GEORGE GILLIS, one of the most prominent and successful pioneers of Holt County, is a son of Jonathan Gillis and Dollie, nee Oldfield, both natives of the State of New York. George Gillis was born in Steuben County, New York, July 23, 1808. When he was about ten years of age his parents started for the State of Ohio, their mode of transportation to the Alleghany River being by team. There they purchased a boat and went by water to the Sciota, and located in Sciota County, where George grew to manhood. He received but a limited education.
He was married, February 14, 1834, to Miss Elizabeth Dodge, a sister of Levi Dodge, also now a prominent citizen of Holt County, Missouri, and whose sketch appears elsewhere. She was born in Athens County, Ohio, December 13, 1817. Mr. Gillis lived in Athens County two years, when he moved by ox team, to LaPorte County, Indiana. Not being contented to settle in the swamps which then existed in that locality, he returned, at the end of one year, to Athens County, Ohio, and from there emigrated by team, in 1836, to Missouri, and located in Clinton County.
Since the fall of 1843 he has been a citizen of Holt county, except for three years during the war, when he lived in Mills County, Iowa. During that conflict he was neutral, trying to attend to his own affairs and not meddle with outsiders. Mr. Gillis has followed farming and dealing in stock as an occupation during life.
He was one of the first to engage in the stock business in Holt County, and has been one of the most successful men in that industry. Being one of the pioneers, he had many hardships 'to endure, as is customary in the settlement of a new country. When he began life for himself he was poor, but by his own labor and business management he has accumulated considerable wealth. His landed estate, at the present time, consists of 600 acres. He has never held or sought after office, and is a member of no secret society.
He has raised a family of ten children, all but one of whom are still living. The children are as follows: Edward, Laurany (now deceased), Levi, Margaret, Pollie, Wayne, George, Robert, Cynthia, and Delia, who is the only one at home.
Source: "History of Holt and Atchison Counties, 1882" transcribed by Karyn.