From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana
Joseph A. Gilbert, one of the prominent farmers of Otsego Township, lives on section 2. He was born in Adams County, Pa., Aug. 3, 1825, a son of John and Mary Gilbert. When he was eight years of age his parents moved to Portage County, Ohio, where he was reared a farmer, remaining with his parents till twenty-five years of age. In the fall of 1851 he came to Steuben County and lived the following winter on his brother John's place in York Township. In the meantime he bought 160 acres of timber-land on section 2, Otsego Township, on which he built a small log cabin, and the next spring moved his family to it. He went to work to improve his forest home and was soon able to live comfortably. He has since erected a large, fine residence, and all his farm buildings are commodious and comfortable. To his first purchase he has added till he now has 265 acres, the most of it under cultivation. He was married Feb. 25, 1850, to Martha Ann Forder, who was born in Pennsylvania, July 28, 1833. To them were born six children -- Alonzo, of this township; George W., died aged two years; Marietta, died in infancy; Almira and Alvira (twins), the former died in infancy and the latter is the wife of Frank Fee; Sarah Florence is the wife of Truman Bender, of Kansas. Mrs. Gilbert died Jan. 26, 1859. In February, 1861, Mr. Gilbert married Emily Case, a native of Orleans County, N. Y., born Jan. 14, 1835. Three children were born to them -- Alton J., Victor and Verna. Mrs. Gilbert died April 12, 1884. Mr. Gilbert, on his mother's side, is of a long-lived race. His maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mary Bachman, lived to the age of 106 years, and when 100 years old walked six miles to visit her daughter. His mother died Jan. 16, 1885, aged eighty-nine years, ten months and five days. At an early age she united with the German Lutheran church of which she was a member forty years, and after coming to Indiana transferred her membership to the United Brethren church. She was a kind mother, a generous Christian woman, and was always ready to help in any way she could the needy. Her husband died in 1861. Her children were eight in number, six of whom are living -- Hannah M., wife of Aaron Williams; John, of York Township; Jacob, of Big Rapids, Mich., Joseph A., our subject; Elizabeth, wife of John Kogen; Sylvester, of York Township. Jackson and Mary are deceased. Joseph A. Gilbert is in politics a Republican. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Angola Lodge, No.236, making their motto the guilde of his life.
Submitted by Kim Davoli