Hon. David GILMAN


[Note: Citations from the same source are somewhat conflicting.]

"The first settler in the county was David Gilman, who made a claim at Watab in 1848, but removed to Sauk Rapids the following year." [p. 341]

"The first white man to take up a residence in this town [Watab] was, undoubtedly, Asa White, who opened a trading post here about 1848. In the spring of 1849, David Gilman opened a trading post two miles above Sauk Rapids, but in the fall of the same year, he bought Mr. White's interest at Watab, whither he removed, and is still a resident of the town. Mr. Gilman immediately built a hotel and opened a farm, which was, probably, the first farm opened in Benton county. Mr, White then erected a building in which he opened a general store in 1850. Nathan Myrick, now of St. Paul, also opened a store and bakery soon after. This trade was almost exclusively with the Indians." [p. 368]

"HON. DAVID GILMAN, for thirty-three years a resident of Minnesota, thirty-two of which have been spent in Watab, was born in Saratoga county. New York, on the 29th of April, 1812. When the subject of our sketch was but six months old, the family removed to Orange county, Vermont, where he grew to manhood. In 1836, he went to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he dealt in horses, and kept a livery stable. He was the first City Marshall there, holding the office for six years, and was also one of the organizers of the first fire company. In 1848, he entered the employ of the American Fur Company, and came to Minnesota, locating his family at Mendota. In 1849, he removed to Watab, and has resided here ever since. In the same year, he was appointed by Gov. Ramsey, Sheriff of Benton county, and soon after, elected to the same office, which he held for four years. He has been County Commissioner a number of terms, and Chairman of the Board several years. He represented his district in the Territorial Legislature in 1850, and was also a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1857, where he was noted for his strong advocacy of a proper recognition of the school interests of Minnesota. He was appointed Post-master at Watab, in 1853, and now holds the office, although others have filled the position a portion of the time during those years. The house in which Mr. Gilman resides, was the old Watab Indian trading post. He was married in September, 1844, to Nancy W. Lamb, of Woodstock, Vermont. They have had five children, four of whom are living; Ellen R., Sarah B., John D. L., and Frances E." [pp. 368-9]

History of the Upper Mississippi Valley (1881)

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