THOMAS MAHAN. One of the most prominent men in the township in which he lives, both financially and socially, is the gentleman whose portrait appears on the opposite page, and whose name introduces these paragraphs. He stands at the head of the solid men in his vicinity. From his father, who was a native of Kentucky, he inherited the geniality and charm of manner for which the Kentuckians are noted, and also a fondness for breeding fine stock, another Kentucky weakness. He is a man of stirring business ability, as one must be who would not be left in the rear among so much competition as we have here in every branch of business life.
As before stated, our subject inherits many of the Southern inclinations and tastes from his parents, who were both natives of Kentucky. His father was the late James Mahan, born in Bourbon County, Ky. His mother was Elizabeth Ann Endicott, who was born in Fayette County, of the same State. After their marriage their first home was made in their native State, where they lived for a few years and then lured by the inducements that the Central States offer to industry and energy, they removed to Rush County, Ind., and lived there for several years.
In the fall of either 1849 or 1850, Mr. And Mrs. Mahan, Sr., came to Morgan County, Ill., and lived for one winter near Waverly. They then came to Macoupin County, and settled in South Otter Township, remaining there for about one year. A change was made to the southeast part of North Palmyra Township, where they remained until the father died, in November, 1868. The mother died in South Palmyra Township, in July, 1889. They had ten children, of whom our subject was the third.
Thomas Mahan was born in Rush County, Ind., January 6, 1837. There he passed the early years of his life to the age of about eleven years, when he came to Illinois with his parents. He enjoyed good common-school educational advantages during his boyhood, assisting his parents with the work incident to farm life in the intervals. He remained under his father's roof until his marriage. The lady whom he invited to preside over his home was Miss Sarah Ditson, and their marriage was celebrated October 4, 1860, in North Otter Township. The lady's parents were Jesse and Nancy (Tosh) Ditson, natives of New York and Ohio respectively. They were married in Sangamon County, and soon after moved to North Otter Township, being among the early settlers in this place. The father passed away here in March, 1863. The mother died in North Palmyra Township, January 17, 1887. They were the parents of three children, of whom Mrs. Mahan was the youngest. She was born in North Otter Township, April 16, 1843.
Soon after the marriage of our subject, he with his wife settled on section 6, South Otter Township, of which he has since been a resident. He has always been faithful to his chosen calling, which is that of agriculture, but makes a specialty of dealing in stock, and in this particular department has built up a fine and lucrative business. He is the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and sixty acres. The house is well appointed and adapted perfectly to rural life, while all necessary outbuildings are conveniently arranged for the storage of grain and the shelter of stock. Mr. Mahan and his estimable wife are the parents of twelve children: Nancy E., Preston G., who married Miss Anna Arnett; Charles S.; Carrie B., who is the wife of George Hays; Ida L., who is the wife of Harry Potter; Hattie A.; Minnie S.; Thomas M.; Walter S.; Ethel M.; Cynthia L. And Cecil.
Our subject has been Supervisor of South Otter Township for two terms, and Collector for the same length of time. He has also satisfactorily filled the positions of School Trustee and School Director, and was a candidate for County Sheriff on the Republican ticket in the fall of 1880, but was defeated by his Democratic opponent, who had, however, a majority of only two hundred and twenty votes. Like all loyal Americans, Mr. Mahan has taken a great interest in political affairs as well as an active part in local politics. He is also an ardent worker in religion, and with his wife is a member of the Christian Church, in which he has been Elder for many years.