Biography - Thomas Peterson

THOMAS G. PETERSON, of Bloomfield Township, who holds an honorable position among the representatives of the teacher's profession in this his native county, and is also identified with its agricultural interests, was born in Bloomfield Township May 13, 1854. His father was James Peterson, who was a native of Tennessee, and was a son of Thomas Peterson, who spent his last years in that State.
The father of our subject was young when his father died, and his mother marrying a second time, he was reared by her and his stepfather, who brought him to Illinois when a boy. At the time of his marriage he settled near Belknap, but a few years later came to Bloomfield Township, and bought a squatter's claim on sections 2 and 11, and in the log cabin that stood on the place at the time of purchase his son of whom we write was born. For many years after he came there were no railways, and the people lived off the products of their farms and on wild game that was abundant. The mother spun and wove cloth to make garments for her children, and they were also taught those useful arts, and when a child the father of our subject used often to pass the winter evenings at the spinning-wheel or loom, becoming an adept in the use of both. He was successful in clearing a farm from the wilderness, and dying left behind a worthy record as a pioneer who had done his share in developing the agricultural interests of the county. His wife survives him and is still living on the home farm. She was Lydia Kuykendall in her maiden days, and was born in Bloomfield Township, a daughter of Joseph and Sally Kuykendall, who were among its early pioneers. She is the mother of seven children.
The subject of this biographical review grew to manhood in his native county, and was educated in its schools. At the age of nineteen he entered upon a successful career as a teacher, and has taught a part of each year since, teaching in his home district for nine terms, and at the present time he has charge of the Sanburn school. He brings a well-trained mind to his work, to which he is devoted, is practical in his methods, and has a natural talent for imparting instruction, and has given satisfaction wherever he has been engaged.
At the time of his marriage, Mr. Peterson bought forty acres of the old homestead, and lived upon it until March, 1889, when he settled upon the farm which he now occupies, on sections 14 and 15 of the same township. He is not only a good teacher, but is an excellent farmer, keeps his place in good order, and is constantly improving his land by judicious cultivation.
Mr. Peterson was married in July, 1874, to Miss Mary J. Seay, in whom he has found a congenial and helpful wife. They have five children living: Mary E., Jesse C, Viola, Eva and Thomas M. Our subject and his wife are people of character and high personal standing in the community, and are influential members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with whose every good work they are closely associated. Mr. Peterson is a man of derided temperance views and principles, which he carries into politics, and is a vigorous supporter of the Prohibition party.
Mrs. Peterson, who was born in Williamson County, is a daughter of Ambrose H. Seay, a native of Virginia, and a son of Jesse W. and Sarah Seay. Jesse Seay, who was a farmer, came to Illinois after many years' residence in Virginia, and passed the remainder of his life in Williamson County. The father of Mrs. Peterson was married in Williamson County, and settled on a tract of land near Creal Springs. He now lives in Marion. His wife, who died in 1880, bore the maiden name of Nancy Taylor, and was born in Williamson County, a daughter of William and Nellie Taylor, pioneers of that county.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 569-570.

Templates in Time