Alexander County

Biography - Edward L. Gilbert

EDWARD LEIGH GILBERT. The call of the business life is today widely irresistible, and we frequently find brainy and aggressive young men who by inheritance and native gifts might be thought to belong naturally to the "learned professions" departing from their family traditions and entering the, perhaps, broader fields of "business." Thi; lure of these various enterprises draws alike the talented sons of physicians, clergymen and lawyers. Mr. Edward Leigh Gilbert conspicuously illustrates this condition in this city. He is a scion of one of the early families of Cairo, is the only son of the Hon. Miles Frederick Gilbert and grandson of Judge Miles A. Gilbert. His father is mentioned at length elsewhere in this work. Edward Leigh Gilbert was born in Cairo and in a special and honorable sense belongs to this his native city. The date of his birth was December 23, 1877, and he is therefore in the very prime of his active and successful life. He is not only a product of one of the eminent professional families of this city but also of the splendid system of public schools of which the city is justly proud, he having been graduated from the high school here in 1896. Upon his graduation his inclination diverged him at once from the ancestral profession of the law and he embarked upon a business career. He started upon his training in this direction by accepting a clerkship in the office of H. H. Candee, one of the large writers of tire insurance in Cairo, and remained with this employer until January, 1905. Having mastered the principles and details of this important and complex business, Mr. Gilbert launched forth for himself by purchasing the insurance agency of Thomas J. Kerth. Having found the field to which he is well suited by ability, he has since devoted his active mind and excellent capacities to the general insurance business, in which he has made a great success. The prominence he has achieved is indicated by the fact that in 1907 he was elected secretary of the Central Building and Loan Association, the largest one in Cairo. His interest in education and his efficiency in that field is shown by the fact that in 1897 he was elected secretary of the board of education and still occupies that position.

Mr. Gilbert is associated prominently with several of the leading fraternal organizations, being an active member of Cairo lodge. No. 237, A. P. and A. M., Cairo Chapter, No. 71, and Cairo Commandery, No. 13, and he is past exalted ruler of the Benevolent and Progressive Order of Elks. He is a member of the Alexander Club and of the Country Club. He aligns himself with Democracy upon straight politics, but has done his whole duty with casting his ballot.

Mr. Gilbert is happily married and his home is blessed with two children. His marriage took place in a distant city, but the bride was a native of Cairo. He was married at Coronado Beach, California, September 8, 1904, to Miss Emma Halliday, a daughter of Major Edwin W. Halliday, reference to whom is made in this work. Mrs. Gilbert was born in Cairo and received her education in the city schools. Their children are Esther and Edward L., Jr.

Extracted 15 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, Volume 2, pages 795-796.

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