With the exception of a few terms Daniel A. Gillis has occupied the post of county assessor of Walton County since 1894. This long term of service alone should furnish sufficient evidence of his ability and fidelity to trust, but were it not sufficient such evidence could be found in the esteem and confidence in which he is held by his fellow citizens, who have come to depend upon his high official qualities.
Mr. Gillis was born May 2, 1854, in Holmes County, Florida, and is a son of Angus and Catherine (Campbell) Gillis, natives of North Carolina, both of whom are now deceased. His grandfather was Archibald Gillis, a native of North Carolina, who died in Florida. Angus Gillis, the father of Daniel A., devoted his life to the pursuits of farming and stockraising, and was one of the substantial men of his community. His abilities became recognized by his fellow citizens, who elected him to offices of importance, and twice he was sent to the State Legislature, where he established a splendid record. He was a deacon in the Presbyterian Church and a leader of affairs in general in his community.
Daniel A. Gillis was educated in the public schools of Holmes County and at Knoxville [sic] Academy, which he attended until reaching the age of nineteen years, at which time he embarked m business on his own account, having a small general store at Eucheeanna, the old county seat of Walton County. He started this business in 1883, and continued therein for about three years, following which he was variously employed until 1894, at which time he was elected to the county assessorship. He has occupied this office ever since with the exception of a few terms, as heretofore mentioned. Mr. Gillis has displayed marked ability, energy and expedition in handling the affairs of his office, has made a careful study of realty and other values, is courteous in the discharge of his duties and obliging to those who have business at his office. During his long incumbency of the office he has formed many friendships and has made himself one of the most popular of county officials.
Mr. Gillis married in January, 1880, at Knoxhill, Florida, Miss Nannie McLean, daughter of James and Katherine (Gillis) McLean, natives of North Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. McLean were among the early pioneers of this part of Florida, and as the Indians were still to be found in the country in large numbers they, with other white settlers, erected a fort for their mutual protection. James McLean fought in the Indian war of 1835, and for the services therein was drawing a pension at the time of his demise. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gillis: Angus, who married Helen Hearn, of Albemarle, North Carolina, and has one child, Angus, Jr.; Katherine and Christian, who are unmarried and reside with their parents at DeFuniak Springs; Flora, who married J. J. Cox, of Snowhill, Alabama, now deceased, and has one child, Julius Jesse; William and Roberta, who are unmarried and reside with their parents; and James McLean, who died at the age of thirty-four years, leaving a widow, formerly Miss Etta Morrison. Mrs. James McLean Gillis, a schoolteacher by vocation, is now attending Palmer College. She is the mother of two children, James McLean, Jr., and Mary.
Mr. and Mrs. Gillis are members of the Presbyterian Church and generous in their support of its movements. In politics Mr. Gillis always has been a stalwart democrat.
Cutler, H. G., ed. History of Florida: Past and Present, Volume III. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1923, p. 48.
Burial: Euchee Valley Cemetery, Eucheeanna