John J. Gambold Family Biography

John Jacob Gambold Sr. was the second of three children, and the only son, of John Sylvester (B. 1857; D. 1898) and Flora Huber Gambold (B. 1862; D. 1945).

John Gambold was born on March 15, 1887. on South Noble Street in Indianapolis, while his father was a railroad brakeman in that area. The family returned to Hendricks County in 1889 and established residence in Coatesville.

On his father's side, John was a greatgrandson of pioneer Hendricks County residents, John Christian and Nancy Swaim Gambold, who migrated to Franklin Township in 1834 from the Moravian Church community of Friedland, North Carolina. J. C. Gambold was a water mill carpenter specializing in construction of the overshot wheel. He constructed many mills in Hendricks County and helped with the construction work on others in Shelby County, Indiana, and Goodhue County, Minnesota.

J.C. Gambold was the great-grandson of a Colonial immigrant, Hector Gambold (B. 1714; D. 1788) who emigrated from Pembrokeshire, Wales, with the Moravian Church's "First Sea Congregation" which founded Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1742.

Although the Unitas Fratrum, or Moravian Church, is credited with being the oldest continuous Protestant communion, Hector Gambold's older brother, John Gambold, is considered to be one of the founders of the Methodist Church. He became associated with the Wesley brothers as the fifth member of the "Holy Club" founded at Oxford prior to their graduation. John was later elected and served as t e first English bishop of the Moravian Church.

Nancy Swaim Gambold (B. 1809; D. 1856) was descended from the Lanius and Rominger lines that were related or traceable to almost all of the North Carolina immigrants who came to western Hendricks County in the 1830s. She and John were the parents of 10 children. Three were Civil War veterans of the Union Army.

John and Nancy were members of a local Moravian Home Mission Society that built a church and parsonage on South Main Street when Coatesville was laid out in 1850. This church was closed in the 1860s due to a bitter dispute in the congregation over the slavery question.

John (Jack) Gambold Sr. was a grandson of Civil War veteran Levi Sanford Gambold (B. 1832; D. 1913) and Hannah E. Robinson Gambold (B. 1834; D. 1922). Hannah's Duncan and Robinson ancestors were from Farquier County, Virginia.

On his mother's side, John 's grandfather, Jacob Huber (B. 1834), emigrated from Wurttemberg, Germany, in 1849 and was a veteran of Lew Wallace's 11th Indiana Infantry in the Civil War. Jacob Huber married Melvina Stiles (B. 1838; D. 1871) of Maysville, Kentucky. Jacob was a baker by trade at both Danville and Coatesville, Indiana. He died in 1914 in Coatesville and is buried beside his wife at Danville.

Jack Gambold Sr. married Lela Lee Burk (B. 1890) on November 7, 1907, at Coatesville while he was employed with the Vandalia Railroad. In February, 1909, he purchased the Coatesville restaurant (located on the north side of West Milton Street) from his mother, Flora, who had entered the business as a partner with her father about 1890. Jack gradually added a line of meats and groceries, doing all of his butchering for years. Later, he incorporated a line of large appliances in addition to the staples.

Jack and Lela Gambold were the parents of three children: Robert Burk, Hubert Lee and Elizabeth. Robert was the only child to five to adulthood, marrying Marjorie Robinson of Fillmore and presently residing in Lake Kiowa, Texas.

On November 10, 1921, Jack Gambold married Ava Grace Fordyce (B. September 2, 1891) of Brownsburg after the untimely death of Lela Gambold on March 21,1915.

Grace's ancestry traces through the Hendricks County Fox, Barker and the Colonial Huguenot Gossett families. Her great-great-grandfather, Samuel E. Clark of Pennsylvania, fought in Washington's Continental Army during the American Revolution.

Prior to her marriage, Grace graduated from the Eastman Hospital School of Nursing, Indianapolis, and was serving as their superintendent of nursing. Upon moving to Coatesville, she became an active partner in the business with her husband. Although their store was devastated in the Good Friday tornado of 1948, they continued business in a dwelling located across from the Methodist Church on North Main Street.

After 42 years in business, Jack and Grace retired in 1951. He had been active as a commissioner in the Boy Scout movement and at the time of his death, on August 24, 1965, he was chairman of the board of the Coatesville Bank. Jack was a member of Coatesville Lodge 695 F& AM and a member of the Scottish Rite at Indianapolis. Grace died on August 29, 1968. She was a past matron of Coatesville Chapter OES 558. Both were Methodists and Republicans and are buried in the New Cemetery, Coatesville.

John J. Gambold Jr., son of John and Grace Gambold Sr., was born on August 10, 1923. He graduated from Coatesville Grade School in 1937, and in 1941 he graduated from Amo High School and earned the rank of Eagle Scout the same fall. Jack graduated from Purdue University in June. 1944, with an engineering degree.

On November 7. 1953. Jack Gambold Jr. married Beulah Fahrbach at the Coatesville Methodist Church. Their children are:

John J. III (B. January 15, 1955; Vinny L. (B. January 15, 1957) Sharron L. (B. January 31, 1958), and James C. (B. June 20, 1959; D. June 28, 1959). All were born at the Putnam County Hospital and (except James) are graduates of Cascade High School and were members of the National Honor Society there.

John was an Indianapolis Star newspaper carrier from May, 1967, to April 1973, when he won a Star-sponsored scholarship to Purdue University where he entered the School of Science. While as Cascade, he played basketball, ran track and was captain of the cross-country team.

Vinny and Sharron also carried the same Star route from April, 1973, to August, 1975. Vinny is presently enrolled in the Purdue School of Home Economics. She was secretary of the Cascade Sunshine Society and won its scholarship upon graduation.

Beulah F. Gambold was born in Ben Davis, Indiana, on August 21, 1930. She is the daughter of John Carl and Carrie Rybolt Fahrbach, whose immediate ancestors emigrated from Germany. Beulah graduated from Ben Davis High School in 1949 and attended Dwyer Business College in 1949-50. She has an older brother, Forest E., and a younger brother, Roy A. Fahrbach. Both are married and five in the Indianapolis area.

Jack Gambold Jr. spent 17 years with Allison Division GMC in reciprocating and jet engine development. He also is a former member of the Army Ordnance Department, where he helped Dr. Werner von Braun and his team of captured German scientists set up the U.S. rocket program at the close of World War 11 at El Paso, Texas, and White Sands, New Mexico. This program resulted in the Titan, Atlas and Gemini rockets and space capsule hardware.

In 1963, Jack Gambold Jr. was nominated and elected clerk of the Hendricks County Circuit Court by the Republican Party and was the first elected candidate to serve as clerk of the newly constituted Superior Court.

In 1967, he led the ticket in re-election for his second term.

While clerk, he was instrumental in forming the County Records Commission and also served as president of the State Association of Clerks, three terms as chairman of their Legislative Committee and two terms on the Clerks' Advisory Committee to the State Election Board.

Jack is also a founding member and past president of the Hendricks County Historical Society, past master of Coatesville Lodge F&AM, past patron of the Order of Eastern Star, a commercial pilot with glider rating and a farmer.

History of Hendricks County, Indiana, Pages 290-291

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