Biography - Thomas Reynolds

THOMAS B. REYNOLDS was born on his present farm of four hundred acres in section 33, Burnside Township, Johnson County, in 1852. His father, Wesley Reynolds, was born in Vienna Township, January 13, 1822. He was a son of Ivy Reynolds, who was born in North Carolina, and whose wife was Rebecca Kennedy, a native of Tennessee. They came to Illinois at an early day. Ivy Reynolds, grandfather of Thomas B., came to this part of Illinois about 1819 from his native State, and at that time was an unmarried man, but it was not long before he chose a wife. He lived in Vienna many years, where he was a Justice of the Peace, and a farmer in later years. About 1850 he bought a farm in this township, and before his death he owned some five hundred acres of land. He was married twice, and by his first wife had two children who reached maturity: Wesley, father of Thomas B., and Mary Ann, wife of Baswell Gray. By his second wife he had three sons and two daughters, and died at the age of eighty-four years, about 1877, leaving an estate of almost $4,000, mostly in landed possessions. He was a well-informed man, and gave his children the best education possible at the time. Wesley Reynolds lived at home until his marriage, June 29, 1842, to Miss Sidney C. Simpson, by whom he had four sons and one daughter, all of whom have died except Thomas B. and a sister, Mary, who is the wife of Charles A. Bain, of Johnson County. Wesley Reynolds was afterward married to Frances Heslet Bain, daughter of John and Martha (Brooks) Bain, both of whom were natives of North Carolina and residents of Kentucky, where Mrs. Reynolds was born March 22, 1819. Mr. and Mrs. Bain removed to Illinois in the fall of 1819 with their own team, wagon and stock, and were then in comfortable circumstances. The mother died at the age of seventy, leaving three sons and four daughters, of whom Mrs. Reynolds is next to the youngest. The father died on his farm in his eightieth year. Mrs. Reynolds has a brother and three sisters still living, who are the only surviving members of the family. She is now a widow, her husband having died when sixty-four years of age. He left an estate of eighty acres of land, upon which was the fine brick house in which Mr. Reynolds and his stepmother now reside. He was a farmer all his life, and much of the time a merchant and tobacco dealer, and also held the position of Postmaster for about twenty years. He was at one time worth over $60,000, but through the revulsions of the war lost heavily, and left but a moderate fortune. He was a stanch and active Republican up to within a few years of his death, when he espoused the temperance cause, and was afterward a Prohibitionist. He was a Master Mason, and a member of the Presbyterian Church, in which he was an active worker for some time. He was offered the position of Colonel in the Thirty-first Regiment, but his business was of such importance that he thought he could be more useful at home in furnishing means and men to the cause, and in supporting the families of volunteers.
Thomas B. Reynolds was reared on the farm of his father, and secured a good common-school education, remaining at home helping his father until be attained his majority, when he became a clerk in a store at New Burnside. He was first married at the age of twenty-two years to Marcy C. Graham, daughter of J. F. Graham, who died within one and a-half years after their union, leaving an infant daughter, who lived but seven months. Mr. Reynolds married the second time, May 2, 1886, Alice A. Walker, daughter of William B. and Eliza (Huggins) Walker, both natives of Kentucky, whence they came to Illinois in 1834. The parents of Mrs. Reynolds were married in Illinois and are farmers in Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds have four children, three sons and one daughter: Robert M., born April 8, 1887; Mary J., born August 22, 1888, Frank Wesley, two years old; and Thomas DeWitt, who was born December 24, 1892. Mr. Reynolds was Deputy Assessor for six years, and County Treasurer and Assessor for four years. He is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Both he and his wife are Methodists, as is also the latter's mother, now seventy-three years of age.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 317-318.

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