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John S. Gilmore was born in Rochester, N. Y., December 6, 1848. I His parents were Robert G. and Helen Storrier Gilmore, and in 1857 he accompanied them and his brothers to Kansas territory. October 31 of that year the family landed at Wyandotte from a Missouri river steamboat (the William Campbell) and set out on their journey of 110 miles in an ox wagon to the claim which the father had taken in March of the same year. Their cabin on the frontier was in the Neosho river woods, two miles northeast of the new town of Emporia, and our subject lived in the county till the summer of 1865, when, on the 20th of July, he entered the office of Jacob Stotler's Emporia News as a printer's apprentice. He afterward worked on the Burlington Patriot (S. S. Prouty), the Oswego Register, the Leavenworth Daily Commercial, the Osage Chronicle (M. M. Murdock), and the Emporia Tribune. 

Having, before his twenty-first birthday, through work as a typesetter and the investment of his wages in cattle, saved up over six hundred dollars, he felt an ambition to start a paper. Riding from Emporia to Wilson county, on a Kaw Indian pony, in December, 1869, he completed negotiations for such an undertaking. He located at Guilford, where a few months later the press and other paraphernalia of the office which he had selected with his own hands were shipped the last week in March. The press was a Washington hand press on which he had "rolled" as an apprentice in the office of the Emporia News, and was taken to that town by P. B. Plumb in 1857, when he started the News. The first number of the Citizen was issued at Guilford, April 21, 1870, with John S. Gilmore as editor and proprietor. The young editor in the salutatory announced, expressive of his political convictions, that the Citizen was a Republican paper. After publishing it for six months and becoming convinced that Guilford had but slight prospects as a town, the paper was moved to Neodesha and publication resumed as the Neodesha Citizen, the first number being issued November 18, 1870. Two years later the paper was suspended, and in May, 1873, Mr. Gilmore, wishing to locate at the county seat, purchased of Wm. A. Peffer the Fredonia Journal printing outfit, stopped the Journal, and revived his former paper as the Wilson County Citizen, the initial issue appearing on June 6. From the beginning the Citizen has never changed hands nor politics; the present proprietor has been its sole owner, and has absolutely controlled and directed its course from the first. Through all political storms and mutations the policy of the paper has been uniform, definite and consistent, nor has its editor purposely or unwittingly temporized in any degree at any time or period with any of the numerous new parties and movements which have formed and flitted since he began. 

While a resident of Neodesha, and when the town was incorporated as a city of the third class, in March, 1871, Mr. Gilmore was elected a member of the first council. At the November election of the same year, and when lacking a month of being twenty-three years of age, he was elected register of deeds of Wilson county as the nominee of the Republican party, which office he held two years, retiring without seeking a reelection. In 1876 and in 1878 he was elected representative to the state legislature from the fifty-fourth district as a Republican, having been unanimously renominated both times. January 26, 1880, he was appointed postmaster at Fredonia, holding the office until December 20, 1884. In February, 1891, Gov. L. U. Humphrey, at his own instance, appointed Mr. Gilmore a member of the board of directors of the Kansas State Penitentiary to fill a two years' vacancy, and in February, 1899, Gov. W. E. Stanley appointed him to a vacancy of like duration on the same board, of which board he was chosen president. He was elected a member of the Republican state central committee in 1876, in 1888 and in 1898 from the seventh judicial district; has served as chairman of the Wilson county Republican central committee several times, has been a delegate to almost every Republican state convention since 1870, and his active identification with the Republican party since he became a voter has never abated. 

May 31, 1882, Mr. Gilmore was united in marriage at Lancaster, Ohio, with Miss Viola Butin, of Fredonia, who was born in Wapello county, Iowa, October 13, 1860. She died nine days after the marriage, in Washington, D. C. February 27, 1890, Mr. Gilmore and Miss Florence Barton were married in Newark township, Wilson county. Mrs. Gilmore is a daughter of Capt. Wm. H. and Mary J. Barton, and was born in Ironton, Ohio, May 14, 1862. Two children have resulted from this union, namely, John, born April 26, 1891, and Mary, born July 1, 1894.