from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
Matthew Dawson Gilchrist, the organizer and the senior partner of the hardware house of the M. D. Gilchrist Company, is a native of Fayette county, Pennsylvania, born in 1853 and is of Scotch-Irish descent. His father, Matthew D. Gilchrist, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and was a farmer by occupation, following that pursuit until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when, in 1862, he responded to the call for aid, enlisting at Oskaloosa, as a member of Company K, Thirty third Iowa Infantry, with which he served until killed at the battle of Helena, Arkansas, on the 4th of July, 1863, when forty five years of age. He had come to Iowa in 1856 and had settled in Oskaloosa. He was a member of the United Presbyterian church and was a supporter of the republican party. He married Parthenia McDonald, who was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and was of Scotch lineage. She, too, held membership in the United Presbyterian church and her death occurred in 1877, when she was fifty seven years of age. Both she and her husband were held in the highest regard, possessing many excellent traits of heart and mind. In their family were ten children, six of whom reached adult age, namely: Mary P.; Malcolm M., who is editor of the Sun Times at Morgan Hill, California; John, a dealer in granite and marble at Clarinda, Iowa; Parthenia K., the widow of C. J. Jackson,, who was a farmer of Rose Hill, Iowa; Matthew D., of this review; and Harry C., who died in 1891. Matthew D. Gilchrist acquired his early education in the district schools of Spring Creek township, Mahaska county, and afterward be came a public school student in Oskaloosa, pursuing his studies until he had mastered the high school course. He afterward worked on a farm by the month for about five years, when, thinking that he might more readily attain success in a commercial life, he entered the grocery house of S. J. Dutton, of Oskaloosa, as a clerk, remaining in his employ for five years. On the expiration of that period he became a salesman in the dry goods and clothing store of Boyer & Barnes, with whom he continued for five years. He afterward spent four years in the county treasurer's office as deputy under Captain J. H. Warren, after which he was called to the office of county treasurer by popular suffrage, and filled the position for three terms or from 1884 until 1890. He then clerked in the hardware store of Paul & McPherrin and in 1893 be bought out the hardware business of Frank C. Lofland, since which time he has been connected with this line of trade. When he purchased the present establishment the firm name was F. C. Lofland & Company, Frank Huber having an interest in the business. Mr. Gilchrist purchased the Lofland interest and the firm name is now the M. D. Gilchrist Company. A large and well selected line of both shelf and heavy hardware is carried, and a liberal patronage is enjoyed, for the partners of the house command the continued support of the public, while the earnest desire of the proprietors to please their patrons insures a continuation of trade. In 1877 Mr. Gilebrist was married to Miss Laura P. Barr, who was born in Mahaska county, Iowa, in a daughter of Alfred and Maria Barr. He was one of the pioneer farmers of the county, coming from Indiana in 1854 and settling in Adams township. He was originally, however, from Ohio. Mr. Gilebrist exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and fraternally he is connected in his business career, which has been marked by earnest purpose and close application. Each with the Masons. There is no element of chance step has been carefully and thoughtfully made. From a humble position of a farm hand he has steadily worked his way upward, realizing that earnest purpose and indefatigable energy can overcome many difficulties and obstacles and will eventually win success.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy