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Gasses of Portland, Oregon

Updated August 26, 2005

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Grandma Alice Dougan Gass told me that our ancestors fought for the North in the Civil War and fought for Independence in the American Revolution. Her husband was a professor of English at the University of Nebraska and wrote several books. His name was Sherlock Bronson Gass. His father was Florien Preston Gass and his mother was Harriet Eliza Bronson. Harriet Eliza's father was Reverend Sherlock Anson Bronson, the president of Kenyon College in Gambier Ohio. Harriet Eliza's mother was Reverend Bronson's second wife. His first wife died on February 24, 1849 in Gambier, Ohio. She is reportedly buried in Kenyon College Cemetery. They had four children, but I don't know about their descendents. His second wife, Mary Eliza Estabrook, married him on April 4, 1850. She was honored by subsequent generations who bore her last name as a middle name. She died two weeks after giving birth to our ancestor, Harriet. Harriet preferred to be called "Mattie." Sherlock wrote a book about his childhood with Mattie and Florien ("Family Crisis"). Florien was trying to sell the idea of a primitive calculator/computer to investors in the late 1800's but this venture failed. He was a few decades early on that one. He then bought a laundry that was a businessman's nightmare, but somehow Florien managed to scrape together enough money to send Sherlock to the University of Chicago despite a string of misfortunes in their laundry business. The only Civil War soldier I have been able to find is Florien's father, Isaac Gass, who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the 64th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He fought in the battle of Shilo but was honorably discharged after serving a year because he had severe tuberculosis. He wound up dying of TB but not until 1875. He served as mayor of Mansfield, Ohio, until 6 days before his death from TB. I am still looking for Revolutionary War soldiers.

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