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Gillespie / Lynch House

July 26, 2019

The Putnam County Museum currently has on display various paintings of noted Putnam County artist Elisha Cowgill. One of these paintings is of the historic Gillespie/Lynch home, located at 501 West Washington Street, Greencastle. In his painting, Cowgill casts a woman on the front porch, a man on the steps leading up to the home and four young boys sitting together on what looks like a mule. Cowgill liked to capture the historical significance of the items in his paintings in great detail, including representations of the people in their historical context. We will talk about the people in this painting, but first we will discover some interesting facts about the home itself and the people who lived there.

 

Constructed in 1830, the Gillespie/Lynch house is one of the most historic and iconic homes in the county. James Gillespie (1788-1825), a native of Virginia married Sarah Catherine Peck (1788-1868), who was born in Pennsylvania, on March 1, 1806 in Fleming County, Kentucky. They moved to Clinton County, Ohio about 1810, where James died in 1825.

They had about eight or nine children, of whom three became prominent in the early history of Putnam County.

Thomas Gillespie (1810-1890) married Elizabeth Shore Farrow (1821-1896). They lived in Greencastle and had about 15 children.

Leah Gillespie (1823-1891) married Dr. Michael J. Lynch (1831-1881) on 29 July 1851 in Putnam County. 

James H. Gillespie (1823-1896) James and Leah were twins, both born September 23, 1823. It appears James never married.

 

After James Gillespie died in 1825, Catherine moved to Greencastle, where she acquired 70 acres from John W. Clark on November 18, 1828 for $387.50, which includes part of the east half of northeast quarter of section 20 township 14 north range 4 west (Greencastle Township), recorded in deed book A, page 368. Clark had acquired this by land patent from the United States Government, which was granted July 10, 1823. This property was at that time on the western edge of the new town of Greencastle. Catherine Gillespie was the daughter of Daniel and Mary Susanna Swartz Eckert Peck. Three of her brothers, William, John and Jacob Peck, had acquired lands in Putnam County in the years 1825 and 1827. It appears Catherine Gillespie moved her family to Putnam