T. M. THORNBURY, a successful farmer and extensive live-stock dealer of Randolph Township, owns and occupies
a valuable country estate on section 5. He took possession of his present home in the spring of 1875, and has been
a resident of McLean County since the spring of 1862. He has owned land in different parts of the county, but now
is simply the owner of his homestead. He was a member of the firm of Barber & Thornbury, who erected the Union
Mills at Bloomington in 1867, which enterprise proved of great value to the city. Later, Mr. Thornbury abandoned
the milling business, and turned his attention to farming, stock-growing and operations in real estate.
The farm homestead of our subject includes 166 acres, and he has a five years' lease of the Stewart farm of 320 acres. Upon this large area he operates extensively, and has met with success in his undertakings. The subject of our sketch was born in Chester County, Pa., Aug. 17, 1829. His father, Yearsley Thornbury, was a native of the same county and State, where he was reared to years of manhood, and united in marriage to Miss Phoebe P. Valentine, who was also born in Pennsylvania, and who, surviving her husband, is now living with her youngest daughter, Clara, in Chester County, Pa., having arrived at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. She is still quite active in mind and body, and enjoys a fair degree of good health. The father died in Chester County, Pa., in 1885.
Mr. Thornbury of our sketch was thrown upon his own resources early in life, and lived for a time with his uncle, Hanson Thornbury, in Chester County. He then went to learn the trade of a carpenter, serving his apprenticeship under Joseph M. Buffington, of Chester, with whom he worked for about four years. For his services he was to receive his working clothes and his board, and was given two weeks in harvest time in which to earn his spending money. He followed his trade for three years only, and later engaged in marketing and butchering, meeting with fair success. He afterward turned his attention to farming, which pleased him better than anything he had ever undertaken.
T. M. Thornbury was married in his native county, Oct. 10, 1861, to Mrs. Mary (Price) Preston, who was born in Philadelphia, and reared in Chester County. Her father, Issachar Price, was also a native of the Keystone State, engaged in farming pursuits and also in merchandising, and died in Pennsylvania. The mother, who was Miss Elizabeth Alexander, is still living, having arrived at the advanced age of ninety-six years, and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Jane P. Fell, near Normal, in this county. By her first husband, the wife of our subject became the mother of two sons, Mahlon and Frederick, who are both successful physicians, the former residing in Norristown, Pa., and the latter in Chester, Pa. Of her union with our subject there have been no children, but Mr. and Mrs. Thornbury have an adopted child, Jean I. Thornbury.
After his marriage, in the fall of 1861, Mr. Thornbury disposed of his business interests in his native county, and visiting the Prairie State, settled two miles east of Bloomington, on a farm, and removed upon it with his family the following spring. Both he and his wife were reared in the faith of the Society of Friends. Mr. Thornbury has held the minor offices of Randolph Township, and in politics is a reliable Republican.
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), 641. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.