THOMAS P. REEP is actively connected with a profession which has important bearing upon the progress and stable prosperity of any section or community and one which has long been considered as conserving the public welfare by furthering the ends of justice and maintaining individual rights. In the practice of law in Petersburg he has demonstrated his ability to cope with intricate problems of juris-prudence and now has a large clientage.
He was born in Little Grove precinct, Menard county, on the 3d of October, 1870, and is a son of Eli and Annie Beck (Dowell) Reep, the former a native of New Albany, Indiana, and the latter of Little Grove precinct. His paternal grandfather, Philip Reep, was a native of North Carolina. The family is of Holland lineage and was founded in America by William Reep, the great-grandfather of Thomas P. Reep, who crossed the Atlantic in a sailing vessel and established his home in North Carolina in colonial days. He settled in what is now Lincoln county and the town of Reepsville was named in honor of the family. Representatives of the name fought for the independence of the nation in the Revolutionary war, and loyalty in citizenship has ever been one of the salient characteristics of the family. Leaving the south, Philip Reep removed to Indiana during the pioneer epoch in the history of that state and followed the occupation of farming there until his life's labors were ended in death.
Eli Reep, father of our subject, came to Menard county when seventeen years of age and followed farming in Little Grove precinct. He devoted his energies to the tilling of the soil until after the inauguration of the Civil war, when he put aside the plow and shouldered the musket. The blood of Revolutionary sires flowed in his veins, and he resolved to strike a blow in defense of the Union which his ancestors had aided in establishing. It was in 1862 that he joined Company K, One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Infantry, with which he served until the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged and returned home with a credible military record. He had done his full duty as soldier upon a number of southern battle-fields and was unfaltering in his allegiance to the old flag. After his return to Petersburg he was married to Miss Annie Beck Dowell and is still living in Little Grove precinct, where for many years he has successfully carried on agricultural pursuits. He has been active and influential in public affairs, and his fellow citizens have chosen him for the office of county assessor and treasurer, the duties of which were discharged by him with promptness and fidelity.
Upon the home farm Thomas P. Reep spent the days of his boyhood and youth, working in the fields through the months of summer and thus gaining practical knowledge of the various departments of agricultural life. He attended the public schools, and when he had mastered the branches therein taught he entered the Northern Indiana Normal College at Valparaiso, Indiana, where he pursued the teachers' course. Subsequently he returned to Menard county, where he engaged in teaching for one term and for two terms in Mason county. He then returned to Valparaiso, where he completed the scientific course, being graduated with the class of 1890. Again coming to Menard county, he resumed teaching, and his leisure hours were devoted to the study of law. He completed his law studies in the office of Hon. Edward Lanning, and in 1895 was admitted to the bar. He continued teaching, however, for three years, and was a capable educator, imparting readily and concisely to others the knowledge that he had acquired. On the expiration of that period he opened a law office in Petersburg, in June, 1898, and has since practiced, with constantly growing success. He has now a large and gratifying clientage, which connects him with much of the important litigation tried in the courts of his district, and in his practice he is noted for thorough and systematic preparation while his presentation of his cause is lucid, his reason clear and cogent. He was city attorney for one term and was elected state's attorney of his county by the largest majority ever given to any candidate on the Republican ticket. He has also been president of the board of education and withholds his support from no movement which tends to advance the material, intellectual and moral progress of the county.
In May, 1895, Mr. Reep was united in marriage to Miss Laura Shipp, of Menard county, a daughter of Rolla Shipp, one of the early and prominent residents of the county. There has been born to them three children: Alice May, Anna Ruth and Philip T., but they lost their second daughter. Mr. Reep belongs to the Knights of Pythias fraternity. In a profession where advancement depends upon individual merit he has worked his way upward, developing his native powers, and through his close application and earnest purpose gaining a desirable position as a strong and forceful factor in legal circles.