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Virgil James GILCHRIST

Male 1900 - 1971  (71 years)


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  • Name Virgil James GILCHRIST 
    Born 28 Mar 1900  Rochester, Fulton County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 08 Apr 1971  Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Walnut Ridge Cemetery, Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 

    • (1) Elizabeth Ann Grubb:

      NOTES:

      The farm where Virgil GILCHRIST was born belonged to his grandfather, Thomas GILCHRIST. This property on the south bank of the Tippecanoe River was part of the original land purchased by James and Mary (ANDERSON) GILCHRIST and later deeded to Thomas and his brother, James, Jr. (James later willed all of it to Thomas.)

      By March, 1900, Thomas had been widowed about five years; his son, William and daughter-in-law, Artiemicia, made their home with him. About 1902 Thomas sold the GILCHRIST property, and purchased other farmland on the north side of the river. Thomas and William built a two-story log home on the new site, and in January, 1903, Byron, Virgil's brother, was born.

      From their grandfather and their father, Virgil & Byron learned the skills for farming and carpentry that would later become their means of supporting their families. During the years they lived on this farm, Byron and Virgil helped their father and grandfather erect a huge barn on the property. This barn with its extensive concrete foundation, was admired by the entire community. A few years later a devastating fire destroyed the barn and killed some of the livestock.

      Although both sons maintained their love of working the soil, Virgil and his brother left the family home early to earn their way in construction business. First, Virgil went to the Chicago area to work on a race-horse farm. He developed a lasting love for trotters and pacers which were raced at county and state fairs at that time.

      While Virgil was in IL in 1920, his mother died from a cerebral hemorrhage. William never fully recovered from the loss of his beloved wife, but he remained on the farm to care for his aging father until Thomas died in 1926. By that time, both Virgil and Byron were working in construction and boarding in the home of Jim and Emma STANLEY in South Bend. (The STANLEYs were the uncle and aunt of the girl Byron was later to marry.) After Thomas' death, William left the home place and joined his sons in South Bend.

      The family had attended the South Germany Church until Byron's birth; when Byron was very young, they joined the church called "Whippoorwill", later renamed "Grand View Evangelical". Virgil's father was very active in the church, serving for many years as Sunday School Supt. Virgil and Byron both enjoyed singing; both sang in quartets with their cousins, "The Mow Brothers" from time to time.

      Virgil was a handsome young man and not unpopular with the ladies! He loved to dance and told of attending parties and dances with Sarah MARSHALL (who later married a brother of Virgil's wife!), or with his cousin, Alice WRIGHT. Once he danced all evening with a "mystery lady" who arrived at a costumed dance in a chauffeur- driven, sleek, black car. The lady refused to remove her mask, and departed as mysteriously as she had come. Virgil never learned her identify.

      Virgil and his brother sought "greener pastures" for a while in the uncivilized Florida Everglades, but both returned to northern IN and their familiar construction and farming ways of life.

      Finally in 1927, Virgil's heart was captured by "Lizzie" O'DELL, who had been his neighbor and had attended the same school and church for several years. They were married in the fall of 1927.

      By the time of The Great Depression, the couple had three little girls; their first son, given the traditional family name "James", was the first baby born in Fulton County in the new year, 1933. Times were hard for the young family. Virgil was forced to take any kind of work he could find. He had built a new home for the family in Mishawaka, IN earlier, but rheumatic fever caused him to be unable work for a long time. His lack of employment, his illness and the poverty imposed by the Depression caused the loss of the new house.

      During the Depression years, Virgil frequently worked away from home. The family lived on rented properties; most had enough land for a garden and one or two cows. Most of the young family's food was raised by their own hands; at times when Virgil was working elsewhere during the week, Lizzie (always called "Betts" by her husband) did the "farming" including milking cows, feeding chickens and whatever was to be done in the garden. She also cared for four very young children and her house. Virgil came home to relieve her of some of the outside work on weekends.

      Finally about 1939, his construction work with the DuPont Company took him to Greencastle, IN. Virgil detested the time spent away from his family, so he coaxed his wife to bring the children and live in Putnam County. It was there during the spring of that year that compiler was born.

      That same summer, Virgil was transferred to southern IN. He again preceded his family to the new location, leaving "Betts" to join him some weeks later, after he had found them a house. The family lived briefly in a rental house beneath the R.R. bridge that crossed the Ohio River. Another home was found in New Albany, IN very soon after "Betts" discovered that keeping compiler out of the black soot and coal dust around the rental property was impossible.

      With the outbreak of W.W. II, Virgil's work took him to northeastern OK. Once more "Betts" followed, but this trip involved a long train ride with five young children. The trip was long remembered for its stressful events, e.g. when2-year-old compiler's foot became stuck in the railroad ties as the family was rushing to change trains. (Temporary loss of a shoe and an abundance of tears were the extent of the damage.)

