The Gables of Cherry Valley

William Gable and his wife, Betsey (Leib), arrived in Cherry Valley from Erie County, New York, in 1849 with their seven children. They settled on eighty acres of government land. William briefly served in the Civil War. Their son, Henry Gable, married Minerva Wood and remained in Cherry Valley, raising two children, Fannie and Chester. Fannie married Alden E. Cramer, while Chester married Flora Ward, and they had sons John N. and Harvey J. Gable. The Gable family’s legacy includes farming and local contributions, with their descendants continuing to reside in the area.

A portrait of an unknown Gable of Cherry Valley, Illinois
A portrait of an unknown Gable of Cherry Valley, Illinois

John N. and Harvey J. Gable who live on the hill to the west of Cherry Valley are descendants of early settlers in the area.

William Gable and his wife, Betsey (Leib) with their seven children came by covered wagon to Cherry Valley in 1849 from Erie County, New York. They built a home on eighty acres of government land which they received by grant. Their daughter, Sarah, died at the age of 17, but the other children married and settled in the Midwest and raised families of their own. William and his family tried farming in Iowa for three years, where two of his children settled. William served in the Civil War for a short time after his return to the Valley but was discharged because of his age.

Henry Gable was the only child of this family who stayed in the Valley. He did try farming in Iowa and in Belvidere Township but spent most of his years before retirement farming on Section 16 southwest of the Valley. He married Minerva Wood, the daughter of a local blacksmith, Peter Wood, who had come to Cherry Valley from Canada in 1856. Henry and “Min” had two children, Fannie and Chester. These two children married local mates and raised families in the Valley.

Fannie Gable married Alden E. Cramer, a local broom manufacturer. Their son, Earl, and wife, Esther Larson Cramer, are the parents of Mrs. Rodney (Ariel) Stacy of Cherry Valley. Ariel’s father was killed at the Perryville railroad crossing when she was a young girl.

Chester Gable married Flora Ward, whose father, Norman S. Ward, owned the farm across the road from the Gable farm. Mr. Ward was struck and killed by a train on 7th Street in Rockford in 1895. Chester and Flora are the parents of John and Harvey Gable, as well as three other sons who died in their youth. Clifford drowned at the age of 16 while swimming in the Kishwaukee River in Cherry Valley. Bertel Larson ran for help while little John Gable looked on helplessly.

The mother of Flora Ward was Elizabeth Carman who came from Canada to Illinois with her parents and siblings in 1840.

The farm of her father and his descendants was located just west of the Cherry Vale Mall. The family cemetery is still located there on the south side of Route 5. The ancestry of this family can be traced back to New Jersey and the Stockton family. A cousin named Richard Stockton was a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Some examples of long-lived family members are: Mrs. Ada (Brubaker) Blaisdell, a granddaughter of William Gable, who recently died in Freeport, Illinois at the age of 97; and Chester Carman, a grandson of John J. Carman (the father of Elizabeth), who now resides in Rockford, Illinois is nearing his 92nd birthday. His father, Phillip H. Carman, went to California during the gold rush, then returned to Illinois to marry and raise a family.

The descendants of John and Clarice Carson Gable are: Charles, John, Clark, Douglas, and Margaret Gable Purcell. Margaret is married to James Purcell. They live in Rockford and have two children, Cindy age 6, and Stevie age 4.

Harvey and Doris Powers Gable have one son, Ward. Ward and his wife, Judy, live in Cherry Valley and have two children, Jimmy age 8, and Lisa age 6.

By John Clark Gable

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