Thomas MorganPosted by Jean Crowl 8 May, 2009
From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
THOMAS MORGAN, deceased, who for many years was a leading farmer of Henderson County, was born in Monmouthshire, Wales, on the 15th of July, 1811, and was a son of William and Hannah Morgan, both of whom were natives of the same country. In their family were nine children, seven sons and two daughters. Mr. Morgan of this sketch was reared upon a farm, and was early inured to the arduous labor connected therewith. He was entirely self-educated, but became well informed for a man who had no advantages. At the early age of ten years he began earning his own livelihood, and from that time forward was dependent on his own resources. During his residence in England he was engaged in farm labor and general work.
In 1835, in his native land, Mr. Morgan was united in marriage with Miss Mary Howell, a native of Wales and a daughter of W T alter and Jane Howell. In the spring of 1848 he bade adieu to home and friends and crossed the Atlantic to America, making the voyage in a sailing-vessel, which after a voyage of six weeks reached the harbor of New York. Mr. Morgan took up his residence in Oneida County, N. Y., where he began work by the month as a farm hand. In the following autumn he was joined by his wife and five children, who were thirteen weeks on the ocean coming from the Old to the New World. The family resided in New York until 1851 , when they came to Illinois, settling in Terre Haute Township, Henderson County, where the father rented land for two years. On the expiration of that period he purchased the farm upon which he was living at the time of his death. It comprised one hundred and sixty acres on section 8, and when it came into his possession was a wild and unimproved tract, but he transformed the barren prairies into rich and fertile fields.
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan became the parents of a family of six children, all born in England. Annie, the eldest, became the wife of John P. Barnes, and to them were born three children: Edwin J., now of Sheridan County, Neb.; Mary, who is also living in that State; and Joseph J., who is serving as County Clerk of Sheridan County. Mr. Barnes died in 1878, and ten years later his widow became the wife of Philip Edmunds a farmer of Henderson County. They are well-known people of this community, highly respected by all. James, the second child in the Morgan family, follows farming in Terre Haute Township. George J. is serving as Justice of the Peace and Notary Public of Stronghurst. Annie died at the age of five years. Thomas died in 1861, at the age of fifteen years; and John was drowned in the Erie Canal when the family was coming to Illinois.
In politics, Mr. Morgan was a Republican and served as a School Director and in other local offices. He was a member of the Odd Fellows' society in England, and while living in New York held membership with the Baptist Church. He possessed many excellencies of character, was a man of sterling worth and strict integrity, and his upright life won him the confidence and esteem of all. His wife passed away August 16, 1891, at the age of eighty-four years, and his death occurred October 14, 1893, at the advanced age of eighty-two. They were laid to rest side by side in Terre Haute Cemetery, and their loss was mourned by many.