Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
RILEY GILBERT, who dwells about
six miles west from Coulee City, is known as one of the representative
men of Douglas county, capable and upright. His holdings entitle
him to be placed with the leading agriculturists of the Big Bend country
and his standing is of the very best.
Riley Gilbert was born in Allen county, Ohio,
on February 9, 1841, the son of Lorenzo Dow and Hannah (Belknap) Gilbert,
natives of New York state, the former deceased, and the latter now dwelling
near Rockford, Washington. The mother is aged eighty-nine.
The family removed to Van Buren county, Iowa soon after the birth of our
subject and in 1847, they crossed the plains to the Willamette valley,
the Mecca of the west then. In that place the education that Mr.
Gilbert had begun in Iowa was completed. Lane county was the home
place and there he remained until manhood's estate was reached. Then
he took up farming and remained continuously at that labor until 1887,
in which year he made his way thence to the Big Bend country. After
due search and investigation, he selected his present estate, taking a
homestead and timber culture claim. He has given his attention closely
to improving his place since those days and the result is he has a farm
second to none in its cultivation and productiveness. His improvements
are well bestowed and all about the premises shows the care and thrift
which characterize the owner. Mr. Gilbert has some fine thoroughbred
cattle and horses and his fine pasture is provided with a spring of living
Mr. Gilbert has the following named brothers
and sisters, Philander, Phineas, Jesse B., Mrs. Jane Clark, Mrs. Mary Edwards,
and Mrs. Emma Watts. In political matters he has taken a zealous
part and has done good service as justice of the peace and notary public,
while in his efforts for general upbuilding, he has labored wisely and
In 1865, while in Oregon, Mr. Gilbert married
Miss Nancy D. Allen, who died in Junction City, Oregon, in 1875, leaving
four children, Granville M., born in Oregon, Mrs. Viola Ricks, Corrington,
and Mrs. Ella Salmon, all in the Big Bend country.
At Junction City, Oregon, in 1878, Mr. Gilbert
married Miss Emma C., daughter of Adam N. and Margaret (Wheatley) Cummings,
natives of Ohio and Maryland, respectively. The father crossed the
plains in 1861. Mrs. Gilbert was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on March
21, 1859, and she has the following named brothers and sisters, James M.,
Adam C., Dorsey E., Mrs. Hester Walters, Mrs. Anna R. Page, Mrs. Ida M.
Evens, and Clara E. To Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert five children have been
born: Stanley C., at Junction City, Oregon, on September 12, 1880; Clara
E., in Oregon, on April 15, 1886; Walter L., Alden P., and Theresa, all
born on the farm and on the dates mentioned, respectively, May 9, 1888,
August 16, 1890, and January 19, 1894.