THOMAS J. STOREY. The history of our subject presents a fine illustration of what can be accomplished by a course
of persevering industry and the determination to "get on in the world." He commenced life at the foot
of the ladder without means or influence, and by his own efforts climbed up step by step until he is now a prominent
and honored member of society and the owner of a fine property.
Thomas J. Storey was born in Lincolnshire, England, July 27, 1843. His father, Thomas Storey, Sr., who all his life followed agricultural pursuits, was accidentally killed while driving a fractious horse attached to a cart. The animal became frightened, ran away, and Mr. Storey was thrown to the ground with such violence that he suffered dislocation of the neck, and only lived thereafter three days.
Our subject was then a little lad of about ten years old. The mother was left with eight children, the family having included ten, two of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Storey was a woman of great force of character, and intensely anxious for the welfare of her children. Not being satisfied with their condition or prospects in their own country she determined to emigrate to the United States.
They first located in Delaware, whither she had been preceded by her eldest son. In less than a year, however, they started for the West, and coming into Illinois, located at Brimfield, Peoria County. The mother only survived about ten years, dying when less than fifty years of age from cancer in the breast. She had been a great sufferer, and bore her afflictions with courage and fortitude. Of the eight children who survive her all are married; two living in McLean County, one in Livingston County, one in Fulton County, Ohio, two in Woodford County, Ill., two in Nebraska. Their names are Tunnard, Joseph, Elizabeth, Thomas J., Hannah, Jacob, Mollie and Sarah J.
The subject of our sketch made his home with his mother until her death and then lived with relatives until his marriage, which occurred in 1863. The lady of his choice was Miss Florida D. Rodgers, who was born in Peoria County, June 12, 1845, and was the daughter of Joseph and Rebecca M. (Keyser) Rodgers, natives of Pennsylvania. They removed to Illinois after their marriage and settled in Peoria County, where the mother now lives, the father having died about 1871.
Mrs. Rodgers makes her home with her younger son, Napoleon B., who is married, and employed on a railroad. The wedding of our subject and his wife took place in Eugene, Knox Co., Ill. They lived in Peoria County for two years afterward, and then our subject purchased eighty acres of good land on section 1, Padua Township, this county, where he has made fine improvements and established a permanent homestead. He possesses all the elements of an honest man and a good citizen, and has been remarkably successful in his farming and business transactions.
Mr. and Mrs. S. are members in good standing of the United Brethren Church, in which he has been prominent as a Trustee and in other official positions. Politically he is a solid Republican and uniformly casts his vote in support of the party in which he believes. The two living children of Mr. and Mrs. Story are daughters, Emma D. and Lizzie B. Their little son, George E., died when two years of age.
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), 452. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.