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James M. Gale

GALE, James M., the Cashier of the First National Bank of Bushnell, Ill., is eminently well fitted for his large responsibility by years of experience as a bookkeeper and merchant, and by a natural aptitude for painstaking and mathematical accuracy. James M. Gale came to Bushnell in 1877, and since that time his name has been increasingly associated with all that is stable and conservative in finance. He inaugurated his local usefulness as bookkeeper for James Cole, merchant, and his standing with his employer became apparent in 1882, when he was appointed Cashier of the bank of James Cole & Company, with which he remained continuously until 1892. With Mr. Cole he then became one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Bushnell, and Mr. Gale was made Cashier of the new institution, a position since maintained with a devotion to duty and singleness of purpose which has won him many friends and the confidence of the entire community.

A sharp contrast may be drawn between the career of Mr. Gale since and previous to coming to Bushnell. If he has seemed immured beyond recall in the intricacies of accounts and the rather arid details of banking, he also has known the struggles which accompany a not over indulgent boyhood, and the many sided experiences of the man who dons the military uniform of the volunteer. The circumstances surrounding his origin would tend to the development of courage and faithfulness to duty, characteristics which are the corner-stones of the character and labor of Mr. Gale. He was born in Winchester, Scott County, Ill., September 26, 1839, a. son of Albert G. Gale, who was born in Colchester, Chittenden County, Vt.. and grandson of Amos Gale, who followed the martial fortunes of Washington in the Revolutionary War, and was also a soldier in the War of 1812. Albert G. Gale was an early settler of Winchester, Ill., as was also Nancy R. McConnell, whom he subsequently married, and who, born in Lebanon, Tenn., was a daughter of David McConnell, a native of Kentucky. Albert G. Gale was a shoemaker by trade and followed this occupation for many years in Winchester, later turning his attention to merchandising, in which he was engaged at the time of his death in 1866. He was survived by his wife until 1868.

James M. Gale had the advantages of the public schools of Winchester, and his first earnings were acquired as a clerk in a general store. His uneventful existence was interrupted by his country's demand for able-bodied men in 1861, and in August of that year he enlisted in Company C, Twenty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and after being mustered in at Camp Butler, near Springfield, was sent to St. Louis. He was in the service four years and one month, and during that time participated In many of the important battles of the war; also served on staff duty, being aid-decamp for both General Brayman and General Slack, and serving as acting Assistant Inspector General. He developed an aptitude for military affairs, and readily won the confidence and approval of his superiors. During January, 1865, he was made Captain of Company E, Twenty-Eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Mr. Gale was in the thick of the fight at Little Bethel and Harrisburg (La.), Jackson, Vicksburg, Shiloh, and the Siege of Mobile, and during the last named, March 30, 1865, he was shot in the hip and remained in the hospital for three weeks. Joining his command at Mobile at the end of sixty days, he was sent to Brownsville, Texas, under General Slack's command, division of General Fred Steel, and September 1, 1865, was mustered out of the service, and soon after returned to Winchester. He saw much of the grim and terrible side of warfare, and to none was the benediction of peace more welcome. He has since been a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and has taken an active part in its camp-fire meetings.

For twelve years after the war Mr. Gale was engaged in merchandising in Winchester, moving thence to Bushnell in 1877. In the meantime, September 14, 1868, he was united in marriage to Emma J. Liscomb, who was born in Morgantown, W. Va., December 19, 1879, a daughter of Dr. Silas and Lucinda (Clothier) Liscomb, the former for many years a medical practitioner at Pittsburg, Pa., and Salem, Ohio, was also engaged in practice in Winchester, Ill., and subsequently in Jacksonville, where he died at an advanced age. His wife died some years later in Winchester. Mr. and Mrs. Gale are the parents of two children, of whom Albert L. married Viama Goodson, of Marysville, Mo., and has one child, Helen. Albert L. lives at Lincoln, Ill., and is editor of the "Lincoln Daily Star." Harry M., the younger son, died in infancy.

Mr. Gale is a Republican in politics, and served as City Clerk and member of the School Hoard of Winchester, and as City Treasurer of Bushnell. He is a member of many years' standing of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is Past Grand, and is an earnest worker and a Steward in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a man of pleasing personality, genial manner and great consideration for the rights and prerogatives of others.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 882-883, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.

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