SAMUEL S. GOURLEY, a farmer residing on section 9, Carlin Precinct, Calhoun County, is a native of the North of Ireland, but though of foreign birth the county has no better citizen than our subject or one more worthy of representation in this volume. He was born July 10, 1833, his parents being John and Rosa E. (Orr) Gourley, both of whom were natives of Ireland; his father however spent his last days in Scotland.
At the age of thirteen years, Samuel left the Emerald Isle and made his way to Scotland where he engaged in coal mining for a number of years or until 1858, when he came to America. Attracted by the advantages of the New World and with a desire to try his fortune in a free country he took passage on a sailing vessel at Liverpool which landed him in New York City after twenty-eight days. The succeeding seven years of his life were spent in Canada, working as a farm hand, after which, in the fall of 1865 he returned to the Empire State where he passed the winter. The spring of 1866 witnessed his arrival in Illinois, he making a location in Greene County, whence about a year later he came to Calhoun County.
On the 4th of November, 1867, Mr. Gourley was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Mary Lane, daughter of John S. Lane, of Carlin Precinct. Unto them has been born a family of nine children, namely: John S., Luanna, Rosa B., George C, Aaron J., Fremont, Thomas, Lulu and Ada. The family circle remains unbroken and all are yet under the parental roof. Their home is situated on section 9, Carlin Precinct, where Mr. Gourley owns two hundred and eighty-one acres of land, constituting one of the best farms in the neighborhood. In addition to the care and cultivation of his land he devotes considerable attention to stock-raising, keeping on hand good grades of horses, cattle and hogs. His business ability supplemented by industry and perseverance have made his life a success and he is now numbered among the substantial citizens of Calhoun County. In religious belief he is a Presbyterian and in political sentiment he is a supporter of the Republican party. Widely known throughout the county, his friends are many and his enemies few.
Extracted 13 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 324-327.
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