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Biography - ALLEN S. GUM

Allen S. Gum, now living retired at his old home adjoining the town of Marseilles, LaSalle county, is a native of Rockingham county, Virginia, his birth having occurred upon the plantation owned by his father, August 25, 1832. The latter, Norton Gum, as well as his father. Captain James Gum, were likewise natives of Rockingham county. The mother of our subject was Sarah, daughter of Joseph Shoup, who was of German ancestry. In 1836 Norton Gum concluded to try his fortunes in the west, and coming to LaSalle county he located not far from Streator. Two years later his death occurred, and subsequently his widow became the wife of William Richey, who owned a small farm adjoining the limits of Marseilles. One daughter was born of this union, namely, Harriet Richey. After the death of the senior Mr. Richey his widow went to Indiana and made her home with a daughter until her death. The children of Norton Gum and his wife Sarah, nee Shoup, were: Catherine and Harvey, both of whom died at the age of five years; Steven M., who married Anna Harris; Serena P., who, on September 20, 1838, married John Richey; Diana, who became the wife of Amasa G. Cook; St. Clair, who married Julia E. Reniff; Joseph S., who married Cornelia Bradford; John, who married Ada Wilson; Allen S., who married Abby J. Mullen; and Harriet, who became the wife of Charles Van Auher.

As he was but four years of age when his parents removed to this county, Allen S. Gum has but few associations or memories of any other home, and has consequently been identified entirely with the welfare of this section. Until he was seventeen years of age he resided with his mother on the farm near Marseilles, his time being spent largely in the local schools, where he gained a liberal education.

In August, 1862, Mr. Gum enlisted in the defense of the Union in Company C, Seventy-second Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under the command of Captain James (now of Chicago) and Colonel Staring. After being mustered into the service the young man proceeded with his regiment to Paducah, Kentucky, and was then ordered to join the Union forces in their memorable siege of the city of Vicksburg. After that great struggle he became ill and was sent to the hospital, but as soon as possible he rejoined his regiment and participated in a number of more or less important engagements. Exposure and the general hardships of army life once more laid him low, and for weeks he was in the hospitals at Louisville, Kentucky, and Keokuk, Iowa. He was finally mustered out and given his honorable discharge. Returning to Marseilles, he purchased a tract of thirty acres near the town, and has sold off a portion of the land. There are large gravel and sand banks of this property, and for years the owner has derived a substantial income from this source, as the sand is desirable for building purposes, while the gravel is extensively employed in the construction of graveled roads.

In his political convictions Mr. Gum is a Republican. Fraternally he is a member of the Joseph Woodruff Post, No. 281, Grand Army of the Republic.

In 1866 the marriage of Allen S. Gum and Miss Abby J. Mullen was celebrated in Ottawa. Four sons and two daughters have been born of this union, namely: Erasmus M., Harvey, George S., Charles Newcome, Kittie A., and Hazel Lillie. The three younger children are at home, and the elder ones are enterprising young men who are making their own way in the world, and reflect great credit upon their parents. Mrs. Gum is a daughter of William and Abby (Crane) Mullen, and was born and reared in the Buckeye state.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 182-183.

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