      By 1943, the family had returned to IN, this time to the southern part, near Louisville, KY. This would eventually become the long-term home where the family would remain, but before he was able to purchase a house for his family, they would live in three rented houses. For a brief time, they shared a house on 7th Street in Jeffersonville with the Ammon KILLEBREW family.

      Finally about 1945, Virgil and "Betts" were able to buy a bungalow-style house just outside Jeffersonville. The house was badly in need of improvements, most of which were accomplished in the 30 years they lived there. Because of the nature of the construction business, there were still times when Virgil worked away from home. From 1953-55, the GILCHRISTs and their two youngest children lived for nearly two years in Reidland, KY, near Paducah while Virgil supervised the rebuilding of the community's consolidated school which had burned the year before.

      After the Erhardt and Knopf Construction Company closed their business, Virgil worked for a short time for various smaller outfits. The scarcity of work and his advancing age threatened his sense of security.

      Following the construction of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Louisville, Virgil and his oldest son, Jim, embarked on their own small contruction company. Slightly more than a year later, Jim was offered the opportunity to work for the Overhead Door Company of Louisville. Realizing the security involved for his son's future, Virgil bought Jim's share of their business and continued on his own until he could no longer finance the business.

      During this period when work was so scarce, Virgil and "Betts" had difficulty meeting their expenses. Regardless of the state of their bank account, however, one tenth of whatever he had at the end of each week went to the church. ("Betts" was often not in agreement with this practice!). Somehow, just when it seemed there was no way they could meet a monthly payment, the money would present itself! A few times, this came in the form of an "anonymous" gift...an event that Virgil found extremely hard to accept!

      Once during this time, Virgil was asked to submit a bid on a construction job which would have solved many of their financial problems. When he found out that this building was to house a retail liquor business, he refused to bid. Virgil's religious principles would not allow him to have any involvement in a project that might cause other men problems in their family or personal lives! (He once explained to compiler why he did not drink alcohol...."I enjoy the taste of it! I really think I could drink when I wanted to, and it would not be a problem for me. I don't drink because my drinking could influence others who can't control it.")

      In the mid 1960s, Virgil was hired by the City of Jeffersonville to maintain and to superintend public housing facilities. Virgil was held in high esteem by the residents and the city officials connected with this project. In 1967 he was recognized by Mayor Richard VISSING for his service.

      Through the influence of his teenaged daughters, Virgil returned to active church life in the late 1940s. In the years that followed, he held several positions in the Park Place Church. He sang bass for years in the church choir and was the song leader for all evening services, selecting and directing the congregational singing, and arranging for special music for these services (solos, duets, etc.)

      After W.W. II, Virgil was asked to teach a Sunday School class of high school students. Several of the young men in this group left to serve in the Armed Forces during the Korean Conflict; some returned to this class, but a few did not come home from the battle fields. This class remained intact for many years. They selected "The Crusaders" as the name of their class. Virgil GILCHRIST was "Pop" to all of them. "Pop's Class" was still together for many years after Virgil's cancer forced him to give up teaching.

      In December, 1970, a long period of recurring stomach trouble resulted in exploratory surgery. The operation revealed an large inoperable abdominal tumor. A colostomy gave some temporary relief, but the disease progressed rapidly. Virgil's one wish during the last months of his life was that he be able to work with his beloved rose bushes one more time. His wish was granted before he died on Maundy Thursday, 1971.

      * * *

      A TRIBUTE published in the pages of "THE EVENING NEWS," Jeffersonville, Indiana, April 9, 1971

      MEMORIAL OBITUARY

      * * *

      Entered into Eternal Rest Thursday, April, 8, 1971

      * * *

      VIRGIL GILCHRIST RITES SUNDAY

      Virgil Gilchrist, 71, 318 Mary Street, Jeffersonville, died at 11:25 p.m. Thursday at Clark County Memorial Hospital.

      Gilchrist, a native of Fulton County, had lived in this community for 30 years. He was housing manager for the Jeffersonville Housing Authority and a former general contractor. He was a member of the Park Place Methodist Church where he taught Sunday School for 30 years. He was also a member of the local carpenter's union.

      Surviving are his wife, the former Elizabeth O'Dell; four daughters; Mrs. Jean Killebrew, Jeffersonville, Mrs. Claudia Deen, Edwardsville, Mrs. Wilma Gill, Henryville, and Mrs. Ann Bryan, Carmel; two sons, James Gilchrist, Jeffersonville, and Lt. Robert Gilchrist, Galveston, Tex.; a brother, Byron Gilchrist, Argos, Ind.; and 10 grandchildren.

      Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Park Place Methodist Church with burial in Walnut Ridge Cemetery.

      Friends may call at the Scott Funeral Home.

