Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Page 1463

THOMAS J. CAIN - This well known and highly esteemed citizen of Loami was born on the Isle of Man in June, 1834, and is a son of Thomas Cain, a native of the same place, where the family have resided for many generations. The original farm owned by the grandfather of our subject is still in possession of his descendants. Upon that place our subject grew to manhood and in early life learned the tailor's trade, which he followed in the Isle of Man for some years.

Believing that he could better his financial condition in the United States, he took passage on a sailing vessel at Liverpool in 1855 and after a long and tedious voyage of twenty-six days landed in New York in April of that year. His destination was Sangamon county, Illinois, as he then had a cousin living at Lanesville. The first summer spent here he worked on a farm and then followed his trade in Dawson for two years. At the end of that time he went to Logan county, Illinois, where he engaged in stock raising for two years, and then accompanied his cousin on a trip to Texas, going down the Mississippi river to New Orleans, by the Red river to Shreveport and on to Jefferson and Galveston, Texas. The return trip was made in the same manner up the Mississippi to St. Louis. During the following four or five years Mr. Cain worked on a farm in Sangamon county and then returned to Logan county, where he was engaged in the sheep business for about five years. He and his cousin then formed a partnership and purchased two hundred and forty acres of land in DeKalb county, Missouri, and to the improvement and cultivation of that farm they devoted their energies for four years. Selling out at the end of that time, they again came to Sangamon county and bought a farm of two hundred and forty acres near Lanesville, which they operated for ten years and then disposed of.

Mr. Cain then returned to the Isle of Man, where he spent five months very enjoyably in visiting his father and old friends. On again coming to America he took up his residence in Loami township, Sangamon county, Illinois, where he purchased a farm of eighty acres. In 1885 he was married in Springfield to Miss Esther Gelling, who was also a native of the Isle of Man and came to the new world with her parents during childhood. They began their domestic life upon his farm in Loami township which he operated for ten years, and then removed to the village of Loami, buying the residence which has since been his home. Here his wife died April 13, 1898, leaving five children, namely: Jessie May, Edith Stella, George Earl, Pearl Essie and Olive Blanche, all at home.

Since his removal to Loami Mr. Cain has purchased a farm of one hundred and ninety acres in Clear Lake township, which he rents. His property has all been acquired through his own unaided efforts, for he came to this country empty-handed and by industry, perseverance and good management he has succeeded in acquiring a comfortable competence, which now enables him to lay aside all business cares and enjoy a well earned rest.

The Republican party has found in Mr. Cain a stanch supporter of its principles since he cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and has taken quite an active interest in public affairs. While a resident of Missouri he served as road overseer for two or three years, and when living on his farm in Loami township filled the office of school director in a most creditable manner for several years. He is an enterprising and progressive man of known reliability, and well deserves the success which has crowned his efforts in life.

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