Elijah Gibbs was born in Morgan County, Alabama in approximately 1836 and came to Champaign in 1861. During the Civil War, he served in Company H, 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. After the war, he returned to Champaign and resided at the corner of University Avenue and Fourth Street. Gibbs died on 22 June 1876 and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Urbana.