      * * *

      [The following are letters written to compiler by her father, Virgil, while she was in deaf-education training at Central Inst. for the Deaf in St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, 1959-1961.]

      V.J. GILCHRIST & SON
      GENERAL CONTRACTOR
      318 Mary Street
      Jeffersonville, Ind.

      September 23, 1959

      Dear Ann;

      We received your letter yesterday and it is needless to say we appreciated it an awful lot. We are always looking forward for your letters, but this one did us more good than usual. You know we have been praying for a long time that you someway would see things that way. I am glad that you have reconized the guideing hand of God in this circumstance. I have no dought about it, and if you will look for and pray for Gods guidence and direction in every thing you do, you will be surprised and led into great experiences, which you cannot understand now. This is just the begining. What you will experience in the future will depend on what you do about this. God cannot make much use of people who (Zechariah 7:11 refuse to hearken, and pull away the shoulder, and stop their ears, that they should not hear.) So if you feel that you were led as you said thank God for it, and dont let any thing change your mind or lead you away from it.

      I intended to answer your letter last night but the electric pump out on us, and frank and I worked on it untill around nine thirty before we induced it to go back to work. By that time I was tired enough to go to bed and just rest. This has been a rather hectic week so far anyway. Monday the water pump on the truck played out, and Tuesday the clutch went out on the car and then the pump in the house. So you see things just have to hapen some times and all in a pile. That clutch in the car was the aftermath of that noise we were hearing in the car before we left St. Louis. We are very thankful that it waited till we got home to go out.

      Every thing else around here is running on schedule, We went to prayer meeting tonight, had a good crowd, and a good service Jane Cantor was asking about you, she wants your address. said she was going to write to you. We are going all out for a big crowd next Sunday, rally day you know. They are going to give a banner to the class haveing the most people over their highest attendance in the last year. My class is sure working for it. I guess we'll have to take them out in the yard, we sure cant get them in that class room, if as many comes as says they will.

      Well Ann it is bed time and I have about told you all I know. After all this is a pretty long letter for me to write. So I better close before I wear out this old type writter. So by now, and God bless you and keep you under the shadow of his will.

      Lots of love from us all

      your proud Daddy

      * * *

      Sunday March 3 (1961)

      Dear Ann:

      As it is raining outside and I think every one else in the house is asleep, I am going to try to surprise you by writeing a letter. If I cant read it when I get done I know you can't, So I'll tear it up and throw it in the waste basket.

      It has been raining all day yesterday, last night and still at it at 4 P.M. today. The river is getting awfull high in fact it is nearing flood stage, and still it rains.

      We are all right here. Sam and Wilma are here today. Frank & Jean went to Claudias. Jims mother in law is there for dinner today. I guess that places everybody for today.

      We had a pretty good attendance at church this morning in spite of the rain. Last Sunday we were snowed in, and so was everyone else. They had 44 at first service and 20 at second with 50 at sunday School. It is so warm today. it seemes impossible that only a week ago we were snowed in. We havnt had any fire all day.

      My work is awfull slow so far I have about 3 days work for next week. I have worked pretty good through January & February, but I had almost nothing through October, November and December. It is all just small jobs. Just 1 man and myself working now. Sure hope things break pretty soon.

      Did Old Harry come to visit you yet. If you get to see him give him my regards. But just don't tell him how much I love him. Id kinda hate for him to know.

      I'm sure glad you are doing satisfactory to your self with your grades. Me and mom think you are doing pretty good. In fact we are just pretty proud of you. I was talking to Helen Gibson this morning and she said Billies application to the Air Force acadamy had been accepted. All that can stop him now is if he should fail to make his grades the balance of this term. They are pretty proud of him too.

      I think Bob has about decided that all basket ball has gone berskirk." (berserk) "Jeff got beat in the sectional by Silver Creek, who went on to the regional, and then got put out by Corydon. Every prediction that he (Bob) has made has been wrong. He even lost his temper and sold his Turney tickets for a dollar. But he still keeps on practiceing.

      Well Honey, Ive wrote every thing I know, so I'll quit and leave a little space for Mom. By now.

      With lots of love.

      Your Daddy"

      REFERENCES:

      1. Personal knowledge of compiler (daughter)

      2. Byron B. GILCHRIST, brother

      3. Claudia (GILCHRIST) DEEN , daughter

      4. Marriage License, copy owned by compiler

      5. Notes in Family Bible of Elizabeth (O'DELL) GILCHRIST

      6. Interviews with Wilma (GILCHRIST) GILL, James B. GILCHRIST and Robert "Bob" A. GILCHRIST, children of Virgil GILCHRIST.

