Chemung County NY
History of Tompkins, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga 1879
Page 271 - Solomon L. Gillet Biography
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1879 Four County History - Table of Contents
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Solomon L. Gillet was born in Colchester, Conn., Sept. 20, 1803. His father, Solomon, was a native of the same place, born Aug. 10, 1773, and his grandfather, Aaron, was born in 1732. The former was a farmer by occupation, and was married to Martha Doolittle, of Russell, Mass., June 15, 1801. Their children were five sons and three daughters, of whom all are living in 1878 except two.

The father died at the age of eighty-three; the mother died at the age of ninety-three, in the year 1871.

Of this family of children, Mr. Solomon L. Gillet is eldest, and until the age of seventeen spent his time at the district school and on the farm at home, followed by six years as a clerk in a general store, when in the year 1826 he entered into partnership with the former proprietor, where he remained until the death of his partner in 1829. In the year 1830 he came to Elmira, in company with Joshua B. Wheeler, and opened a general store, and for twelve years was associated in Business with Joshua B. Wheeler and Alvenus Cone; and in 1842 closed his mercantile business, since which time Mr. Gillet has been connected with various enterprises. For four years was land commissioner and assistant treasurer of the Elmira and Williamsport Railroad (now Northern Central), for some time treasurer of the Elmira, Canandaigua and Niagara Falls Railroad, vice-president of the Chemung Canal Bank for two years, and president of the village of Elmira.

By industry, unsullied integrity of purpose in all his business relations, and judicious management, he has, as is common with all self-made business men, unassisted pecuniarily, overcome the obstacles coincident to a business life, and secured a competence sufficient to place him beyond the apprehension of want.

Mr. Gillet was first a member of the old Whig party, and is now ardently attached to the Republican party. Not active in politics, he has never been solicitous of political notoriety or emolument, but has practically lent his energies to a business life.

In the year 1826, July 24, he married Mary J., daughter of Colonel Daniel Watrous, of Colchester, Conn.

She was born August 9, 1803, and possessed those womanly qualities that grace the household. She was endowed with such intellectual gifts and strength as easily made her a superior woman, and qualified her to contribute a full measure of interest and support, in such ways as woman may, to the moral and social welfare of the community to which she came in an early day, and with which she was identified for so long a period. She died June 12, 1876. Her brother, John C. Watrous, was for a long period judge of the United States Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Their children were Elizabeth K. (died at the age of three years), Daniel Watrous, and Charles Lewis (died at the age of ten years). The only son living, Daniel Watrous Gillet, was active in raising troops during the early part of the late Rebellion, and subsequently, until after the battle of Antietam, was quartermaster of a regiment; and resigning, was appointed clerk of the quartermaster-general’s department of New York, and subsequently appointed assistant quartermaster-general, and at the close of the war settled in New York City as an attorney and counselor at law. Mr. Gillet in early life, in the year 1823, became identified with church interests, and has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Elmira since his residence in this place, and since the year 1841 has officiated as elder of that church.