WILLIAM THOM, who is engaged in general farming and stock raising on section
24. Antioch Township. is a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, born April 7,
1838. For many generations farming had been the occupation of the family, and
their home was in Aberdeenshire. The father of our subject, William Thom, Sr.,
was there born and reared, and spent his entire life. He married Christine
Chalmers, and they became parents of six children: James M., who is still
living on the old homestead in Scotland; William, of this sketch; Andrew, also
a resident of Scotland; Isabella White, who is living with our subject;
George, who operates a big stoneyard in Aberdeen, Scotland; and Alex, who is
extensively engaged in farming in North Bend, Neb. Mr. Thom. Sr., served as
Elder in the Presbyterian Church, of which he was long a faithful and active
member. He died in his native land in 1861, his wife surviving him about
Portrait and Biographical Album
Lake County, Illinois, 1891
Nothing of special importance occurred in the childhood of our subject to
vary the routine of farm life. He grew to manhood under the parental roof, and
in 1870 was united in marriage with Miss Helen Gardener, who was born in
Banffshire, Scotland, and is a daughter of John and Jane (Wilson) Gardener.
The wedding tour of the young couple consisted of a voyage across the
Atlantic, and a journey across the country from New York to Millburn, Lake
County, Ill. For three months after their arrival, Mr. Thom worked at that
place and was then employed for a year in Racine by the lumber firm of Murray,
Slawson & Co. The succeeding six and a half years of his life were spent as
manager of a farm owned by Mr. Murray, his former employer, and in the autumn
of 1878 he went to Lee County, Ill., where he carried on a farm for three and
a half years, owned by Moffatt Brothers. He has resided upon his present farm
since 1882, or for a period of nine years. It was known as the Pollock place,
and comprises two hundred and fourteen acres of well-kept land. Its appearance
indicates competent management on the part of the owner, and also gives
evidence of thrift and enterprise. In connection with general farming, Mr.
Thom has engaged in importing Clydesdale horses, and has twice returned to
Scotland for that purpose. He is a lover of fine horses and knows one when he
sees it. In his stables are some of the finest grade of horses in Lake County.
He has an imported "Clydesdale," aged seven years, which is called "Royal
Windsor," is registered in both England and America. Its weight is
eighteen hundred pounds, and it is valued at $2,000. The barn upon Mr. Thom's
farm is the largest in Antioch Township, and was erected at a cost of $2,000.
The dimensions are 90x46 feet with 26 feet posts and it will contain one
hundred and fifty tons of hay, and has ample accommodations for fifteen head
of horses and fifty head of cows.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Thom has been born a family of five children, four sons
and a daughter, all born in America. Andrew is now teaching school. The
younger members of the family, William G., Jeannie, James and Edwin are still
at home. Understanding the importance of a thorough education, Mr. Thom
provided them with good advantages. He and his wife are members of the
Congregational Church, of Millburn, in which he has served as Trustee, and are
honored and respected citizens. He votes the Republican ticket, and has served
as School Trustee, doing all in his power for the interests of education. He
is a capable business man who by his own efforts has won an enviable position
in commercial circles, and in the esteem of those with whom social relations
have brought him in contact.
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