Esther Naylor Gibson

The Calhoun County Historical and Genealogical Society enjoys the opportunity of dedicating this publication to Esther Naylor Gibson for her outstanding contributions to our history and our community. She is Calhoun County's only Civil War widow and one of the few still living in the nation.

Esther Gibson was born April 25, 1888, the daughter of Nancy Alice Smith and Joseph Wesley Naylor. On December 6, 1903, in Calhoun County, Esther was married to Civil War veteran, George W. Gibson, following the death of his first wife, Elizabeth ("Betty") Starcher, daughter of Adam Starcher and Phoebe Cogar Starcher.

The pre-Civil War house of Adam Starcher, located on Hughes Run, near Altizer, became the Gibson home and Esther lived there from the date of her marriage in 1903 until 1948 when she moved to Ohio for ten years. Upon returning to Calhoun County her son built her a modern home nearer the road. The old house still stands, along with its many memories.

Esther's exceptional memory allows her almost complete recall in relating the Civil War stories told to her by her husband during their marriage.

Esther Gibson is an outstanding citizen and a great asset to her community and county. She has always exercised her voting rights and voted in the 1976 General Election. As a humanitarian, Esther has always taken care of other people's needs. As a mid-wife she has delivered many of the community's babies--during depressed times with transportation and funds nonexistent.


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