Highland News Leader

Revolutionary War veteran John Gullick Jr. settled near Highland 200 years ago

Roland Harris
Roland Harris

John Gullick Jr. (1750-1832) was a Revolutionary War veteran whose family came to Looking Glass Prairie about 1818. They settled south of Joseph Duncan’s Pleasant Hill Farm, southeast of Highland. Today, we refer to this southeastern corner of Madison County as Sebastopol, after the many French-speaking people who settled there in the 1850s.

Gullick’s hillside farm was located east of Sugar Creek and just west of the Spanker Branch, which comes southwest from St. Rose Township in Clinton County and flows into Sugar Creek in Section 35 of Helvetia Township. Gullick, his wife, Hannah C. Ramsey Gullick, and the two youngest sons of their family purchased land in Section 26 and had an early distillery at this place.

The tall hill on the farm was used as an early burial site, and today is known as Gullick Cemetery, which is about a mile south of Sebastopol. John Gullick Jr. is buried there. He was 82 when he died on March 15, 1832. In 1988, the Claremont, California Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a memorial plaque there in his honor. The Gen. George Rogers Clark Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution on July 31, 2016 also placed a marker at the the cemetery for Gullick.

Hannah and John Jr.'s eldest son, who came with them in 1818, was Beniah Gullick (1794-1851). Beniah’s purchased the H. Crancort farm, also in Section 26. He farmed, but was a wagon maker by trade. He also continued the distillery and was the first road commissioner of the area. He married a woman named Elizabeth, whose maiden name has been lost to history, though we know she was born in 1795 and passed away in 1857.

The couple had at least six children, but all died quite young. Their third child, Dr. Lafayette Gullick, died at 24. Mary Jane Gullick Kasper died at 17. Benjamin Gullick served in the Civil War and died in 1870, just a few years after the war. (Benjamin’s service information and that of his great-great-grandfather John Gullick Jr., plus other relatives who served during war time, are in the War Veterans Cabinet of the Highland Home Museum.)

The youngest son of John Gullick Jr. who came in 1818 was Ira Gullick (1798-?). In 1819, he married Nancy Gingles Gullick; she died in 1843. Their son Andrew J. "A.J." Gullick, in 1857, deeded the land for Gullick Cemetery to trustees. A.J. moved to Millersburg, in Bond County, and ran a country store. Later, A.J. became sheriff of Bond County.

Mrs. Lola Malan (Dwight) Rogier Sr. — a Gullick Cemetery trustee, and the mother of Don Rogier, who is the author of “History of Sebastopol, Illinois” — submitted information on the Gullick family for Highland Sesquicentennial Book in 1987.

She wrote, in part, “Andrew J. (A.J.) Gullick in 1857 deeded the land for the Gullick Cemetery, in southeast Madison County, Helvetia Township, Section 26, along Leroy Road, to trustees, Richardson, Ramsay (or Ramsey) and Morgan, to be used for burials and to be known as 'Gullick Cemetery.'

“A.J.’s brother, James G. Gullick (1829-????) married Mary Featherstone Gullick. She died in 1854, with one son, William Gullick (1849-????), surviving."

William married Frances Berthoux Gullick, and five of their children are in the Sebastopol School photo of 1894 that was in my May 10, 2007 column. (This 1894 school photo and a list of students is in the Sebastopol cabinet of the Highland Home Museum.)

Joyce Meyer of rural Highland did a complete inventory of Gullick Cemetery in 1985 for the Madison County Genealogical Society. The work is 60 type-written pages and shows the earliest recorded burial in Gullick Cemetery. On page 56 was: "Peggy Harris, aged 56, who died in 1819. Her stone is very weathered."

Peggy Harris might be the mother of Jonathan L. (John L.) Harris, who married Mary Ramsey in 1846 in Helvetia Township. This Harris family came by wagon train to this area in 1817 or 1819, as the 1850 census of Helvetia Township lists, "John L. Harris, age 31, born in North Carolina, wife Mary (Ramsay or Ramsey) age 26, born in Illinois." This information was also verified by Lowell Volkel of Springfield, Illinois.

The inventory by Meyer shows that the Gullick Cemetery has three sections to it: the old, the French, and the new. Additional land for the new section was purchased in 1873.

Gullick Cemetery also has Civil War veterans Jules LeBegue (now spelled Lebegue), Sgt. C. Luchsinger and Pvt. Benjamin "Ben" Gullick (1841-1870). World War II veteran Gerald A. Rogier is noted in Meyer’s inventory. A World War I veteran, Alvin Gullick, formerly of Alhambra, never married and is also a part of this family. Thanks to J. William "Bill" Ambuehl of Alhambra, whose mother was Merle Gullick (Mrs. John A.) Ambuehl of Alhambra, for the information.

As years went by, some graves were left unkempt. So, beginning in 1945, a group of ladies, known as the "Ladies Auxiliary" adopted a constitution and by-laws under the name of the "Improvement Association of Gullick Cemetery." A perpetual care plan was adopted and a caretaker was hired, with the new name of "Gullick Cemetery Improvement Association" established. Interest from this perpetual care fund, along with other donations, are used for the upkeep of the cemetery.

Thanks to all those who have served as president of the Gullick Cemetery Improvement Association, including longtime president, the late Mrs. Aneda Lebegue (Wilfred) Rutz, and Millard Leroy, who was president in 2001, then Everett Rogier (2002-2005), Leslie Malan (2005-2011), and now Tim Rogier (2011-present), Everett and Ruth Rogier’s son.

(Information from Joyce Meyer’s "Gullick Cemetery Inventory," Lola Rogier information in the Highlands Sesquicentennial Book, Lowell Volkel, J. Willian "Bill" Ambuehl, Roy Worstell, and my own reseach.)