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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Lewis County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William H. Thomas was born in Ontario County, N. Y., in 1840, and remained there until seventeen years old. In 1857, with his parents, he moved to Cairo, Ill. In April, 1861, he enlisted under the call for three months’ volunteers, in Houghtalling’s battery, Tenth Illinois, Col. B. M. Prentice, commanding. At the close of that service he re-enlisted as second lieutenant of an independent company from Alexander and Pulaski Counties, Ill., commanded by Capt. George W. McKenzie, which company was afterward attached to the Twenty-ninth Illinois Infantry. Sometime after this he was placed in the quartermaster’s department, where he remained until near the close of the war. After leaving the army he entered Bryant & Stratton’s Commercial College, Cleveland, Ohio, and, after graduating from that institution, returned to Cairo, Ill. In 1866 he married Miss Mary A. Lufkin, a native of Maine, and in the following year started in business as a commission merchant, building up a successful trade in flour and grain throughout the Southern States. Retiring from that business in 1875, he moved to La Grange, Mo., and engaged in the small fruit business. He now has about twenty-five acres in these fruits, besides his other well-improved farming grounds, known as “River View Fruit Farm,” adjoining La Grange on the north. He has four children—two sons and two daughters—the eldest of the former being a graduate of La Grange College. The father, William Thomas, was a native of Wales, and came to New York when a mere boy. He married Mary A. Hillyard in that State, and in 1857 moved to Illinois, where the mother died in 1864. The father afterward moved to Chicago, where he now resides with his children, but eight of them are living, three being deceased.

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This family biography is one of 293 biographies included in the Lewis County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, Missouri published in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: Lewis County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Lewis County, Missouri family biographies here: Lewis County, Missouri Biographies

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