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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Charles G. Gilman

Charles C. Gilman - History of Iowa.jpg
[Charles Carroll Gilman]


CHARLES C. GILMAN was a native of the State of Maine, where he was born on the 22d of February, 1833. He attended an academy at Winterport where he prepared for college and entered the sophomore class of what is now Colby University and studied medicine with his father who was an eminent physician. In 1857 he came to Iowa, stopping at Dubuque, where he became largely engaged in the wholesale lumber trade. When the Civil War began he was active in raising four companies for the service, coöperating with his friend, Francis J. Herron, who became one of the most brilliant officers from Iowa as the war progressed. In 1858, when the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad was pushing its line westward, Mr. Gilman established the town of Earlville by erecting twenty-eight buildings for residences and business. During the years 1860-61 he built elevators at Monticello, Marion and Cedar Falls, besides buying water power and erecting flouring mills. In 1864 he wrote articles for the newspapers urging the improvement of the rapids in the Mississippi River at Davenport and Keokuk, in which he had the coöperation of the St. Louis Times, then conducted by Stilson Hutchins, the Chicago Journal, then edited by Frank Gilbert, both formerly Iowa editors, the Dubuque, Davenport, Burlington and Keokuk papers. This movement resulted in the holding of conventions which brought about action of Congress making appropriations for the work that was finally accomplished. In 1866 Mr. Gilman made the first soundings of the Mississippi River at Dubuque for the railroad bridge which was later built. In 1867 he organized a company for the construction of a railroad from Ackley via Eldora to Marshalltown, which finally resulted in the building of the Central Railroad of Iowa, the first north and south line in the State. From 1867 to 1872 Mr. Gilman devoted his energies to this enterprise as president and superintendent of the construction company.