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Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia 1879

Z. THACKER was born in Edwards county, Illinois, October 4th 1820. He was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Thacker. His paternal ancestors were English and German, and his maternal Scotch-Irish. Thomas Thacker was left an orphan when quite young. He was brought up by an older sister in Kentucky. He was married in Kentucky, and shortly after his marriage, he emigrated to Indiana with his young wife with the view of making a home. He engaged in farming about two years in that state, when he emigrated farther west, and settled permanently in Edwards county, Illinois, as early as 1818, where he remained until his death, Feb. 16th, 1823. The subject of our sketch, was the youngest child in a family of three children, his father dying when he was quite small. Mrs. Thacker, on the death of her husband, returned to her relatives in Kentucky, where she lived five years. She then removed to St. Clair county, Illinois, where she lived two years. At the expiration of this time she went to Morgan county, and remained in Morgan and Greene counties until she died. Mr. Thacker, during his minority, worked for his mother, farming, and made himself generally useful; as her means were limited, he was compelled to work hard during his boyhood days. He attended school a few winter months, and by close attention to his studies he received a fair education, sufficient to transact most any ordinary business. Feb. 16th, 1842, he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy M. Walker, of Greene county, Illinois, but a native of Kentucky. After his marriage he settled down to business in earnest, with a determination to succeed in the world. He entered from the government eighty acres of land, with a little improvement on it, made by a "squatter"; this he also bought; after putting in one year's time on his eighty, he sold it for three hundred dollars. With this capital he moved into Macoupin county in 1843, and settled in what is now Nilwood township. His first purchase was one hundred and forty acres at three dollars per acre, and by adding tract after tract, until his farm or farms, consisted of over one thousand acres; he has accumulated sufficient land to give each child a quarter section. These farms, by the energy and thrift of their owner, have been brought under a high state of cultivation. The fences consist mainly of hedge, which is the most beautiful of all fences. The condition of the buildings, the state of the fences, the appearance of the stock and the fields, all speak well for the industry and taste of this excellent farmer, and furnish evidence that a love for the beautiful may exist in the mind of the most practical and thorough farmer. His whole life has been spent at farming and stock raising, and he has been eminently successful in his chose vocation. He started in life with comparatively nothing, but with a strong constitution, abundance of energy and willing hands, he has succeeded in carving out for himself a competency, whereby his declining years should be one of ease and serenity. Mr. Thacker has raised a family of eight living children, viz. Caroline, now the wife of Isaac M. Mulkey, living in Kansas; Thomas W., married, and living near the old homestead; he is the oldest son, and was a soldier in the late civil war. He enlisted at eighteen years of age, on the 5th of August, 1862, in company H, 122d regiment, Illinois volunteers, Col. John I. Rinaker commanding. The regiment rendezvoused at Camp Palmer, Carlinville, Illinois, and from there was ordered to Trenton, Tennessee, where the regiment was brigaded, and became part of the 16th army corps. The first battle that Mr. Thacker's regiment engaged in was at Parker's Cross Roads, after which it went on the memorable raid after the rebel Gen. Price, through Missouri; then back to Nashville, Tennessee, and engaged in the battle in which Gen. Hood's forces were annihilated; and then to Mobile, and on to the close of the war. He was honorably discharged, and mustered out of the service July 15th, 1865. He returned home and engaged in farming, at which he remains up to the present. Nancy E., now the wife of Samuel Garst, living near by, also; John married, and living within sight of the old place; Melvina, now the wife of James Solomon, also living in Nilwood township; Edna, now the wife of Harvey Tietsort, living near; Fannie B., the youngest, now living at home. Mr. Thacker has all his children living around him, within a few minutes' ride, with the exception of one daughter in Kansas. In politics he was formerly a democrat, but when Buchanan and Fremont made the race for the presidency, he cast his vote for Fremont, being his first republican vote; he continued to identify himself with the republican party until our last presidential election, when he joined the Greenback ranks, and today is a strong advocate of the Greenback principles. Mr. Thacker and his wife have been members of the Baptist church for many years. He is a liberal supporter of religious and educational institutions, and never refuses to assist any laudable enterprise whatever. In character he is honest and upright; in disposition, kind and charitable; in manners genial and courteous. He is an affectionate husband, a loving father and a firm friend, and being such, he holds an exalted place in the estimation of the public, and enjoys the respect of all who know him. Such is a brief sketch of one of the old citizens, and one of the prominent agriculturists and stock-raisers of Macoupin county, Illinois.

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