GILBERT, Frederick R., Merchant tailor, was born at Loyalton, Dauphin county, Pa., November 16, 1825; son of John and Elizabeth (Rathron) Gilbert. His great-grandfather, Samuel Gilbert, was born in Germany, August 10, 1743, and died in Upper Paxton township, Dauphin county, April 8, 1826. He came to America with two brothers in 1752. He married Catherine Saul, born December 11, 1757, died June 11, 1806. She was a daughter of Nicholas Saul, who resided near Jonestown, Lebanon county, and later removed to Lykens Valley, where he died in 1814. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Gilbert had three children. Jacob Gilbert, grandfather of F. R. Gilbert, was born April 2, 1783. He was prominent both in business and in politics, and was a member of the State Legislature during the early history of the State. He first married Elizabeth Long; they had six children: Samuel, John, Jacob, Sarah, Catherine, and George. Mrs. Elizabeth Gilbert died, and Mr. Gilbert was untied in second marriage to Elizabeth Mark. John Gilbert, father of Frederick R., married Elizabeth Rathron; they had four children: Frederick R.; Elmira, widow of Michael Ward; Henry L, and Jeremiah S. Mr. and Mrs. John Gilbert are both deceased.
Frederick R. Gilbert was brought by his parents to Upper Paxton township in his early childhood, and these attended the public schools until he was sixteen, at which time he began to learn tailoring with Jacob Ziegler, at Millersburg, Pa. After an apprenticeship of four years, he was employed for one season by Judge Walker, at Sunbury, Pa. In 1846 he went to St. Joseph, Mo., where he worked at his trade as a journeyman until the spring of 1847. He then returned to Millersburg, Pa., and began the tailoring business on his own account. He was very successful, and later added a general dry goods business. In 1884 he erected the large and convenient building on Market street, which now accommodates his extensive trade, and where he carries a full stock of clothing and dry goods, and enjoys his full share of the patronage of the surrounding territory.
Mr. Gilbert has been prominent in numerous important enterprises in Dauphin and other counties. He was on e of the original movers in the establishment of the Millersburg Bank, having drafted the constitution and by-laws of that institution; his draft was adopted by the board of directors with the change of but one work: he afterwards served some years as director of the bank. He was one of the organizers of the Mifflin and Paterson Water Works, at Mifflin, Pa., and at Steelton, Pa., a stockholder in both, and elected president of both corporations, in which position he served several years. From 1868 to 1884 Mr. Gilbert and his family resided on his Mr. Pleasant farm; since then their home has been in Millersburg. Mr. Gilbert has experienced the ordinary vicissitudes of a business life, and he has steadily persevered, meeting adversity bravely, and enjoying prosperity without undue elation. The outcome of his enterprise and prudence is an ample competence for himself and his family.
Mr. Gilbert was married, January 1, 1846, to Sarah Ann, daughter of David and Annie (Osmond) Ditty, born January 14, 1827. Three of their seven children are deceased: Mary Elizabeth, born April 23, 1851, died October 9, 1851; Mary Alda, born June 10, 1852, died August 28, 1874, was the wife of Noah H. Day, and had four children, tow of whom died in infancy; the survivors are Frederick G., born August 28, 1869, and Jennie V., born January 3, 1873. The deceased mother was an earnest Christian, faithful to all her duties as wife and mother, an active worker in the Methodist Episcopal church, loved and honored by all who knew her; Hodson, born September 2, 1860, died June 16, 1882, married Emma Forsyth, had one child, Sadie E., born July 26, 1881, died March 27, 1887. The surviving children of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert are: Charles Steinman, born September 10, 1849, married Elizabeth Gleim, had nine children, one that died in infancy, and Charles S., Virginia, Grace Martha W., Herbert S., Robert B., Florence, and Frederick Gleim; John Frederick, born January 14, 1851, married Belle Kelley, of Selinsgrove, Pa., has one child, Mabel; Annie Elizabeth, wife of Oliver Day, born April 17, 1858, has three children, Sadie, Hodson, and Gilbert; Clara Irene, born June 5, 1862, wife of Thomas Long, has seven children, Helen, Fanny, Fahy, Nellie, Eveline, and two that died in infancy.
Mrs. Gilbert died January 5, 1881. She was affectionate and faithful as wife and mother, active and devout in her religious life, and beloved by all who knew her. Mr. Gilbertís second marriage, October 4, 1890, was to Miss Clara A. Wagner, who was born in West Beaverton, Snyder county, June 17, 1856. She was a daughter of Abraham and Sabina Wagner; the former of Snyder county, The latter of Mifflin county, Pa., and both now deceased. No family has been born to the second union.
Historical Review of Dauphin County