THOMAS J. NORTH, of Cheney's Grove Township, has been a resident of this State since the spring of 1860, when
he came into McLean County from Indiana and was employed as a farm laborer for the following seven years. He saved
what he could of his earnings, and in that year purchased forty acres of prairie land where he established a modest,
but comfortable home for his little family.
He was prospered in his farming and business operations, and after a few years doubled his landed possessions, and in 1883 doubled again, so that he now has 160 acres of land, which he has brought to a fine state of cultivation and upon which he has erected a handsome and substantial set of farm buildings. He is now engaged in the breeding of Norman draft horses in which he has been remarkably successful, and is acquiring quite a reputation in this department of agriculture. As a business man, citizen and neighbor, he is universally respected, and his present condition, surrounded as he is by all the comforts of life, is only the just reward of his industry and integrity.
Mr. North was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, March 28, 1833, and is the son of Jonathan and Hannah (Reed) North, natives respectively of Virginia and Ohio. Jonathan North was born in 1800, followed farming in his native State during his early life, and afterward removed to Indiana, where he departed this life in 1858. The mother was born in 1802, and died at the home of her husband, near LaFayette, Ind., in July, 1878. Of their children all are now deceased except our subject, Salem and Richard
Mr. Norm of this sketch was but six years of age when his parents removed from his native State to Tippecanoe County, Ind. He remained there until 1860, in the meantime receiving a fair education in the common schools and assisting his father on the farm. He was married in December, 1863, to Miss Priscilla Cornwell, who was born in Kentucky in 1842, and is the daughter of Thomas and Martha (Riggs) Cornwell. They were natives, respectively, of Kentucky and Maryland. Her father, a farmer by occupation, died in November, 1855, and the mother survived him more than twenty years, dying in 1876. The latter was a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their ten children were: Samuel, Louisa, John, James, Elizabeth, George, Thomas, Martha, Priscilla and Cinderella. Mr. and Mrs. North have had thirteen children, as follows: George, born Sept. 7, 1863, died July 16, 1868; Anna, born Feb. 9, 1865, died Nov. 5, 1885; James C., born Oct. 28, 1866, died April 14, 1884; Martha, born Feb. 17, 1869; Mary, born Feb. 26, 1870, died Aug. 25, 1883; William, born Nov. 17, 1871; Frankey S., born April 3, 1873, died Aug. 28, 1874; Magdalena, born Aug. 27, 1874; Elizabeth J., Jan. 16, 1877; Alice L., Oct. 12, 1878; Elmira, Sept. 10, 1880; Elmira had a twin brother who lived only four days, and Ivo, born Sept. 22, 1884.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 551. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.