Biography - Francis Thacker

FRANCIS B. THACKER, Circuit Clerk and Recorder of Johnson County, is a native of this section of the country and has risen to be one of its most prominent citizens and valued public officials solely through the force of natural ability and personal merit. He was born in Bloomfield Township August 7, 1841, and is a son of J. Samson Thacker, who was born in Stewart County, Tenn. He in turn was a son of Nathan Thacker, who was a farmer and spent his last years in Tennessee. After his death his widow courageously set out to 6nd a new home in the wilds of Illinois for herself and children, who accompanied her on the tiresome journey to this county, the removal being made with teams. The family settled among the pioneers of Johnson County, and here the father of our subject, who was but eight or ten years old at the time of the migration, grew up on a farm, and early became a farmer on his own account. He bought a tract of Government land in Bloomfield Township after he attained manhood, and in the busy years that followed devoted himself untiringly to the hard task of developing the farm which remained his home until his death. He was greatly helped in his work by the active and practical assistance of his wife, who survives at a venerable age. She was Sarah Bain in her maiden days, and was born in North Carolina in November, 1814. She is the mother of five children: Francis B., Samson Pleasant, Martha F., Charles A. and Green N.
The subject of this biographical review was reared and educated in this, his native county. He resided with his mother until the breaking out of the war, and then the opening years of his manhood were devoted to the cause of his country. He was among the first to respond to the call of the Government for troops, and was but twenty years of age when he enlisted, August 22, 1861, in Company D, Thirty-first Illinois Infantry, which was commanded by John A. Logan. He did faithful service during the long and dreary years that followed, displaying endurance, fortitude, manliness and true courage on all occasions that called for these soldierly qualities, and he did his share of fighting in the various engagements in which his regiment took part. He was present at the siege of Corinth, at the storming and capture of Ft. Donelson, at the battles of Burnt Bridge, Port Gibson, Jackson, Champion Hills, and the siege and capture of Vicksburg. His regiment joined Sherman's command at Big Shanty, Ga., and helped to take Atlanta, won a gallant record at Jonesborough, accompanied the victorious army to the sea, and thence on to Washington by the way of the Carolinas and Richmond, and in the Capitol City participated in the Grand Review that marked the close of the war, and was finally honorably discharged at Louisville, Ky., July 9, 1865.
Soon after his return from the battlefields of the South, Mr. Thacker bought a steam sawmill in the western part of the county, which he operated two years. He then bought a farm in Bloomfield Township, and has devoted himself principally to farming ever since, although he has at two different times engaged in the lumber business. His energies have by no means, however, been confined to the performance of private duties, but have in part been directed in public channels, as he has held two of the most important county offices. In 1877 he was elected County Treasurer, was re-elected in 1879, and served five years, and the financial affairs of the county nourished under his prudent and wise administration. In 1888 he was elected Circuit Clerk and Recorder for Johnson County for a terra of four years, and he brings to his work the same acumen, business dispatch and unalloyed integrity that have always characterized him, whether in public or In private life. In politics he is a true Republican, standing by his party whether defeat or victory sits on its banners, he cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Grant. Socially, he is a member of Vienna Lodge No. 150, A. F. & A. M.; of Vienna Lodge, K. P.; and of Vienna Post No. 221, G. A. R.
Mr. Thacker was married in 1866 to Miss Nancy C., a daughter of Owen Peterson, and a native of Cache Township. Their pleasant married life has brought to them six children, named as follows: Fannie, Harry, Samuel, Kate, Nola and Charlie.

Extracted 17 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 163-164.

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