Thomas J. Chalfant

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 497-498, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Thomas J. Chalfant, a well-known and influential citizen of Beardstown, Illinois, was born in West Virginia in 1823. His parents, William and Helen (Adams) Chalfant, were natives of Pennsylvania. Here they were reared and were married, after which they moved into West Virginia, and Mr. Chalfant followed his trade of ship carpenter until his death, which occurred when he was sixty-five years old. His wife had died previously, in 1832, leaving six children, three of whom are yet living.
  Thomas Chalfant is the only one of the family in this State. He came to the State when but twelve years of age, with a family by the name of Clark. He had lived with this family after the death of his mother. He assisted in farming until he was twenty-four, and then learned the trade of machine carpenter and pattern-maker, and after learning was three years in a foundry. At last he went to work on his own account, and started to making wagons. For years he made a greater number of the wagons than were made in the whole surrounding country, but in time he was obliged to give way to the larger manufactories, and he then did repairing until six years ago, when he turned the business over to his son Walter, who now carries on the business with his partner, Mr. Doesser. Mr. Chalfant has lived in the town of Beardstown so long that he has seen it change from a wilderness to the growing, prosperous place it now is. He has lived here ever since coming to the State, with the exception of a trip he took in 1859. He started in that year for Pike's Peak, but became discouraged and returned home. Beardstown was the chief town for conveying goods from St. Louis to inland places, and oxen were used to draw the wagons from one place to the other, and this slow and laborious mode of travel was continued some time after Mr. Chalfant came to the State.
  He was married in Beardstown, to Miss Anna E. Norton, of Wheeling, West Virginia, and the daughter of Thomas P. Norton, a worthy pioneer of Illinois. He started the first store and hardware shop of Beardstown. Two of their children are deceased. Their living children are: Helen, now Mrs. David B. Treadway, of Butler county, Nebraska; Matilda, now Mrs. William Danner, of Kansas; Walter S., who carries on is father's old business, married Louisa Looken, and resides in Beardstown; Gertrude, now Mrs. James McClure; Anna, now Mrs. Edwin Stribbs, of Beardstown.
  Mr. Chalfant is one of Beardstown's most honored and respected men. He has worked his way up from a poor boy to the position he now enjoys. He has retired from business, and is now reaping the benefits of his years of toil and labor.

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