Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    WILLIAM HARRY GILBERT, Troy, Ohio, is one of Miami County's most prominent and successful lawyers, occupying an enviable position at the bar of the county. He was born on a farm near Gettysburg, in Darke County, Ohio, December 28, 1863, and is a son of Henry and Mary E. (Harry) Gilbert. Henry Gilbert was born on a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and accompanied his parents in 1837 on their removal to Miami County, locating on a farm near Croft's mill, two miles west of Covington. He was joined in marriage January 4, 1863, with Miss Mary E. Harry, who located in Miami County with her parents when she was a young girl. They set up housekeeping near Gettysburg, in Darke County, and now reside in retirement at Pleasant Hill, Miami County.

    William H. Gilbert is the eldest of seven children born to his parents, of whom all but the youngest grew to maturity and are still living. He was reared on the home farm and received a preliminary education in the district schools, supplemented by a short course in the normal school at Portland, Indiana, in 1884, and in the Normal School at Ada, Ohio, in 1885. After leaving school he continued a systematic course of study in literature, history and the sciences, and is a man of intellectual attainments. He began teaching school at seventeen years of age, and taught four winter terms in district schools of Darke County.

    In the spring of 1886 be began preparations for the profession of law in the offices and under the direction of Meeker, Bowman, in Greenville. In November of that year he left the office of that firm but continued study under the preceptorship of its members until October 4, 1888, when he was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of Ohio. In the meanwhile he was appointed librarian of the Greenville Law Library and special court bailiff and served as such while reading law until he opened an office for practice. He continued at Greenville until October, 1892, when he removed to Troy and embarked in practice. In April, 1899, he formed a partnership with Mr. L. H. Shipman, who had been a student in his office, and the firm of Gilbert & Shipman continued for ten years, enjoying throughout this section of the State a large and successful practice. This firm was dissolved by mutual consent.

    Mr. Gilbert is now engaged in the practice alone. His offices are located in the new Masonic Temple in Troy, where he occupies two suites of offices, consisting of five well appointed rooms. His office is modern in every respect, and is equipped with a large and practicable working library. Mr. Gilbert employs all the help necessary to enable him to dispose of a large practice with facility and dispatch. He has had a large and lucrative practice from the time he opened an office in Troy. During the seventeen years of his practice here, he has tried more cases than any other lawyer at the bar. He has been employed on one side of practically every important civil case tried in the Courts of Miami County during that period. He has been also employed in the more important criminal case. He does not accept employment in minor criminal cases. He has been employed in all the first degree murder cases in both Miami and Darke counties, since his admission, except one. He has always appeared for the defense in the homicide cases, except in the recent case in Miami Common Pleas Court, of Forde White, charged with the murder of his father. In this case, the court appointed Mr. Gilbert to assist in the prosecution. His efforts were successful and White was convicted of murder in first degree. His services in this case were highly satisfactory to the public and to the court. The case rested entirely on circumstantial evidence, and the public generally believed White's conviction was due to Mr. Gilbert's closing argument in case.

    Mr. Gilbert has devoted himself exclusively to the practice of the law. He allows nothing to divert his attention front the practice. He has been well rewarded for his services, and has accumulated a comfortable fortune from the practice alone.

    Mr. Gilbert is a careful, capable and conscientious lawyer, with a profound knowledge of the law and the ability to present his case to court or jury in a clear, concise, and convincing manner. He has met with more than ordinary success and enjoys the confidence and goodwill of the people.

    November 19, 1890, William H. Gilbert was joined in marriage with Miss Virginia G. Meeker, a lady of refinement and many accomplishments. She is a daughter of Hon. D. L. Meeker, of Greenville. One child, Virginia Gilbert, was born to this union on July 16, 1907. He owns and lives in one of the most substantial homes in Troy.

    Mr. Gilbert is domestic in taste and de voted to his family. His time, outside of business hours, is spent in his own home, in the companionship of his family.

    Mr. Gilbert has never sought political preferment. He declined a nomination for Congress when twenty-eight years of age. He also declined numerous offers of political advancement since. He believes a lawyer who wishes to succeed in the practice should not permit politics to break in on his time. He believes his clients are entitled to his time and services.

    Mr. Gilbert is now in middle life, and in good health. The best years of his professional life still lie before him.

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