Thomas P. Lego

Carroll County IL Biography

Thomas P. Lego, a well-to-do farmer and stock-raiser of Salem Township, owning and occupying a finely improved, valuable farm on section 14, as a pioneer of Carroll County, although not among its earliest settlers, has played no unimportant part in the development of its wonderful agricultural resources, and in bringing it to its present high standing among the counties of Illinois.

Our subject is a Pennsylvanian by birth, as were also the parents, John and Polly (McPike) Lego, who were born in Franklin County; the latter in the town of Strausburg. They were reared and married in their native State, and spent their wedded life in Huntingdon County; the father dying there. She afterward passed her closing years in Jackson County, Ohio. They were the parents of six children three sons and three daughters.

Thomas Lego was the third child born to his parents, and his birth occurred at Rebecca Furnace Nov. 23, 1823. He was reared to a healthy, active manhood in that place, and during his early life, after attaining his majority, was employed at different occupations; and at one time was engaged in the manufacture of pig-iron in Huntingdon, his native county. And there he took an important step in his life, toward establishing a home of his own, by his marriage, Jan. 11, 1840, to Miss Sarah Benton. Mrs. Lego is a daughter of the late Thomas and Mary (Reeder) Benton, natives of Pennsylvania, where they spent their lives, settling first after marriage in Northumberland County; Afterward they lived in the following counties in the order mentioned; Centre, Huntingdon, Clarion, and Armstrong; dying in the latter county. They had six daughters and two sons, and Mrs. Lego was their third child in order of birth. She was born in Centre County, Aug. 20, 1820. Of the ten children that have blessed the wedded life of herself and husband, six are now living, namely; Henry L., of Lanark, this county, has been twice married, and has two children Lulu and Henry J., he having lost one child Clarion. His first wife, whose maiden name was Jennie Houghteling, died about two years after their wedding.

The maiden name of his present wife was Alice M. Rowley. John W., who lives in Salem Township, married Miss Mina Harrington, and they have nine children Adelbert, Edwin T., and Ernest (the latter dead), Cora E., Frank C., Hattie M., Harry A., Julia M., and Ethel; Clarence, who resides in Savanna, married Miss Ida C. Sagor, and they have three children Willie, Mattie I., and Jesse A.; Albert, who resides in Salem Township, married Miss Rosilla Davis, and they have five children Flavia A., Bertha V., Clay P., Irvin B., and Pearl D., Howard, who resided in Lanark, married Amanda S. Ford, and they have one child Thomas E.; Jennie lives at home with her parents. The four children of our subject and wife who have passed to the Great Beyond are; Willie L., who died in infancy; Emma, who died at the age of eighteen months; Alice, who died in infancy; Mary E., who married James N. Houghteling, died in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Nov. 12, 1877. Mr. and Mrs. Lego sent two sons to the front who did good service on Southern battlefields during the late war: Henry L. served four years as a member of Company I, 34th Illinois Infantry, and was wounded at the battle of Jonesboro, Tenn., being shot through the body; John B. served two and one-half years as a member of Company B, 7th Illinois Cavalry, and although on duty every day during that time, he returned home unscathed. Mr. and Mrs. Lego displayed excellent judgment in training their children to be loyal and patriotic citizens and useful members of society; they are distinguished for their intelligence, good habits, and fine characters.

Mr. and Mrs. Lego at first settled in Huntingdon County, and from there removed to Clarion County, where they lived about five years, and then spent seven years in Armstrong County. In the latter part of April, 1855, they emigrated from there, with the five children that had been born to them in their native State, to Illinois, and locating in Salem Township, have ever since been residents of Carroll County. Since coming to this State Mr. Lego has devoted himself to agricultural pursuits with great assiduity, and his labors have been well rewarded, as his farm of 160 acres of admirably tilled soil, with its commodious set of buildings, and all the appliances and machinery for carrying on farming to the best advantage, is considered one of the best estates in this part of the county. He is a man of thrifty and industrious habits and various other commendable traits which have enabled him to accumulate a fine property, so that as old age draws on apace it will find him well fortified against material want. He and his family are people of social importance in this community, and his wife is an esteemed member of the English Lutheran Church. Mr. Lego is a man of decided views, and in no respect are his opinions more firmly established than in regard to the superiority of the Republican party over all other political parties in the United States, and he is one of its stanchest adherents in this locality.

Transcribed and contributed by Carol Parrish. Portraits & Biographical Pg. 967

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