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Maryland-born, Gilbert T. Israel had served in Virginia artillery units during the Civil War, including Company B, First Virginia Light Artillery, J.S. Brown’s Battery (Wise Artillery), and O.B. Taylor’s Battery. Israel was also mayor of Shenandoah, ran a professional photography studio in town, and served as editor and publisher of the Shenandoah Argus, which ran as a four-page, weekly newspaper, 1892-1897.

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