Alexander County

Biography - Thomas Lewis

THOMAS LEWIS, lawyer, Cairo, was born on the 9th of July, 1808, in Somerset County, Ohio. His parents were Thomas Lewis and Susan McCoy, the former of Welsh descent and the latter of Scotch, and both natives of New Jersey, where they married and reared a family of eleven children, Thomas being the ninth and the only member of the family now living. He received the benefits of a common school education in his native county, and at the age of sixteen an apprenticeship to the trade of shoemaker, which he completed. Soon after he completed his trade, he started a wholesale boot and shoe manufactory in the city of Brunswick, N. J., which business he conducted successfully for seven years, employing a large number of workmen. In 1836, he came West to look out a location for a future home, and as a result of which he settled the year following in Springfield, Ill., where he again embarked in the boot and shoe trade. Having a natural fondness for law, to which he had given considerable study, he decided to adopt the profession, and in 1845 was admitted to practice. Though he has not been a prominent practitioner, he has been associated with some of the best talent of Springfield, and in the meantime was engaged in various business enterprises of magnitude. He came to Cairo, Ill., in 1863, and established the Cairo Democrat, which he conducted for some years, returning to Springfield in 1869 to engage in editorial work. Since 1875, he has been a resident of Cairo, and that year organized the Alexander County Bank. In 1867, he organized the "Widows' and Orphans' Mutual Aid Society," of which he is now Secretary. He is a stockholder in the Cairo Street Railway, which he organized, in connection with Messrs. Stratton and Goldstein. Mr. Lewis was married in New Jersey to Miss Margaret A. Van Norstrand, of New Jersey. She was born October 4, 1810. They celebrated their golden wedding on the 4th of April, 1882. Have a family of three children — Adaline, wife of S. D. Ayers, of Kansas City; William T. Lewis, of Kansas; and Albert Lewis, a resident of Cairo.

Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 28-29.

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