JOHN THOMAS GADDIE, who is carrying on general farming in Sugar Grove township, is numbered among the native sons of Menard county, his birth having occurred on the old family homestead February 17, 1868. He is a son of Andrew and Sarah (Keane) Gaddie. His father was born on the Orkney Islands, of Scotland, May 31, 1837, and when but seventeen years of age went to sea with his maternal uncle David Spence as a cabin boy. He followed the sea until nineteen years of age and subsequent to his return home was a student for two years. On attaining his majority he emigrated to America, accompanied by his sister Jane, and has since been a resident of Menard county. He had resided in the United States for three years, when, espousing the Union cause, he enlisted August 14, 1862, as a member of company K, One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Infantry. He participated in the siege of Vicksburg and the capture of Little Rock, together with other important engagements, and because of disability was honorably discharged, October 14, 1864. Purchasing a farm in Menard county in 1867, he has carried on general farming with good success until 1891 and since that time he has lived retired in Greenview, but still owns valuable farm land in this county. He has been prominent and influential in public affairs, serving for twelve years upon the board of county commissioners, for twenty-one years as a member of the school board and for one year as president of the town board of Greenview. He was married November 28, 1866, to Sarah Keane, a daughter of Thomas and Martha (Warner) Keane, of Menard county, and they became the parents of eight children. The wife and mother died April 22, 1887, and on the 13th of August, 1889, Andrew Gaddie wedded Eliza A. Conant, of Menard county, who was born November 10, 1842, and died September 26, 1901. Further mention is made of Andrew Gaddie on another page of this work.
John T. Gaddie was reared upon his father's farm, spending the days of his boyhood and youth in the usual manner of farmer lads. When his attention was not occupied with the duties of the schoolroom he aided in the work of tilling the soil. He continued to reside upon the old homestead farm up to the time of his marriage, when he began farming on his own account. He spent six years on a tract of land of two hundred and sixty acres on Salt creek, near Greenview, where he engaged in the raising and feeding of cattle and hogs. In the spring of 1899, however, he returned to the old Gaddie homestead and has since conducted agricultural pursuits there, having rented two hundred acres of good land. Here he cultivates the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and he also raises cattle and horses. He likewise gives some attention to the raising of hogs and now has about one hundred and twenty-five head upon his farm.
On the 21st of January, 1890, Mr. Gaddie was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda Cox. Her father, William P. Cox, was a native of Mason county, Kentucky, born June 24, 1815, and lived at home until about seventeen years of age, during which time he learned the shoemaker's trade. He afterward worked at his trade in Kentucky until 1835, when he came to Illinois, settling in Menard county. Here he continued to engage in shoemaking to some extent and he also followed farming, purchasing a tract of land of about one hundred and sixty acres. Subsequently he was appointed superintendent of the county farm and acted in that capacity for about five years, on the expiration of which period he removed to Petersburg, where he lived retired up to the time of his death, which occurred October 11, 1897. Mr. Cox was a member of the Masonic fraternity at Petersburg, while the mother of Mrs. Gaddie belonged to the Baptist church. He was three times married. By his first wife, Elizabeth, he had one child that died in infancy and the mother soon afterward departed this life. Later he wedded Mary Brahm and their only child also died in early life. Following the death of his second wife Mr. Cox wedded Mrs. Sarena Potter, who was born in Menard county, August 26, 1833, and is now living with her children. There were two sons and three daughters of this marriage: John H., who was born March 29, 1863, and is now superintendent of the county farm of Menard county; Mary E., who was born August 9, 1865, and is the wife of Joseph Sturgis, of Menard county; Martha A., who was born September 18, 1867, and married James S. Short, and after his death became the wife of William Puckett, a resident of Petersburg; Mrs. Gaddie; and Charles C., who died in his boyhood. Mrs. Cox, the mother of Mrs. Gaddie, was twice married, her first husband being Edward Potter, by whom she had two sons, Eddie and Douglas, but the former died in 1853. Douglas, born October 8, 1855, married Mary Sams and unto them were born nine children, but they lost their fourth child, Edward C. The others are Rosa B., Alice L., Maggie M., Annie D., Edgar, Ruth E., John H. and Rubie M.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Gaddie has been blessed with seven children: William Andrew, born November 17, 1890; Pansy M., born August 8, 1892; Sarah S., born August 1, 1894; Charles R., born February 6, 1896; Thurlow, born November 24, 1898; Earl, born September 27, 1900; and Lyle, born December 27, 1902. Five of the children are now in school.
Mr. Gaddie has been a member of the school board and he is interested in all that pertains to the substantial improvement and upbuilding of his county. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp at Sweetwater and also to the Greenview Horse Rangers, while his political support is given to the Democracy. His entire life has been passed in Menard county, where he has worked persistently and energetically in order to acquire a competence. In this he has succeeded and is now a representative agriculturist of his community.