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 Co., 1904.
STEPHEN A. GIBSON is one of the
earliest pioneers of Lincoln county and has also had much experience in
various locaities of the west. His home is now at 1725 Mallon avenue,
Spokane, he having retired from the more active duties of life to enjoy
the competence that his industry has provided.
Stephen A. Gibson was born in Richland county,
Illinois, on March 7, 1848 and was reared in Clay county of the same state.
His father, Calvin M. Gibson, was a native of Virginia. His grandfather,
Jacob Gibson was also a native of Virginia, as well as his great-grandfather,
Nicholas Gibson. They were prominent people in the early colonial
struggles and were Americans before the United States was established.
The great-grandfather was captured by the Indians but was brought back
by the whites and lived to be one hundred and four years of age.
His ancestors came from Scotland. The mother of our subject was Nancy
Wyatt Gibson, a native of Virginia. Stephen A. received a common
school education and in the spring of 1868 went west and labored on the
Union Pacific railroad. The next year he wrought as a mechanic on
the Western Pacific and was present at the great celebration when the Union
and Central Pacific were connected and the golden spike was driven, which
completed the first railroad to the coast. After that, he went to
San Francisco and worked at his trade, carpentering. From there he
went to Visalia, remaining until 1876. In 1876 Mr. Gibson migrated
to Virginia City, Nevada, and did contracting and building. In the
fall of 1879, he came overland to The Dalles, Oregon, and thence to Walla
Walla in 1880. It was the spring of 1881 that he entered the Big
Bend and then commenced bridge work on the Northern Pacific and also assisted
to build the shops at Sprague. In June, 1883, he located a homestead
one and three-fourths miles south from where Edwall now stands. The next
year, he was at Camp Spokane, laboring for the government and in 1883,
he began active work on his ranch. Since then he has given his time
continuously to that except as it was necessary to work at his trade occasionally
for funds to meet the current expenses. During the panic, like the
rest of the settlers in the Big Bend, Mr. Gibson had a difficult time financially.
He was enabled to tide over, however, and was in shape to take advantage
of the prosperous year that followed. He now owns an entire section
of fine grain land, provided with a good house, plenty of water, first
class orchard, and so forth. He also owns about four hundred acres
near Moscow, Idaho, which is all grain land. Both farms are rented
and Mr. Gibson resides at his place in Spokane whence he oversees his various
On February 12, 1864, Mr. Gibson though young,
enlisted in Company F, Ninety-eighth Illinois Mounted Infantry and participated
in much active service from then until the close of the war. He was
under Generals Kilpatrick and Thomas. He participated in the battles
of New Hawk church, Selma, Alabama, besides several skirmishes. His
services was in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky. At one
time, he was slightly wounded and he also particated in what was known
as Wilson's raid in the spring of 1865, and was in Macon, Georgia, when
Lee surrendered. In September, 1865, at Springfield, Illinois, he
received his honorable discharge.
Mr. Gibson now belongs to the G. A. R. in
Spokane Mr. Gibson has demonstrated thoroughly his capacities
as a business man and is to be commended upon the happy results he has
attained through his industry and wisdom.