This collection contains the papers of six generations of the Gibbs and related families. The papers document Justus and Betty Gibbs, their descendants, as well as life in Illinois during the 19th and 20th centuries. Materials include correspondence; photographs; military, financial, legal, and business records; diaries; newspaper clippings, and other materials.
Justus A. Gibbs (1812-1901) was born March 17, 1812, in Florence, New York. After moving to Illinois in 1836, he became a teacher in Harkness Grove (present-day Trivoli, Illinois). Justus then purchased a farm in Elmwood, Illinois and soon after married Betty Smith (1819-1905) in 1838. Betty and Justus had 12 children: Ichabod, Milo, Sarah, Permelia, Edward, Albert, Cornelia, Harriet, Amelia, Oren, Emma, and Allie. Justus died April 14, 1901, in Elmwood, Illinois at the age of 89 years old. Betty died on August 25, 1905, in Peoria, Illinois.
The collection is organized into three parts: Part 1, The Stone House Letters; Part 2, Family Papers; and Part 3, Mixed Family Papers. Part 1, The Stone House Letters, consists of six volumes compiled by Kim Nyquist Elder containing transcriptions of family correspondence as well as an appendix which includes genealogical information. Part 2, Family Papers, was organized and described in 2013 and contains correspondence, photographs, and other materials which document, generation by generation, the Gibbs, Pulsipher, and related families. It is arranged by family name. Part 3, Mixed Family Papers, was organized and described in 2017 and includes correspondence, records, photographs, publications, and other materials from several different families. It is arranged by type of material.
Kim Nyquist Elder and Sherida Kuck Houlihan donated the collection to the Library in 2012.