William H. Gullett is a retired farmer now living in Roberts, his activity in former years having gained for him the competence that now enables him to enjoy the comforts of life without further recourse to labor. He was born in Devonshire, England, May 25, 1844, and comes of one of the old families of that land. Tradition has it that the Gulletts crossed from Normandy to England at the time of the invasion of that country by William the Conqueror. The ancestral history is traced back in unbroken line through five hundred years and graves of members of the family through that period are now seen in the parish of Shaw in Devonshire. The parents of our subject were Robert and Elizabeth (Skelley) Gullett, also natives of Devonshire. The mother died there nine years before her son William came to America but the father afterward joined his son here and lived with him for twelve years prior to his demise. In the family were two sons and five daughters and the sons and two of the daughters became residents of America.
There were five generations of Robert and Elizabeth Gulletts who were laid to rest in one cemetery in Devonshire, and the subject of this review, being the eldest child, according to custom should have been named Robert, but his second brother was given that name. His father's grandmother, who also bore the name of Elizabeth, was born in Philadelphia and married a Mr. Grant, who was an American officer in the Revolutionary war. He was killed in battle and she afterward married an English officer, Colonel Fox, and went to England to live. Thus Mr. Gullett claimed to be part American before he came to this country.
William H. Gullett spent the first thirty-nine years of his life in his native land. He followed farming there until 1868, when he went to London, where he did police duty for four years and then returned to the farm, carrying on general agricultural pursuits until his emigration to the new world. In 1883 he crossed the Atlantic, establishing his home in Woodford county, Illinois. He was accompanied by his wife and six children and for ten years they lived upon a farm which he rented in Woodford county. On the expiration of that period he took up his abode upon a farm a mile southwest of Roberts, renting land from his uncle, and, as his financial resources increased, buying land for himself. He now owns two farms of eighty acres each, one in Wall and the other in Lyman townships. As the years passed he carried on the work of the fields and annually harvested rich crops as the reward for the labor which he bestowed upon the farm. Thus his financial resources annually increased and with a comfortable competence he retired from active farm work in March, 1904, and took up his abode in Roberts, since which time he has built the dwelling which he now owns and occupies.
In 1869 Mr. Gullett was married to Miss Marian Baskerville, who was born in Devonshire, England, in March, 1817, a daughter of John and Mary (Tozer) Baskerville, who spent their entire lives in England. The Baskervilles were an old family of that country, supposed to have gone from Normandy to England at the time of the conquest of the Anglo-Saxons by the Norman people. Mr. and Mrs. Gullett have eight children who are yet living: William H., a resident farmer of Wall township; Robert John, who is living on his uncle's farm in Lyman township; Albert Edward, who is engaged in the grain business in Roberts as a member of the firm of Roberts & Gullett; Ernest James, of Omaha, Nebraska; Julia Mary, the wife of W. A. Kenwood, of Wall township; Albert Thomas, who follows farming in Lyman township; Elias Frederick, of Lyman township; and Esther Maud, who is on the farm with her single brothers. They also lost two children — Francis George, who died in infancy and Bessie Marian, who died at the age of four years.
Mr. Gullett has been active and influential in community affairs and has filled several township offices. He has served as township drainage commissioner for the past seven years, has been school director for ten years and a trustee for nine years. He is interested in all that pertains to the material, intellectual, social and moral progress of the community. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and his religious faith is that of the Congregational church, in which he has served as a trustee for six years. Though born across the water and maintaining a love for his native land, he is yet thoroughly American in spirit and interests and loyal to the institutions of his adopted country. He and his wife have revisited their native land, making a trip to England in 1905. There they visited the scenes of childhood and renewed many of the acquaintances and friendships of their earlier years but willingly returned to Ford county, which they recognize as their permanent home.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 532-536.

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