DR. RICHARD JORDAN GATLING
INVENTOR OF THE
BORN HERTFORD CO., NORTH CAROLINA
SEPT. 12TH, 1818.
DIED NEW YORK CITY,
FEBR. 26TH, 1903.
THE HIGHEST HONORS THAT THE WORLD CAN BOAST
ARE SUBJECTS FAR TOO LOW FOR MY DESIRE
THE BRIGHTEST BEAMS OF GLORY ARE AT MOST
INCOMPLETE COMPARED TO MY BELIEF
IN THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.
JEMIMA TAYLOR SANDERS
HIS BELOVED AND SAINTLY WIFE
BORN MAY 27TH, 1837.
WHOSE FORTY-EIGHT YEARS OF MARRIED LIFE
AS WIFE AND MORTHER WERE FILLED
WITH UNFAILING TENDERNESS AND DEVOTION.
Serial inventor, Richard Gatling, invented the wheat drill, a hemp break machine, a steam plow, a motor driven plow, a screw propeller, a rice-sowing machine, and a seed planter.
The seed planter led Gatling to invent his signature creation, the one that bears his name—the Gatling gun. The forerunner to the machine gun, the Gatling gun, was notable for the multi-barrel design which allowed quick synchronized firing and reloading that gave the gun time to cool down during the cyclic firing. The Gatling gun was patented November 4, 1862. Gatling naively believed his creation would make warfare so horrific that wars would be too cruel to fight.
Gatling had been a clerk, a school teacher and a merchant, but when he fell ill with small pox it piqued his interest in medicine. He enrolled in the Ohio Medical College and graduated with a M.D. in 1850, though he never practiced medicine. Gatling moved to Indianapolis where he was a successful entrepreneur. He married Jemima Taylor Sanders, 19 years his junior and the daughter of a prominent Indianapolis doctor. Jemima’s sister, Zerelda married the Governor of Indiana, David Wallace.
Gatling and his wife, Jemima, are buried in the Crown Hill Cemetery at Indianapolis. The monument looks like a mausoleum, but is in fact a granite slab of a classical design featuring a pediment supported by four Doric columns.