William Woodruff Gibbs (1821 - 1902)
One of twelve children of David and Ruth Woodruff Gibbs, William Woodruff Gibbs was born in Livonia, Livingston County, New York. He began working as a gunsmith at the age of fifteen or sixteen. Gibbs practiced this trade for eight years before beginning the study of art under a local teacher in 1845. He thereafter devoted all his time to painting.
In 1848 Gibbs moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he continued to paint portraits and also play in a traveling band. He moved to Armada around 1852 and by 1853 had settled permanently in Romeo, Michigan. According to local tradition his first portraits in Romeo were done in exchange for room and board.
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