Thomas Atkinson Gaskill

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Was born January 29, 1835, to daughter Goldy of Joseph Goldy 1771-1848 and Rachel Atkinson 1770-1851 and son-in-law Gaskill (about 1801-1887). He married Margaret Birkett Pew, widow of William Henry Pew 1845-1869. They had a daughter Joanna Elizabeth 1865-1920. Thomas and Margaret had Robert 1874-1955 and Otto 1880-1900.

His grandfather Joseph Goldy left him money in his will. Only mention of his mother was "the son of my deceased daughter". No one has yet been able to find out her name. Thomas  also took care a several relatives. Thomas is also mentioned in other family wills as well.



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Thomas Atkinson Gaskill

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Margaret Birkett Pew Gaskill

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Robert Gaskill

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Muriel Hartman Gaskill


In 1946 Robert Gaskill SR  of 1701 Wilson Blvd, Kansas City, Kansas wrote his autobiography.


Monday February 18, 1946. For the want of something better I am going to write an autobiography of my life starting at the age of 5.

I will have to with it from memory and such records I have and can get.

I was born just before mid night Saturday December 5th 1874 at Fairfax, Iowa.

I have heard my father say many times that this night was one of Iowa's worst storms and he had to walk 5 miles to get the doctor for my mother.

My father Thomas Adkinson Gaskill born in New Jersey in the year 1835. Died in Kansas City, Kansas year 1921. 86 years of age.

My father was a man of 6 feet tall, weighed 190 to 200 pounds and had black hair and cold deep blue eyes. My father was of Scotch-French descent.

My grandfather Gaskill was scotch and the scotch name was Mack Van Gaskill. However on their arrival to America the Mack Van was dropped and the first as well it was so far as I am concerned.

My grandfather lived to the age of 86 also. And after working his garden all day he complained about being just a little tired and was going to bed and rest until he was rested. He never woke up.

My Grandmother Gaskill died four days after my father was born. She was a full blooded French woman. Black hair and dark eyes.

*   Gaskill is of French descent.   Goldy is of scotch descent.

My grandfather Thomas P Birkett was born in England and died at the age of 52.  He was a truck farmer and an auctioneer in Burlington, New Jersey.

My grandmother Sarah B Birkett was born in Burlington Township, New Jersey and was a full blooded English woman and lived to the grand old age of 99 and had re-gained her second sight. Reading without glasses.

On her last days of life she had helped her daughter Martha with the dishes. She complained of being tired. Aunt Martha helped her to bed, bid her good night and Grandma Birkett never awakened again in this world.

My aunt Martha found her just as she has left her the night before sleeping the sleep death.

My mother Margaret Gaskill born Sept 1840, died March 18, 1915.

My Mother was born in Burlington, New Jersey stood about 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighed about 130 pounds. Had red golden hair, and large kind hazel eyes.

This is just about as far as I can go be sure of what I am writing.

As I have never been east to meet any of my relatives.

My mothers younger brother Frank Birkett came to Kansas City, Kansas to visit my mother. Being only about 7 years old, I do not remember much about him.

In the year 1910 another brother Thomas Birkett came to Kansas City to visit my father and mother. He came to Kansas City prepared to hunt buffalo. My father and mother had a lot of fun with uncle Tommie about this.

From what I could hear and see I was satisfied my father and uncle Tommie had been very good friends in New Jersey and I was also. Uncle Tommie was my mothers favorite brother.

There two of my cousins Louis and Nellie Birkett came to visit my father and mother. Two very fine girls.

Now I have gone as far as I can go. So far as my ancestors and relatives are concerned.

How my father happened to go to Iowa?

There was an uncle in Virginia, Uncle Hooper that was a slave owner and he refused to set free his slaves. So the night was set to free the slaves and hang uncle Hooper.

In some way my father found this out. So he drove a "Buck Board" buggy from New Jersey over into Virginia, picked up uncle Hooper and drove over into Iowa.

This information was received from a Mrs. Rose Hooper Sullivan who had stopped over to visit my father and mother while enroute to Denver Colorado.

My father first laughed and said, " Rose", while she was telling me. She called my father uncle Tom and my mother aunt Margaret.

On my fathers arrival in Iowa he found a cousin working as a telegraph operator. I have forgotten his name any-way. He coaxed my father to go back to New Jersey, get my mother and comeback to Iowa.

My father must have seen some thing in Iowa as he did return to New Jersey got my mother and returned to Iowa.

On his return he bought a farm near Fairfax. Farmed for some time and then he and my mother operated a hotel in Cedar Rapids.

in 1879 sold out every thing in Iowa and moved to Kansas City, Kansas. Kansas City was first six miles north of Indian Territory. Now the great state of Oklahoma.

Kansas City, Kansas was a wild boarder town at that time. No railroad.

The nearest rail road was the Santa Fe and it stopped at Windfield, Kansas and Wichita Kansas.

All merchandise and other supplies had to be freighted in by ox-trains.

These ox trains were long wide tread low wagons drawn by 4 to 6 head of oxen and the drivers was known as "Bull Whackers" and had to be hard as there was always road aguets, cattle rustlers - bad Indians and stage coach robbers around looking for supplies.

As my father had been a provuier in New Jersey and Pennsylvania he knew cattle, hogs, sheep and horses and had been a farmer and knew butchering and he opened a what was called butcher shops in those days a meat market to-day.

Copied exactly as written.

Burlington County Historical Society

** There was a John Durham Goldy living in Iowa and was a volunteer with Iowa during the Civil War. He was also the first postmaster in Kiowa from January 1874 - July 1874. He also died in Kansas. There's no such thing as a coincidence.