LEVI GAMBILL.--Holding a good position among the successful farmers of Cass township, Sullivan county, is Levi Gambill, who is emphatically a self-made man, as he started in life with no other capital than brains, a willingness to labor and the necessary muscle, and by his industry and excellent judgment and management has acquired a fair share of this world's goods. A son of Morgan Gambill, he was born in this township January 2, 1839, and is an excellent representative of the native-born citizens of this part of the state. His grandfather, Martin Gambill, came from Tennessee to Indiana at an early day, making the journey on horseback, and bringing with him his family and all of his household effects. On the farm which he improved in Wright township, Greene county, he spent his remaining days.

Born in Tennessee, Morgan Gambill was but a child when he came with the family to Greene county, Indiana. An apt scholar in his youthful days, lie was well educated for his times, and in early manhood began his career as a teacher, having charge of the first school established in Cass township. The round-log cabin in which he taught was rudely constructed and equipped, having a stick and clay chimney, a roof made of boards rived and held in place by poles, while the seats were made of slabs and the floor of puncheon. A strip of greased paper covering the narrow opening made bv leaving out a round log admitted light to the room, which was heated by a fire in the fireplace. This part of Indiana was then a wilderness, and the comparatively few inhabitants lived in a very primitive manner, the farmers raising flax and sheep, and their hard-working wives carding, spinning and weaving the cloth in which she dressed her entire family. During his boyhood all grain was cut with a sickle, and the plows were made with wooden moldboards, on which were narrow points of iron. The wagons were home-made, the wheels being sawed from a log, and no iron at all used in their construction. Wild game, deer, wolves and bears were plentiful, and oftentimes damaged the growing crops unless they were carefully watched and guarded.

When a young man, Morgan Gambill entered government land in section one, Cass township, and having cleared a space erected from round logs the cabin in which his son Levi was born. With characteristic energy and enterprise he began the improvement of a homestead, and a few years later erected a commodious hewed log house, which was then considered a fine residence, and subsequently built on his place the first frame barn erected in the township, a barn that is still in use. Clearing the greater part of his land, he resided there until his death in 1852, when but forty-one years old. He married Ellen McGrew, who was born near Salem, Daviess county, Indiana, a daughter of John McGrew, a pioneer of Daviess and Greene counties, who improved a farm near Linton. She survived him, marrying subsequently for her second husband William Cone, and now, a bright and hearty woman of ninety-five years, is living with one of her sons. By her first marriage she reared seven children: John, Hannah, Lucinda, Levi, Wiley, Morgan and Mary Ann. By her second marriage she had two children: Eleanor and William.

Having received his early education in the district schools, Levi Gambill obtained on the home farm a practical experience in the art and science of agriculture, remaining with his mother until eighteen years old. Beginning life for himself then even with the world, he secured work on a neighboring farm, receiving nine dollars a month wages, which was then considered a good compensation. Prudent and economical, he accumulated enough money before many years to buy forty acres of the land that is now included in his present homestead. He built a hewed log house for his first home, and there began housekeeping with his bride. Enlisting in his country's defense in March, 1865, Mr. Gambill became a member of Company A, Fifty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, joined his regiment at Indianapolis, and with it went by way of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to New York City, from there going by steamer to Wilmington, North Carolina, and after a short stop at that port returning by boat as far north as Alexandria, Virginia. A few weeks later he marched with his comrades to Washington, where he took part in the Grand Review. Going from there to Pennsylvania, and thence to Kentucky, he was there honorably discharged from the service in the fall of 1865. Returning home, Mr. Gambill resumed the care of his land, and has since enlarged his farm by purchase of adjoining land, having now eighty-five acres in his homestead. He has placed his land in a fine state of cultivation, erected a substantial set of frame buildings, and set out fruit and shade trees, each year adding to the beauty and value of the property.

On February 7, 1860, Mr. Gambill married Elizabeth Moore. She was born in Cass township, a daughter of James Moore, and granddaughter of Robert Moore. Her grandfather, an early settler of Sullivan county, improved a farm in the west half of the northeast quarter of section fourteen, Cass township, and in addition to being a successful farmer was one of the noted hunters of his day. James Moore cleared and improved a homestead in section fourteen, Cass township, and was there employed in tilling the soil until his death, at the age of forty-four years. His widow, whose maiden name was Sarah Graves, married for her second husband Joseph Linn, and died at the age of seventy-two years. She reared four children by her first marriage: William, Elias, Elizabeth (now Mrs. Gambill) and John. Her father, Elias Graves, was also a pioneer of Cass township, and from the wilderness redeemed in the south half of section one a farm of one hundred and sixty acres.

Mr. and Mrs. Gambill have three children, namely: John S., Sarah E. and William M. John married Amanda Gabard, and they have five children: Homer, Cornie, Osal, Bessie and Kittie. Sarah E., wife of John Marshall Buck, has six children: Chloe, Dessie, Alma, Dora, Pearl and Estie. William M. married Elizabeth Kelley, and they have two children: Nona and Everett. Chloe Buck married Otis Pitcher, and they have two children: Louis and Pansy. Dessie Buck married Albert Boyd, and has one child, Theresa. Bessie Gambill, wife of Ira Sisk, has two children: Esther and Iva. Politically, Mr. Gambill votes for the best men and measures, regardless of party restrictions, and religiously, both Mr. and Mrs. Gambill are members of the Christian church. Fraternally, he is a Mason of Sullivan.