the valued members of the Presbyterian Church, and enjoy the confidence and esteem of a large circle of friends. Our subject has passed through various changes of fortune with brave courage and the unfailing resolution and fortitude inherited from a long line of distinguished ancestry. In Virginia, holding various official positions of trust, a Judge upon the Bench, and serving as Commissioner in Chancery, he never lost an opportunity to gain practical knowledge, and was an excellent surveyor and civil engineer. Left at the close of the war without means, he self-reliantly again won his upward way, and worthily gained the prosperity and undoubted success which have crowned his later efforts in life.
Portrait and Biographical Record of LaFayette and Saline Counties, Missouri.
Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1893.