Gail’s Great-Grandfather

Gail Martin’s Book Includes Abraham Bates Tower – Her Great-Grandfather

In researching family history, Gail grew to admire her Civil War ancestor. He was her great-grandfather who died when Gail was 6-years-old. I don’t think she had personal memories of him, but what she found out about his life impressed her.

abraham bates tower collage

Abraham Tower grew up in Indiana and joined the Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War years. Leaving his wife and two children, he marched away to war with thousands of other young men.

Three long years passed as he lived the hard life of a Union soldier marching many miles as part of Sherman’s Tallahatchie March, participated in the siege of Vicksburg, and was captured at the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads. Imprisoned in the horrendous conditions at Andersonville Prison, Abraham barely survived the starvation and diseases there.

Finally, the war was over and he rejoined his wife and children. They had moved to Missouri to be with family since he was “missing in action.” His health was affected by his imprisonment but he went on to live a long life. Gail’s grandmother was one of the children born to Abraham and Nancy Tower after the war.

Gail Lee Martin’s Memoir


A childhood on the Kansas prairies in the 1930s springs vividly to life in the detailed memories of Gail Martin. Her simple accounts of long ago school days, celebrations and family life are a treasure. Travel back in time to experience life in the Flint Hills during the Great Depression and the time leading up to World War II.

The memories include her father’s work in the oil field, trips to town in the family’s Model A, raising her pet badger, fishing on the Cottonwood River, and wearing dresses made from feed sack material.

The book also explores her family’s role in early Kansas history with details of covered wagons, homesteading, the Civil War, and fledgling industries. These range from Tyro to Teterville to Eureka.

This most recent edition includes a section with About The Author and a McGhee, Vining, and Tower Family Album.


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