engaged in general farming and stock raising on section 24. Antioch
Township. is a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, born April 7, 1838.
For many generations farming had been the occupation of the family, and
their home was in Aberdeenshire. The father of our subject, William
Thom, Sr., was there born and reared, and spent his entire life. He
married Christine Chalmers, and they became parents of six children:
James M., who is still living on the old homestead in Scotland; William,
of this sketch; Andrew, also a resident of Scotland; Isabella White, who
is living with our subject; George, who operates a big stoneyard in
Aberdeen, Scotland; and Alex, who is extensively engaged in farming in
North Bend, Neb. Mr. Thom. Sr., served as Elder in the Presbyterian
Church, of which he was long a faithful and active member. He died in
his native land in 1861, his wife surviving him about fifteen years.
Nothing of special importance occurred in
the childhood of our subject to vary the routine of farm life. He grew
to manhood under the parental roof, and in 1870 was united in marriage
with Miss Helen Gardener, who was born in Banffshire, Scotland, and is a
daughter of John and Jane (Wilson) Gardener. The wedding tour of the
young couple consisted of a voyage across the Atlantic, and a journey
across the country from New York to Millburn, Lake County, Ill. For
three months after their arrival, Mr. Thom worked at that place and was
then employed for a year in Racine by the lumber firm of Murray, Slawson
& Co. The succeeding six and a half years of his life were spent as
manager of a farm owned by Mr. Murray, his former employer, and in the
autumn of 1878 he went to Lee County, Ill., where he carried on a farm
for three and a half years, owned by Moffatt Brothers. He has resided
upon his present farm since 1882, or for a period of nine years. It was
known as the Pollock place, and comprises two hundred and fourteen acres
of well-kept land. Its appearance indicates competent management on the
part of the owner, and also gives evidence of thrift and enterprise. In
connection with general farming, Mr. Thom has engaged in importing
Clydesdale horses, and has twice returned to Scotland for that purpose.
He is a lover of fine horses and knows one when he sees it. In his
stables are some of the finest grade of horses in Lake County. He has an
imported "Clydesdale," aged seven years, which is called
"Royal Windsor," and is registered in both England and
America. Its weight is eighteen hundred pounds, and it is valued at
$2,000. The barn upon Mr. Thom's farm is the largest in Antioch
Township, and was erected at a cost of $2,000. The dimensions are 90x46
feet with 26 feet posts and it will contain one hundred and fifty tons
of hay, and has ample accommodations for fifteen head of horses and
fifty head of cows.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Thom has been born a
family of five children, four sons and a daughter, all born in America.
Andrew is now teaching school. The younger members of the family,
William G., Jeannie, James and Edwin are still at home. Understanding
the importance of a thorough education, Mr. Thom provided them with good
advantages. He and his wife are members of the Congregational Church, of
Millburn, in which he has served as Trustee, and are honored and
respected citizens. He votes the Republican ticket, and has served as
School Trustee, doing all in his power for the interests of education.
He is a capable business man who by his own efforts has won an enviable
position in commercial circles, and in the esteem of those with whom
social relations have brought him in contact.