RENNE, THOMAS P. - The majority of the soldiers who won victory for the North were young in point of years, although old in patriotism and buoyed up by enthusiasm. Some were not more than lands, others had barely attained their majority, and all were brave and daring, ready to risk life and limb in defense of flag and country. Thomas P. Renne, of Springfield, now residing at No. 205 West North Grand Avenue, served a short time during the early part of the war. He was born in Clinton County, Ill., October 10, 1840, being a son of James S. and Parthenia (Powers) Renne, natives of Pittsfield, Mass., and Arkansas. The father, a carpenter, moved from Clinton County to Ogle County, living there three years and working as a carpenter. He then moved to Sangamon County, where he followed his trade until his death. His home was west of Springfield, and there the mother also died. The father was a guard on the frontier during the Black Hawk War, serving for seven years. The Renne family is of French and Scotch descent, and Mr. Renne inherits the good traits of both nations. He belonged to a family of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters, only three of whom now survive.
Mr. Renne went to school in Clinton County and Springfield, attending the old First Ward School in that city. This was the first school building in Springfield. During his boyhood days he worked on a farm, but when he was twenty-one years old, began learning the trade of a brick mason, and has followed it ever since. For twelve years he was employed by Springfield Iron Works in brick laying parts of their contracts. The last few years he has been engaged in a contracting business. During the period he has ben engaged at his trade, Mr. Renne has been employed on many public buildings, as he is regarded as a skilled workman. He enlisted in Company M, Seventh Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for a ninety days' service, but at the end of thirty days was relieved from service on account of a gunshot wound.
On January 31, 1867, Mr. Renne was married to Emma Bonney, born near Berlin, Sangamon County, daughter of Benjamin and Eunice (Sikes) Bonney, who came from Springfield, Mass., to Springfield, Ill., and there the father died, August 22, 1865, the mother surviving him, and moving to Kansas City, Kan., where she passed away August 20, 1898. Mrs. Renne belonged to a family of three sons and two daughters, three of whom are now living; Mrs. Renne; Frank; and Mrs. Mary H. Palmer, of Kansas City, Kan. Mr. and Mrs. Renne have had three sons and one daughter, two of whom survive: Allen B. was accidentally killed by an automobile near Chicago, April 26, 1909, having been a merchant of Pontiac, Ill.; Charles B. died in infancy; Vernon W., of Chicago; Bertha M., at home. There are three granddaughters and one grandson in the family. Mr. Renne owns his home, where he has lived for thirty-six years, and takes great pride in it and his surroundings. He is one of the solid, substantial men of the city, and one in whom implicit trust can be placed.