Jackson County
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Biography - Thomas M. Logan

HON. THOMAS M. LOGAN, President of the Street Railway Company of Murphysboro, is the oldest living settler of this place, and one of the first pioneers of Jackson County. He has been prominent in the history of the community for many years, and like his illustrious brother. Gen. John A. Logan, has become widely known through business and social interests.

Our subject was born in Murphysboro, August 1, 1828, and is a son of Dr. John Logan, a native of Ireland. The grandfather, who also bore the name of John, brought the family to America when his son was only fifteen years of age, and located in Ohio, where he engaged in farming. He afterward removed to Perry County, Mo., and subsequently came to this county. When the father of our subject was a young man he went south with a stock drover and formed the acquaintance of Dr. Clayburn, of Vicksburg, Miss., with whom he studied medicine for four years. He then engaged in practice in Perry County, Mo. In 1824 he located in Brownsville, then the county seat of this county, and the following year married Elizabeth Jenkins, who was a native of Virginia, as was her father, Alex Jenkins. He was a farmer and removed with his family to South Carolina, thence to Tennessee, and later to Union County, Ill., where he became an early settler and spent his remaining days. He raised a company for the Black Hawk War and became a Colonel in that service. His son, Alex, served as Lieutenant-Governor of the state.

In 1826 John Logan removed to Murphysboro, although the town had not been started at that time, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of wild land. About 1842 commissioners were appointed to chose a site for the county seat, and they located it upon the farm of Dr. Logan, who donated twenty acres to the town, in the center of which the court house was built. The Doctor purchased several lots and from this point practiced medicine, receiving calls from a radius of over thirty miles. He also built a hotel on the present site of the Logan House, but his tireless labors proved too much for him and undoubtedly hastened his death. He several times served as a member of the State Legislature, being elected on the Democratic ticket. He was a member of the State Medical Society, and of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He served as surgeon in the Black Hawk War, and was ever prominent in public affairs in this community. The death of this honored and worthy gentleman occurred in 1853, at the age of sixty-five years and four months. His wife passed away in 1876. In the family were eight children, of whom five besides our subject grew to mature years, namely: Gen. John A. Logan, whose name is known throughout the world; Mrs. Dorothy Thomas, who died in Murphysboro; Mrs. Augustine Rogers, who lives in this place; Hon. William, an attorney-at-law, who served as a member of the State Legislature, and died in 1867, and James, a merchant of Olney, Ill.

Amid the wild scenes of the frontier Thomas Logan was reared. For a time there were no schools, but afterward a log school with slab seats was built a mile and a-half from his home. It took two days and two nights to go to mill and return, including the time while the grist was being ground. Deer, wolves and bear were plenty; farming was done with oxen, with a wooden mold-board on the plow, and they used to cradle and mow with the reap hook and scythe. Mr. Logan bought the second reaper in the county. He remained at home until twenty years of age, and then rented land for three years in connection with Mr. Osborn, also operating a horse sawmill for eighteen months.

Subsequently Mr. Logan purchased land, three hundred acres, adjoining the old homestead, which he cleared and improved, carrying on general farming. He also raised good grades of cattle and hogs, and in 1855 he began breeding thorough bred horses. For thirteen years he had a stable, and at one time owned some of the finest horses in the country. In April, 1891, his stable was destroyed by fire; sixteen head of the finest standard bred horses were burned to death, and three thousand bushels of grain and a considerable quantity of hay were consumed in the flames. For twenty-seven years one trainer worked in his employ. Among his horses were "Blind Tom," "Prairie Bird," "Stocking Leg," "Cricket," "Logan," "Sallie L.," "Prince Albert," "Pet," and others. In connection with General Logan, he owned six hundred acres of fine land, and he now with J. C. Clark has three hundred acres adjoining the corporation limits of Murphysboro. In connection with J. C. Clark, in 1892, he laid out the Clark and Logan Addition to Murphysboro, comprising eighty acres. This includes .John A. Logan Park, a ten-acre tract of land, nicely improved and cultivated.

In 1852 Mr. Logan married Aletha Gill, who was born in Elk Prairie, and was a daughter of Peter Gill, one of the first settlers and County Judges of this community. She died in 1857, and in August, 1874, Mr. Logan wedded Miss Sallie Oliver, a native of Dayton, Ohio, and a daughter of Thomas Oliver. Prior to her marriage she engaged in school teaching. She is a very active and prominent worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a leader in Sunday-school work.

Other business interests have occupied the attention of Mr. Logan, who has been very prominent in the upbuilding and development of this community. In 1892 the Murphysboro Street Railway Company was incorporated and the tracks laid. He is one of its Directors and has been its President from the beginning. He has built two mills in this place. In connection with Mr. Osborn he built the Manufacturers Mill, and later the Logan & Deshan Mill. Both of these he has since sold. In 1891 he bought the site of the original Logan Hotel, and built the present house at a cost of $33,000. It is a three-story structure, and the finest building in the city. He also erected the Hamilton House, and has built and sold other brick blocks. He was one of the organizers of the First National Bank, and is still a stockholder and director. He aided in the organization and is a stockholder in the City National Bank. In politics he was a Democrat until the organization of the Republican party, since which time he has been one of its stalwart supporters. Could the work and its results which Mr. Logan has accomplished be withdrawn from Murphysboro, the city would at best be only a town of little importance, for his labors have been prominent factors in its upbuilding and in the promotion of its best interests.

Extracted 31 Jul 2020 by Norma Hass from 1894 Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry, and Monroe Counties, Illinois, pages 648-651.


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