Peter Thomas

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 447-448, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Peter Thomas, Supervisor of Cooperstown, was born in Brown County, in 1842. His father, William was born in Fayette county, Ohio, in 1809, and came to Illinois October 1, 18–, (last two digits not given), bringing his wife and one daughter. He and his brother-in-law joined teams, and they came emigrant fashion, being four weeks on the way. He took possession of a log cabin in Brown county, in what was then Schuyler. Here he lived four years, making some improvements, which land he sold and then entered 120 acres of Government land. This was wild land, on which he built a rough house, went to work and cleared up a fine farm, where he lived until 1860. He came with but enough means to reach here, and had three bits left when he crossed the Illinois river at Beardstown. Before long he had made enough to obtain a deed for his land, which was in 1837, and he moved on it in February, 1838. His wife was Julia, daughter of Morton and Sarah (Stivers) DeWitt, both natives of Kentucky, where this daughter was born. They came to Ohio in 1815. Mr. DeWitt died in Texas in 1836 or 1837, and was no doubt killed. His wife died in Brown county in 1857, aged seventy-five. She was the mother of six children.
  Mr. Peter Thomas left home for the battlefields in July, 1862, in Company D, Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry (Captain Davis), at nineteen years of age. He enlisted as a Corporal, served three years and then was promoted to be Sergeant. His first engagement was at Perryville, where he had the usual experiences of a raw recruit, and the next engagement was Stone River. Here over one half of the regiment were killed or wounded. The next battle was at Chickamauga, where the loss was heavy. During his three years' service he was confined in the hospital three weeks, and detached some eight months, guarding prisoners at Nashville, Tennessee. They were active in the Cumberland campaign, and the last fight of note of their regiment was in front of Nashville, Tennessee, December, 1864. Mr. Thomas was mustered out at Springfield, June, 1865, and arrived home soon after.
  He was married December, 1868, to Irene, daughter of Fielding and Amanda (O'Neil) Glenn. She was born in Brown county, although her parents were Kentuckians, who came to Illinois in 1830.
  Mr. and Mrs. Thomas began married life in a log cabin on his father's farm, but at the expiration of three years he bought fifty-five acres, part of his present home, which is now 220 acres. He paid $825 for the fifty-five acres. His next purchase was 152 acres in 1878, costing $1,800; later he bought fifteen acres for $325. He built his present comfortable frame house in 1886, and one barn in 1878, and the second one in 1887. He has under the plow 115 acres, and the balance is in woodland and pasture. He grows wheat, corn and hay, and raises horses, cattle and sheep. He keeps fifteen to forty head of cattle, good stock of dehorned and Shorthorns. He has fifteen head of draft horses which he has bred, and has also a fine Percheron stallion.
  They have buried an infant son, and four children are living: Charles S., Oliver O., Daisy E. and James W. They have enjoyed good schooling and are very intelligent. Mr. Thomas has served the township as Road Commissioner and Town Clerk, and was elected Supervisor in 1891, which office he is filling to the satisfaction of his county. He is a member of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union.

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