William S. Gibbs has been a resident of Morgan County, Mo., since 1838, at which date he came with his parents, Thomas J. and Margaret (McFarland) Gibbs, from the State of Tennessee, William S. having been born there April 24, 1834, being one of their three children: Alexander M., William S. and John M. The latter was killed in the late war in a skirmish in Hickory County. Thomas J. Gibbs was born in Virginia, and in 1842 was killed by a falling tree, at the age of twenty-nine years. His wife was born in Tennessee, and died at the age of sixty-two, in 1871. William S. Gibbs remained with his mother four years after his father's death, and from that time until he was of age made his home with Benjamin F. Willson, who afterward became his father-in-law. He first married Miss Myra M. Ivey, December 3, 1855, who died September 7, 1858, leaving two children: Thomas J. and Louisa M. At the breaking out of the Rebellion he enlisted in the Home Guards, and at the end of six months was commissioned to raise a company, and after it was consolidated with another company he was made its first lieutenant. He did service under Gen. Blunt on the frontier, and says that that general's command endured untold hardships. For about two months he was in the saddle almost night and day, but came safely through without a scratch, but came very near being killed at one time by his horse, which had been shot in the neck, falling on him. He was discharged at Springfield, April 24, 1865, and returned home and engaged in general merchandising, and was postmaster at Versailles for seven years. Owing to impaired health, he was not able to attend to business properly, and in 1871 failed. He then retired to an unimproved farm of eighty acres, and began making improvements, and built a house, which at that time cost $900. He now owns 270 acres, and has about 100 acres in farming condition, and throughout the year handles considerable stock. Mr. Gibbs always votes the Republican ticket, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity. December 13, 1864, he was married to Mrs. Mary E. (Willson) Grain, by whom he has six children: Fanny, born October 12, 1865; John F., born March 31, 1868; William S., born May 31, 1870, and died September 21, 1884; George E., born March 23, 1873, and died September 5, 1873; Mary E., born April 10, 1876, and Emmett H., born August 2, 1878, and died September 5, 1879. Mr. Gibbs' parents were members of the Methodist Church, and he was the first person christened by Parson Brownlow, of Tennessee.
History of Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Benton, Miller, Maries and Osage Counties, Missouri, Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.