Herst C. Gann


Herst C. Gann, editor of the Warren Sentinel, was born in Lycoming County, Pa., June 25, 1844, and when ten years of age removed with his parents to Cedarville, Ill. In 1854 the family removed to the embryo town of Warren, within whose limits he completed a practical education, going to school winters, and working on a farm during the summer months. At the age of thirteen he entered the office of the Warren Independent, as an apprentice at the printer's trade, and he has pursued this steadily from that time to this with but a brief exception. His father died in the fall of 1854, and he was obliged to assist his mother in the maintenance of the other children. In 1862 he went to Mineral Point, Wis. where he was occupied at printing less than a year and then returned to Warren, pursuing printing, at one time driving dray, and at another clerking in a store, until in 1864 he purchased a half interest in tile Warren Independent which he conducted one year.

Our subject enlisted in Company M, 11th Illinois Cavalry early in the spring of 1865, and was assigned to tile Army of the Tennessee, and for near a year thereafter was stationed with his regiment in the vicinity of Memphis and as a guard along tile Memphis & Charleston Railroad, doing duty also at the mouth of the Wolf River, serving at White Station, and being detached with the patrol guard at La Grange, Tenn. Under general orders he was mustered out with his regiment and received an honorable discharge. Returning to Warren he resumed his relations with the Independent newspaper in company with S. R. Smith, they continuing in partnership until the spring following, when Mr. Smith disposed of his interest in the paper to J. W. Leverett. Shortly after the new copartnership (sic) the name of the paper was changed to that of the Warren Sentinel. In 1868 Mr. Gann purchased the entire outfit and has since had control. He has built up the paper largely by his own efforts; increasing the circulation gradually from year to year, and running in connection with it a prosperous jobbing department.

In 1879 our subject was appointed the Postmaster of Warren, which position he held until the incoming of the Cleveland administration. He has been of good service to the Republican party in this section, frequently being sent as a delegate to the various county, district, and State conventions and officiating for several terms as Secretary and Treasurer of the County Central Committee. For twelve or fifteen years he has been Chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committee. He was a Committee Clerk of the Twenty-eighth General Assembly, and has been no unimportant factor in thc councils of his party in this county. Socially, he belongs to the Masonic lodges up to and including the Commandery, and to the subordinate and encampment of the I. O. O.F. At the present time he is Commander of Warren Post No. 115, G. A. R. In religious matters he is connected with the Baptist Church, to which he has been a liberal and cheerful supporter.

Miss Sada E. Haynes became the wife of our subject Nov. 5, 1868, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride in Fulton, Ill. Only two of the six children born of this marriage are living, namely: Herst C., Jr. and Lulu May, both of whom are at home with their parents. Mrs. Gann was born in Allegany County, N.Y., April 20, 1849, and is the daughter of James A. Haynes, who came to the West in 1867, settling first in Warren, this county. Later he removed to Fulton, Ill., where for a time he conducted a hotel. His wife was in her girlhood Miss Elizabeth Jennison. Mr. Haynes is now a resident of Omaha, engaged in light canvassing, having retired from his two farms in South Dakota.

Lewis C. Gann, the father of our subject, was born in Lycoming County, Pa., in i819,-where he was reared to man's estate, and married Miss Maria Hougendoubler -now spelled without the "u." Mr. Gann in his native State was occupied as a farmer, but upon coming to the West, in 1853, turned his attention to blacksmithing and wagon-making while living at Cedarville. He was about to engage in the furniture business, but only lived about two weeks after locating in Warren, his death being the result of a relapse after having suffered from cholera. He left a widow and four children; Mr. Gann being the eldest of the family. The mother is still living; making her home with our subject. She was born in Lycoming County, Pa., Feb. 27, 1825, and is consequently sixty-four years old.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess Co., IL (1889)