biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
JOHN B. GOSSAGE, proprietor of the Black- stone House, at Oskaloosa, was born in this city Aug. 22, 1845, and was the second male child born at this place. He is a son of Samuel and Lucinda (Glasscock) Gossage, who were among the first settlers of Oskaloosa. and settled here in the year 1842 or 1843. His father was a native of Ohio, and was born near Columbus, but removed from there to Shawneetown, Ill., where he resided for a short time. Mr. and Mrs. Gossage were the parents of nine children, six now living: Elizabeth, wife of J. Warman, of Ottumwa, this State; Mary, wife of J. M. Hoskinson, of Monroe County, Iowa; John B., our subject; Jerome B., of Ottumwa; Thomas B., of Hebron, Neb.; Joseph M., also of Nebraska. Samuel Gossage was a cabinet-maker, and operated the first shop for that class of work in the city of Oskaloosa. He was one of the mechanics engaged in the construction of the first flouring-mill upon the Skunk River, known as the Duncan Mill, and also assisted in building the first flouring-mill in the city of Oskaloosa. Mr. Gossage was a Democrat of the Jacksonian school of politics. He died in this city in 1880. Mrs. Dossage is still living at Ottumwa, this State. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The subject of this sketch, when five years old, went with his parents to Albia, Monroe Co., Iowa, and received his education in the common schools of that city. In 1860 his father removed to Ottumwa, and engaged in business, John B. being employed as salesman. In 1864 he enlisted in the 47th Iowa Infantry, which was sent to Helena, Ark., for the purposes of guard duty. He participated in one engagement with his regiment, but having lost his health after a service of 100 days, was discharged from service and returned to his home at Ottumwa, where he lay ill for one year. Mr. Gossage was married in 1868 to Miss Annie Southard, who died one and a half years after their marriage. He was again married, June 19, 1880, to Miss Jennie Gillett, a native of Wisconsin. At the time of the big fire in Ottumwa, in the year 1868, he lost his stock of goods and all his property. Following this loss he accepted a situation as traveling salesman for a St. Louis establishment, which business he followed one year. In 1869 he removed to California, where he engaged in hotel-keeping at Santa Rosa for one year, sold out there, and removed to San Francisco, engaging in the same line of business for a like period. Following his hotel experience he engaged in buying and shipping stock in Nevada, which he continued to do for twelve years. In 1880 the death of his father necessitated his return to Iowa. In 1881 he removed to Minnesota, and engaged in railroading, and at Minneapolis officiated as clerk in a hotel. From there he removed to Dubuque, Iowa, pursued railroading for a time, and thence came to Oskaloosa, where he now resides. Mr. Gossage is the oldest settler now living who was born in Oskaloosa. Samuel Gossage, father of our subject, was Mayor of the city of Ottumwa for eight years, and was once elected to the Legislature of the State from Monroe County, Iowa, and was the first Democrat ever elected to that position from that district. He was a great admirer of Stephen A. Douglas, and an ardent supporter of the Union cause during the Civil War. The subject of this sketch is a man who has traveled extensively over the entire West, and has observed its many changes and transformations from the great American desert of the early geographers to a land flowing with milk and honey. His present home was, at the time of his birth, the abode of the red man, who roamed at will over its vast expanse of prairie. Having viewed all other lands, he is now content to abide in the garden spot of Iowa, and among a host of friends and acquaintances, whose respect and esteem he enjoys.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy