THE City Cashier of Glasgow was born at Merkland Cottage,
by Kirkintilloch, next door to the dwelling in which David Gray, author of "The
Luggie," lived and died. At school he excelled in writing, book-keeping, and
mathematics, and on coming to Glasgow he took classes in the old "Andersonian"
and in Glasgow University. About the end of the sixties he entered the office of
the late City Chamberlain, where, besides the general office work, he was
employed upon the intricate calculations necessary for his chief's popular Vital
and Social Statistics, etc. The Town Council shewed its high appreciation of the
Chamberlain's work in this direction by granting him an honorarium of one
hundred guineas, out of which he generously recognised his assistant.
Mr. Gibb soon became book-keeper for some of the city trusts, and latterly received the appointment of City Cashier. In this office he has charge of the intromissions of the following departments - Common Good, City Improvements, Parks and Galleries, Municipal Buildings, Markets, Diseases of Animals Act, Lands Valuation, Mitchell and Public Libraries, Inebriates Act, Town Clerk's Fee Fund, Mortifications, etc. Owing to the extension of the city boundaries, and the addition of departments, the duties and responsibilities of the office have increased in his time till the financial turnover now exceeds four millions sterling per annum.
In 1875, along with Bailie M'Bean and Bailie Jackson, Mr. Gibb inaugurated and took charge of the music in the parks. At first the performances were confined to the bands of the barracks garrison and a few volunteer regiments, and the cost was some £650 per annum. But each year has seen some extension; choirs, dancers, pipers, and performances of the champion bands of Britain have been introduced, and the cost is now over £3,000 per annum. In consequence of the popularity of these performances inquiries were made by many of the chief cities and towns of the Kingdom and America regarding the details of management, and the institution is now widely adopted.
In 1880 Mr. Gibb also took charge, along with Bailie Malcolm Campbell, of the City Hall Afternoon Organ Recitals by Mr. Lambeth, the City Organist. At these recitals he varied the entertainment by introducing elocutionists, vocalists, choirs, etc. In this way he was the means of bringing out many artists now among the most popular, and of encouraging and improving choir singing in Glasgow. The concerts proved highly popular, and were presently extended to other districts.
On account of his known aptitude for organising these things Mr. Gibb has been requisitioned to act as entertainments' convener of several of the great charitable functions, such as that of the Deaf and Dumb Institute of 1891, for which Glasgow is famous, and he has himself taken part occasionally in the entertainments themselves. In his favourite pastimes, shooting, sailing, and cycling, he has been the winner of several cups and prizes. He is also no mean handler of the painter's brush and the poet's pen.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)