Kay (and related) Biographies from "Album of Genealogy & Biography, Cook County, IL", 1897
Thomas Wheldon. (Page 478)
Thomas Wheldon was born May 2, 1834, in section 19 of Niles Township, and was a son of James and Sarah (Bins) Wheldon, both natives of England. James Wheldon and his wife emigrated to America in 1832, and settled in Niles Township soon after their arrival, buying a quarter-section of land from the Government when it was put upon the market. At that time the Indians were numerous in this part of the country. He cleared a tract of land for a farm, and built himself a comfortable home, engaging in farming until his death, August 25, 1868. His good wife died January 6, 1862. They had three children, namely: Elizabeth, Sarah and Thomas. Elizabeth became the wife of Joseph Bickerdike, of Jefferson, and is now deceased. Sarah is the widow of John Winter, who died some years ago, and resides in Perry, Iowa.
Thomas, the youngest child of his parents, was reared to farm labor, and received only a very limited education, as the schools near the home of his boyhood were few and poor. He inherited the old homestead, and was engaged in its cultivation all his life, being quite successful. He was also proficient as a veterinary surgeon, and had a large practice, treating the horses and cattle of his neighbors.
In politics Mr. Wheldon was a Republican, but he refused to accept any public office, though repeatedly urged to do so. He took a great interest in educational matters, and although his own opportunities had been few, he had improved them, and was a competent member of the school board. He also took an active part in church work, adhering to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and being quite liberal in its support.
April 29, 1863, Mr. Wheldon married Miss Mary Ann Kay, daughter of Abel and Elizabeth (Paylor) Kay, natives of Yorkshire, England, and early settlers in Cook County. Mr. And Mrs. Wheldon had five sons, but the eldest, James A., died when three years old. Those living are: Charles A., who is in the employ of Siegel, Cooper & Company, Chicago; Thomas J., a machinist, and a resident of Edison Park; George W. and Joseph Abel, who reside with their mother. Mr. Wheldon died April 17, 1896, and his widow still occupies the old homestead in Niles.
Submitted by Mike Murphy