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Rev Jacob E. Gillespie
Birth: Nov., 1809
Sumner County
Tennessee, USA
Death: May 21, 1898
Lane County
Oregon, USA

The namesake of this cemetery, Rev. Jacob E. Gillespie donated the land for it. The first Presbyterian minister in the Oregon territory, he was an 1852 Lane County pioneer. Rev. Gillespie was the father of 6 daughters and 1 son. He was also the founder of Columbia College (1856-59), which was the precursor to the University of Oregon. In 1853, he founded the Cumberland (now Central) Presbyterian Church of Eugene. He was a elected a Lane county commissioner and also served as a representative from Lane County in the state legislature.

Thursday, August 22, 1895 - Weekly Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

Eugene is well fixed for octogenarians. Dr. Patterson, Hon. H.G. Hadley and Eben Stewart are all about 83, and Rev. Jacob Gillespie is 85. "Uncle Jake" lives on his donation claim, three miles out of town, taken up 42 years ago. When he goes to town he has breakfast at 6, hitches up his horse himself, and drives in alone.

The Eugene Guard newspaper
Eugene, Lane County, Oregon
May 1898

Hon. Jacob Gillespie, one of the best known pioneers of Oregon passed from this life on Saturday, May 21, 1898, at the advanced age of 88 years, 6 months and 6 days, after an illness of extended duration, due to the infirmities of old age.

The funeral occurred at 10 o'clock today from his family residence, one mile north of this city, to the Gillespie cemetery, and was attended by a large number of relatives and friends.

The funeral sermon was preached by Dr. W. B. Farr of this city. He was assisted in the services by Revs. C. H. Wallace and J. C. Richardson.

The pall bearers, who are all grandsons of the deceased, were as follows: C. M. Young, M. Gillespie, Geo. Campbell, Thos. Campbell, W. W. Withers, M. Masterson.

Jacob Gillespie was born in Sumner county, Tennessee, in November 1809. On October 18, 1831, he removed from the place of his birth to La Fayette county, Missouri. In 1852 he joined a company composed of eight wagons, of which he was chosen captain, on its way to far-off Oregon, crossing the plains without any incident worthy of note save those hardships to be looked for on so long and perilous a journey. On the ninth of September of that year this party camped on the Clackamas river in Oregon, when our subject continued his journey direct to Lane county, purchased the donation claim of Abraham Peek, on which he took up his residence, October 6, 1852. This tract is situated one mile north from Eugene City, and has for one of its boundaries the beautiful Willamette river. Here Mr. Gillespie has continuously resided since that time. In 1857 he was elected one of the board of county commissioners, and held that office until Oregon was admitted into the Union as a state; while previously in the session of 1854-55 he represented Lane county in the Territorial assembly. Mr. Gillespie married, firstly, August 4 [Sumner County records say August 1], 1831, Almyra Hannah [Almira Hanna] (now deceased) and had a family of seven children: Mrs. C. W. Young, Mrs. J. G. Day, Mrs. Thos. Brattain, Mrs. J. E. P. Withers, Mrs. R. M. Masterson, Mrs. Geo. Campbell and M. M. Gillespie. Of these Mrs. Day, Mrs. Masterson and Mrs. Campbell are now deceased.

Married secondly, Mrs. Amelia Martin in the year 1845 (must be 1847) and thirdly to Mrs. Elizabeth Goodpasture [nee Moss], July 1857. This lady is also a pioneer of Lane county, having settled within its confines with her former husband in the year 1853.

[Source: Eugene Daily Guard, May 23, 1898]
Gone to be With Christ

By Rev. W. B. Farr, D.D.

Rev. Jacob Gillespie was born in Sumner County, Tennessee, in November, 1809. In his seventeenth year he was apprenticed to a man in Franklin, Tennessee, to learn the tanner's trade. During his three years term of service, and when he was about eighteen years of age, he was converted and joined the Presbyterian Church. He was married to Miss Almyra Hanna in 1831, and removed with his young wife to Missouri in October of the same year, settling in Lafayette County not far from Lexington. Here he joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In 1832 he became a probationer for the ministry, placing himself under the care of Lexington presbytery, at a meeting of which Rev. Samuel King, one of the founders of the denomination, was moderator. He was licensed and ordained by this presbytery, his ordination occurring at a meeting of presbytery in Independence, Mo. The ordination sermon was preached by Rev. Henry Renick, and Rev. William Horn presided and gave the charge.

During the first eighteen or twenty years of his ministry Mr. Gillespie traveled and preached extensively throughout that part of the State in which he lived, and many souls were converted under his ministry. He preached the first sermon ever preached in Harrisonville, Mo., the town then consisting of a few log cabins.

In 1852 Mr. Gillespie removed with his family to Oregon, coming the whole way by wagon, and reaching the vicinity of Eugene, which then consisted of a few rude dwellings, on the 5th day of October, of that year. In 1853 he organized the church which is now the first Cumberland Church of Eugene, since which time he has organized a number of churches, among which is the church of Cottage Grove.

Before leaving Missouri, Mr. Gillespie was bereft of his first wife, and was married to Mrs. Amelia Martin, who died a few years after their coming to Oregon, and on the 25th day of July, 1867, he was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Goodpasture, with whom he lived happily for nearly thirty-one years, and who lives to mourn his departure.

