|Solomon L. Gillet was born in Colchester, Conn., Sept. 20, 1803.
His father, Solomon, was a native of the same place, born Aug. 10, 1773,
and his grandfather, Aaron, was born in 1732. The former was a farmer by
occupation, and was married to Martha Doolittle, of Russell, Mass., June
15, 1801. Their children were five sons and three daughters, of whom all
are living in 1878 except two.
The father died at the age of eighty-three; the mother died at the age
of ninety-three, in the year 1871.
Of this family of children, Mr. Solomon L. Gillet is eldest, and until
the age of seventeen spent his time at the district school and on the farm
at home, followed by six years as a clerk in a general store, when in the
year 1826 he entered into partnership with the former proprietor, where
he remained until the death of his partner in 1829. In the year 1830 he
came to Elmira, in company with Joshua B. Wheeler, and opened a general
store, and for twelve years was associated in Business with Joshua B. Wheeler
and Alvenus Cone; and in 1842 closed his mercantile business, since which
time Mr. Gillet has been connected with various enterprises. For four years
was land commissioner and assistant treasurer of the Elmira and Williamsport
Railroad (now Northern Central), for some time treasurer of the Elmira,
Canandaigua and Niagara Falls Railroad, vice-president of the Chemung Canal
for two years, and president of the village of Elmira.
By industry, unsullied integrity of purpose in all his business relations,
and judicious management, he has, as is common with all self-made business
men, unassisted pecuniarily, overcome the obstacles coincident to a business
life, and secured a competence sufficient to place him beyond the apprehension
Mr. Gillet was first a member of the old Whig party, and is now ardently
attached to the Republican party. Not active in politics, he has never
been solicitous of political notoriety or emolument, but has practically
lent his energies to a business life.