History of Shelby County, Ohio: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, Philadelphia, Pa. R. Sutton & Co., 1883
DAVID KIRKWOOD GILLESPIE, the subject of this sketch, a son of Wm. Gillespie, was born in Warren County, Ohio in 1821; lived with his father on the farm, and came with him to Shelby County when he was sixteen years of age; helped his father to clear the farm, and remained with him until he was twenty-eight years of age. In 1850 he went to Lockington to engage in the grain trade. His capital stock in trade, all told, was only six hundred dollars. In 1851 he married Miss Martha McKee.
He at first commenced buying grain on commission but it was not long before grain took such a decline that the men for whom he was buying sent him word that they could not furnish any more means, as the markets would not justify. He then determined to buy and ship for himself. He invested in an old boat and team and loaded it with grain. This took all the capital he had. The boat on its first trip was, through the carelessness of its manager, so badly injured that it sank, and its cargo of grain was almost a total loss. Mr. G. was now left without a dollar. He felt almost discouraged but his brave wife said to him, "We are yet young and strong, let us try again." He then went to his father and asked him what he should do. His father told him that he could not help him any, but if he could find anybody who would let him have money he would give him his name as security. So with this assurance he returned home, repaired his boat, commenced buying and shipping grain. The markets were favorable and it was not long before he was out of his financial trouble. Within that year he paid off all his indebtedness and had several thousand dollars left.
In 1854 his wife died, having borne him two children, both of which died in infancy. In 1856, he again married, this time to Miss Marian McKee, a cousin of his first wife, with whom he lived till 1875, when she died. There were by this union eight children, four of whom are now living, viz. William H. born 1857; James M. born 1861; Lee W., born 1864; and Anna S., born 1869. In 1878 he was married to Sarah J. McKnight, with whom he is now living.
He continued the purchase and shipment of grain at Lockington until the year 1864 when he sold out his business there and removed to a farm of 350 acres he had purchased in Miami County, known as the Johnston farm in Upper Piqua, for which he had paid $33,600 in cash. A few years later he bought the old homestead of his father, for which he paid $8,800. Beside this he owned the Lockington mills, and his property in Kirkwood where he now lives. This property was all made while he lived in Lockington during fourteen years.
In 1859, Mr. Gillespie was elected commissioner of the county, which office he filled till 1864, when he moved to Miami County. He remained on his farm in Miami until 1877, when he returned to Shelby and located in Pontiac, now called Kirkwood, in honor of Mr. G's middle name.