”Honor the Past; Deserve the Present“

Charles Freeman Gibson

PFC, Army Signal Corps
(October 4, 1895-November 15, 1973)

Contributor:  Elizabeth Sklar

Documentary materials provided by Beverly Gibson,
daughter of Charles Gibson and grandmother of Elizabeth Sklar,
St. Helena High School Class of 2015


  • George Freeman Gibson, father of Charles, was of Scottish descent
  • After the Civil War, his family left Alabama
    • George worked as a legal accountant for railroad companies
      • This work took him all over the U. S., Canada, and South America
  • Grace Christine Tilley, mother of Charles, was of English descent, from Nova Scotia
    • Her family may be descendants of the Tilley family which came to America on the Mayflower
  • George and Grace settled in Laredo, Texas, where Charles was born in 1895
  • The Gibson family moved to Benton County, Washington, purchasing a ranch near the Columbia Gorge


  • Twenty-one-year-old Charles was living in Benton City, Oregon, when, in Posser, Washington on August 1, 1917, he enlisted in the Army [World War I Service Statement Cards, Washington State Digital Archives]
  • His basic training took place at Fort Atkinson, Nebraska [Discharge Papers, U. S. Army]
  • Departed for France on December 24, 1917
  • Signal Corps duties included pulling wire for radio and telephone communication
  • Besides Signal Corps service Charles was a wagoner, managing horse-drawn vehicles transporting war materials to the front
  • Took part in numerous offensives
    • Champagne-Marne
    • Aisne-Marne
    • St. Mihiel
    • Meuse-Argonne

Return to the U.S.

  • Returned to U. S. on June 15, 1919
  • Discharged from Army on June 19, 1919 [Discharge Papers, U. S. Army]
  • Following discharge from the Army Charles worked on his family's ranch in Benton County, Washington


  • He attended Washington State University, majoring in Architecture and Engineering
  • Great Depression interrupted his education
  • He married Theodora Marie Tiedeman on November 29, 1929, in Pierce County, Washington [Marriage Certificate]
    • They had met at Washington State University, where she was studying to become a concert soprano
  • They had two children
    • Beverly was born in 1931
      • She would have two daughters, Erica Roetman Sklar and Theodora Loraine Roetman
    • Geraldine Coulter (Gibson) was born in 1933
      • She would have a daughter, Catherine Coulter, and s son, Jeff Coulter
      • Geraldine died of cancer in 2005

Depression Years

  • Charles became a mathematics and shop teacher
  • Beginning on April 16, 1940, he taught at Astoria High School in Astoria, Oregon [Teachers Contract for School District 1, Clatsop County, State of Oregon]
  • Theodora stayed home to take care of their two children
  • He retired in 1960 and lived at his home in Astoria, Oregon until his death


  • Charles died at age 78 on November 15, 1973, in Astoria, Oregon
    • He is buried at Willamette National Cemetery [Certified Abstract of Death Record]
  • Theodora re-married (to Roy Johnson)
  • Theodora died at age 93 on May 9, 1999, in Multnomah, Oregon
    • She is buried in Multnomah, Oregon