      7. U.S. Census 1900, IN; Fulton Co.; Rochester Twp.; E.D. #41; p 9; #195/#195. Microfilm #623-372.

      8. U.S. Census 1910, IN; Fulton Co.; Richland Twp.; E.D. #56; Sheet #12-B; #219/#219. Microfilm #T624-350.

      9. Copy of Obituary

      10. Letters owned by compiler.

      (2) A household headed by James V. GILCHRIST is listed in the 1930 census of Penn Township, St. Joseph County, IN.

      According to the 1930 census, James V. was a carpenter who was then 30 years of age; therefore, according to the 1930 census, he was born in about 1900. According to the 1930 census, he was born in IN, and both of his parents were born in IN.

      Listed with James V. is his wife, Elizabeth A., who was then 27 years of age; therefore, according to the 1930 census, she was born in about 1903. According to the 1930 census, she was born in IN, her father was born in TN, and her mother was born in KY.

      Also listed with James V. is his daughter, Claudia M., who was then 1-8/12 years of age; therefore, according to the 1930 census, she was born in about 1928. According to the 1930 census, she was born in IN, and both of her parents were born in IN.

      Also listed with James V. is his daughter, Margaret J., who was then 7 months old; therefore, according to the 1930 census, she was born in about 1929. According to the 1930 census, she was born in IN, and both of her parents were born in IN.

      Also listed with James V. is his brother-in-law, Hubert D. O'DELL, who was then 18 years of age; therefore, according to the 1930 census, he was born in about 1912. According to the 1930 census, he was born in OK, his father was born in TN, and his mother was born in KY.

      Also listed with James V. is his sister-in-law, Callie O. O'DELL, who was then 20 years of age; therefore, according to the 1930 census, she was born in about 1910. According to the 1930 census, she was born in OK, her father was born in TN, and her mother was born in KY.

      (3) A household headed by Virgil J. GILCHRIST is listed in the 1940 census of Greencastle Township, Putnam County, IN. The official enumeration date of this household is April 1, 1940; the actual enumeration date of this household is May 21, 1940.

      Virgil J. is listed in the 1940 census as a carpenter who was then 40 years of age; therefore, according to the 1940 census, he was born in about 1900. According to the 1940 census, he was born in IN. According to the 1940 census, his residence as of April 1, 1935 was in Fulton County, IN.

      Listed with Virgil J. is his wife, Elizabeth A., who was then 36 years of age; therefore, according to the 1940 census, she was born in about 1904. According to the 1940 census, she was born in IN. According to the 1940 census, her residence as of April 1, 1935 was in Fulton County, IN.

      Also Listed with Virgil J. is his daughter, Claudia M., who was then 11 years of age; therefore, according to the 1940 census, she was born in about 1929. According to the 1940 census, she was born in IN. According to the 1940 census, her residence as of April 1, 1935 was in Fulton County, IN.

      Also Listed with Virgil J. is his daughter, Margaret J., who was then 10 years of age; therefore, according to the 1940 census, she was born in about 1930. According to the 1940 census, she was born in IN. According to the 1940 census, her residence as of April 1, 1935 was in Fulton County, IN.

      Also Listed with Virgil J. is his daughter, Wilma O., who was then 9 years of age; therefore, according to the 1940 census, she was born in about 1931. According to the 1940 census, she was born in IN. According to the 1940 census, her residence as of April 1, 1935 was in Fulton County, IN.

      Also Listed with Virgil J. is his son, James B., who was then 7 years of age; therefore, according to the 1940 census, he was born in about 1933. According to the 1940 census, he was born in IN. According to the 1940 census, his residence as of April 1, 1935 was in Fulton County, IN.

      Also Listed with Virgil J. is his daughter, Elizabeth A., who was then 10 months old; years of age; therefore, according to the 1940 census, she was born in about 1939. According to the 1940 census, she was born in IN.
    Person ID I2698  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 1 May 2017 

    Father William Jefferson GILCHRIST,   b. 31 Mar 1869, Richland Township, Fulton County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Dec 1943, South Bend, St. Joseph County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Millie Artiemicia MOW,   b. 02 Jul 1880, Richland Township, Fulton County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Sep 1920, Richland Township, Fulton County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 40 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married 31 Dec 1898  Rochester, Fulton County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F710  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Alcie Elizabeth O'DELL,   b. 25 Oct 1903, Montgomery County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Mar 1972, Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 25 Oct 1927  South Bend, St. Joseph County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    Children 
     1. James Bruce GILCHRIST,   b. 01 Jan 1933, Richland Center, Fulton County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Jan 2004, Clark Memorial Hospital, Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)  [Natural]
     2. Living
     3. Living
     4. Living
     5. Living
     6. Wilma Opal GILCHRIST,   b. 11 Dec 1930, Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 01 May 2012, Clark Memorial Hospital, Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)  [Natural]
    Last Modified 1 May 2017 11:03:13 
    Family ID F1879  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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