During the years of his active life Father Gillespie was a thorough-going business man of sterling integrity and of uncompromising righteousness. His word was as good as his bond wherever he was known. Being a man of untiring industry and of fine business sagacity, he succeeded in accumulating quite a comfortable living. For the disposition of his property he left a will which has been probated, and which contains, among its provisions, bequests to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church as follows: To Mineral Springs College, located at Sodaville, Oregon, $1,000; to the Board of Ministerial Relief, $1,000; to the Board of Missions, $2,000; and to the First Church of Eugene, the income from his interest in a certain block of buildings in this city, which is to be used in the support of the pastor. The sums to the boards are to be permanent funds, the interest of which only can be used for the several objects for which they are given. The boards have been for some years objects of special interest to Father Gillespie, and have received generous donations from his income; and yet these offerings were made in the name of the church at Eugene, and it got the credit for his gifts. Indeed, he was so unostentatious in all his acts of beneficence that it could be truly said that he did not let his left hand know what his right hand did.

But it was as a Christian man, and a minister of the gospel, that Father Gillespie was most fully known and most highly esteemed throughout the bounds of Oregon Synod. He was most conscientious and painstaking in the discharge of all his religious and ministerial duties. His eldest daughter says, that although her father shaved regularly, all his mature life, yet she never knew him to shave on the Sabbath but once, and then he was detained from home, unexpectedly, to preach a funeral. As soon as he had secured a home for his family, after coming to Oregon, he began to preach, and, wherever practicable, to organize churches; and, until the infirmities of age began to weigh upon him, he rarely missed an appointment to preach, or failed to attend the meetings of his presbytery or synod.

Rev. C. A. Woolley, who could not be present at Father Gillespie's funeral, authorized the statement to be made that he had known the deceased intimately for thirty-two years, and that during that whole time he had never heard him speak a word, nor known him perform an act derogatory to the standing of a Christian gentleman or a gospel minister; and furthermore, that it was his deliberate opinion that Father Gillespie, by his labors, his prayers, and his money, had done more for the establishing of our church in Oregon, than any other man, living or dead.

Until about the first of this year Father Gillespie was in his place in the sanctuary every Sabbath morning, if it were possible for him to be there, even though, as he told the writer himself, he had not heard well enough within the past four years to enable him to get a single idea from the preaching, and considering also that he lived in the country some four miles from the church. Rain or shine we had all learned to know that there was something unusual in the way, if "Uncle Jake" was not at the morning service.

Indeed, his great love for his church was shown in his liberality to this local work, as also toward the general work of the denomination. Out of his own means, almost entirely, he built the first church house in Eugene, which forms a part of the very commodious house of worship now occupied by our people, himself also paying for the ground on which to build. In the rebuilding of the house, making it the beautiful structure which it now is, his means, more than that of all other donors combined, made the work possible. It was out of his liberality also that the comfortable manse was built, and the ground upon which it stands paid for. To him the congregation has been accustomed to look for much of the means necessary to carry on its work. It was he who inquired of his pastor, frequently, yet modestly and quietly, "How are you getting along? Are you getting something to live on?" and who followed his inquiries with liberal bestowment of the needful.

Like Joshua, Father Gillespie feared God in his home, never allowing business or pleasure to come between him and his family altar. He kept up his family worship to almost the very last, and when he could no longer kneel, he would be helped to his feet and stand, learning upon some support, while he led in prayer. Almost his last rational utterances were made in family prayer.

For some weeks his sufferings were intense, but he bore them with a Christian fortitude that was wonderful, often speaking of the "Dear Savior" in the most confiding and loving terms.

At 5 o'clock p.m., May 21, 1898, he quietly fell asleep in Jesus, and went home. The funeral obsequies were conducted by the writer, assisted by the Rev. C. H. Wallace of our church, and Rev. J. C. Richardson of the Baptist Church. Attended by a large concourse of people, we laid his body away in a beautiful cemetery, overlooking the home where he first settled in Oregon and where he lived for so many years, to await his part in the first resurrect Eugene, Oregon

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, August 11, 1898, page 169]

Family links: 
  John Gillespie (1773 - 1868)
  Elizabeth Brandon Gillespie (1776 - 1815)
  Elmira Hanna Gillespie (1814 - 1846)*
  Amelia Wood Gillespie (1803 - 1867)*
  Elizabeth Moss Gillespie (1825 - 1909)*
  Mary Brandon Whitlock Gillespie Young (1832 - 1909)*
  Agnes Lenora Gillespie Day (1834 - 1887)*
  Margaret Sloan Gillespie Withers (1836 - 1909)*
  Permelia Jane Gillespie Brattain (1838 - 1913)*
  Nellie Jackson Graham Gillespie Masterson (1841 - 1888)*
  Matilda Warner Gillespie Campbell (1843 - 1877)*
  Marcellus Melanthon Gillespie (1846 - 1922)*
  Elizabeth Gillespie Day (1800 - 1840)*
  George Gillespie (1807 - 1870)*
  Jacob E. Gillespie (1809 - 1898)
  Thomas Gillespie (1812 - 1859)*
*Calculated relationship
Gillespie Cemetery
Lane County
Oregon, USA
Maintained by: Gillespie Cemetery Assoc...
Originally Created by: Kathy Heath
Record added: Jun 30, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6563417
Rev Jacob E. Gillespie
Added by: Jan
Rev Jacob E. Gillespie
Added by: Kathy Heath
Rev Jacob E. Gillespie
Added by: Kathy Heath
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- In Loving Memory
 Added: Aug. 10, 2016

- Jonathan Robert De Mallie, Historian
 Added: Feb. 7, 2015
In remembrance and respect, a Texas relative.
- Grady Leroy Puryear
 Added: Jan. 19, 2015
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