Most of my information is on the Gant and Crisler line and this came from J.B. Dodge, aged historian of Fort Gage, who wrote a series of articles for the News Plaindealer: He wrote the following:
The Gant’s of the New Palestine and Diamond Cross communities descended from William and Jane (Holt) Gant. Natives of England, who emigrated to the United States soon after the Revolutionary War. Jane (Holt) Gant was a daughter of Robert Holt, a man of wealth and high standing. If tradition is correct he was not very well pleased about his daughters marriage. William Gant and his wife decided to emigrate to the United States. They settled in Boone County, Kentucky near the Ohio River about seven miles below Cincinnati. They remained there for several years. There was born to them:
- Robert Gant, see further.
- John Gant
- Thomas Gant
- Sarah Gant
- Mary Elizabeth Gant
Robert Gant in young manhood married and settled near his father. After some years he and family came to Randolph County Illinois, and settled. A few years later William Gant started to migrate to Randolph County, Illinois. William Gant got drowned on the way. His wife and family came to Illinois and settled near her son, Robert. Alter Williams’ death she went back to England. The family states she was treated very coldly by her family and relatives. She then returned to her home in Randolph County, Illinois and resolved never to return to her relatives in England again. She later married a Mr. Radley and they had a daughter, Mary Radley who married Joseph William. The Gant’s inherited habits of industry, enterprise, and economy. They were honest, honorable, and highly esteemed and became some of the leading farmers and citizens of the community and county.
Robert Gant, son of William and Jane (Holt) Gant, born about 1800, died September 12, 1853, married Maria Shaver 23 May 1819, Campbell County, Ky. Maria was the daughter of John Shaver who emigrated to America before the Revolutionary War. ((He settled in Boone County, Kentucky about 1795.)) Maria died August 22, 1845. About 1824 Robert Gant and family floated down the Ohio River in a flat boat with their household goods to Shawneetown, Illinois. Robert Gant walked to the home of his brother-in-law,(100 miles) Rev. Silas Crisler, at what is now New Palestine.
Robert obtained a team and wagon and returned to Shawneetown for his family and their goods. They returned to Rev. Silas Crisler‘s and settled near him and resided there about three years, then moved to near Diamond Cross. He being industrious and economical, soon began to accumulate property and at the time of his death, he owned 1100 acres of land and other property and was one of the leading landowners of his community.
Robert Gant and Maria, is first wife, as stated by his son Alfred, had a family of 15 children with two by his second wife made a total of 17 in the Robert Gant family.
Maria (Shaver) Gant died in childbirth, 22 Aug 1845. She was 48 years old. A midwife was unsuccessful in delivering the baby. When things went badly Robert Gant rode on horse back to Chester, Illinois to bring the Doctor. When the Doctor arrived he remarked to Robert, “Well Robert you have waited too long this time.” During Robert’s absence in going to Chester, Illinois a distance of 10 miles for the Doctor, Maria realizing she was going to die called her children to her and told them she was going to die, and that when they grew up and married, never to have a midwife. She then made her last request. It was her wish to be buried under a large wild cherry tree near her home, so her little children could play over her grave. This wish was filled. This spot was later known as the Gant Family Cemetery. Robert Gant was later buried there also 15 Aug 1853. The graves were all moved to the New Palestine Cemetery about 1900. Wesley Gant, son of Robert and Maria Gant had the graves and gravestones moved. This was done when Elmer Bean bought part of the farm.”