More than four decades have been added to the cycle of the centuries since George H. Gilland became a resident of Wyoming and through the intervening period he has been actively and prominently identified with banking and other business interests. He now has quite extensive holdings in bank stock of leading banking institutions of Wyoming but is practically living retired in Cheyenne. He was born in Franklin county, Vermont, near Lake Champlain, on the 8th of May, 1856, and is a son of Samuel and Martha (Dunwoody) Gilland, both of whom were natives of Ireland. They were married in their native country and in 1849 came to the new world, settling first in Vermont. The father was a stone mason by trade and followed that pursuit throughout his entire life. Both he and his wife passed away in the Green Mountain state. They had a family of nine children, seven of whom reached adult age, while five are still living, although George H. is now the only one in Wyoming. He had been a resident of this state for only two months when he sent for his brother, John C., to come to the west. The latter did so and they remained neighbors for thirty years, carrying on ranching interests, and about the same time both brothers sold out and became residents of Cheyenne. Later, however, John C. Gilland removed to Denver, where he now resides. The brothers and sisters of the family who are still living are: Jennie, the wife of A. H. Lefler, of Salt Lake City; Anna, the wife of F. Boomhower, of St. Albans, Vermont; and David, who is a farmer of Fletcher, Vermont, and who is the eldest of the family.
In the common schools of his native state George H. Gilland pursued his education and in April, 1877, when a young man of twenty-one years, he came to the west, making his way to Egbert, Laramie county, Wyoming, where for thirty-three years he made his home. He began working in connection with dairying and the sheep industry on the ranch then owned by Alonzo Martin, who later became his father-in-law. He continued in the employ of Mr. Martin from 1877 to 1889, when the latter died and Mr. Gilland purchased a part of the ranch, having previously acquired the other portion of it.
It was in November, 1885, that Mr. Gilland was united in marriage to Miss C. Belle Martin, a daughter of Alonzo and Amanda Martin, both of whom have now passed away. Until 1908 they resided upon the ranch, which was eighty-four square miles, the tract of land being seven miles in width. and twelve miles in length and all under fence. A part of it was originally railroad land, a part government land and a part school land. When Mr. Gilland disposed of his ranch property in 1908 he was the owner of nineteen thousand acres, which he then sold. For years he handled large herds of Hereford cattle and exceptionally fine stock. He also raised heavy draft horses, having from two hundred to six hundred head upon his place all of the time, and from fifty to seventy-five saddle and work horses. His cattle numbered over nineteen hundred head with the calves, or more than fifteen hundred head of branded stock. His ranch was situated about thirty-two miles from Cheyenne on the south side of the track from Hillsdale to Egbert. The town of Burns stands on a section of the land that Mr. Gilland owned, while Hillsdale occupies one of his old pastures. Another town upon the ranch is Arcola, situated on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad. In 1908 Mr. Gilland removed to Cheyenne, where he has since resided. For years, or ever since his marriage, he has maintained a home in Cheyenne on Twenty-third street, his family there spending a portion of the time in order that the children might be educated in the city schools, although the greater part of their time has been passed on the ranch. Mr. and Mrs. Gilland now occupy an attractive home on Carey avenue.
To Mr. and Mrs. Gilland have been born four children: Ida May, the wife of Dr. G. A. Fox, of Cheyenne; Vera B., the wife of Bruce Jones, who is in Cheyenne; Helen M., the wife of Dr. R. C. Shanklin, of South Bend, Indiana, who is now at Fort Riley, with the rank of first lieutenant; and George H., who is attending high school at Cheyenne. The family is very widely and prominently known in this city and throughout the section of the state where Mr. Gilland has so long resided. The hospitality of the best homes is freely accorded them and the good cheer of their own fireside is greatly enjoyed by their many friends.
Since coming to Cheyenne. Mr. Gilland has been active in various interests. He, with others, had control of the Citizens National Bank of Cheyenne but in the summer of 1917 sold out. Later, however, he acquired an interest again and is now one of the stockholders. He helped to organize the State Bank at Burns, of which he is the vice president, and he also helped to organize the State Bank of Carpenter, of which he is the president. When the Citizens National Bank planned to erect a building Mr. Gilland was one of those who stood and worked for the project, resulting in the erection of the present fine bank building. Some of the directors wished to erect a smaller and less pretentious one but his plans prevailed and Cheyenne thus gained its finest building.
In politics Mr. Gilland has always been a republican and in 1903 was called upon to represent his district in the house of representatives and in 1910 was returned to the general assembly, where he made an excellent official, carefully and thoughtfully considering all the vital questions which came up for settlement and lending his aid and influence on the side of progress and advancement. In Masonry he has attained high rank. He has taken the degree of the York and Scottish rites, is a past high priest of the chapter and is a member of the commandery and the consistory and was past master of Kadosh. He also belongs to the Mystic Shrine and he has membership with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. There are few men in this section of the state more widely known and none who command in larger degree the respect and confidence of his fellow citizens than does George H. Gilland. For forty-three years he has resided in this state. In the attainment of success he has followed constructive methods, his path never being strewn with the wreck of other men's failures. He is determined and resourceful and his close application to business, combined with earnest study of the best methods of caring for his stock and developing his fields, have been the salient features in winning prosperity. His efforts, too, have been of a character that have contributed largely to the development of the state and thus his life work has been of signal use and value to his fellowmen.