Mr. Gaddis came to Morgan County in 1836 and spent the first ten years northeast of Jacksonville, after which he purchased the farm which he now occupies. It was then a wild prairie without improvement and the labor of bringing it to its present state has been no small task. The whole is enclosed with good fencing and embellished with neat and substantial buildings which, without making pretensions to elegance, shelter a family happy and contented in their home life.
Our subject was born in Davenport Township, Delaware County, N.Y., in 1819, and is the son of Adam and Catherine (McKee) Gaddis, the former a native of County Down, Ireland, and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. The mother was a native of the same country as her husband where they lived until after the birth of two children. Then in the summer of 1801 they sailed for America and took up their abode in Orange County, New York, whence they moved later to Delaware County. The wife and mother died at the age of sixty-three years. Mr. Gaddis lived to be seventy-three and both were members of the Seceders Church.
The subject of this sketch was the seventh in a family of eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, the most of whom lived to mature years and were married. Thomas spent the first twenty-one years of his life in his native county, then came to Illinois and was first married in Morgan County to Miss Sarah McCoy. This lady was born in Ohio, lived some years in Kentucky during the time of Indian troubles and then came to Morgan County while still quite young. After the death of her mother, her father, David McCoy, removed to Warren County and died at about the age of eighty years near the city of Monmouth.
Mrs. Sarah Gaddis became the mother of five children and died at the homestead when seventy-one years old. She was possessed of all the Christian virtues and greatly beloved by her family and friends. There is living only one of her children - David - who married Miss Mary Leonard and is now a resident of Lancaster County, Nebraska, where he follows mercantile pursuits. The other four children died young. Mr. Gaddis was married a second time at Concord, to Mrs. Fanny (Glasscock) Ham; she was born and reared in Kentucky, where she was married to Mr. Ham with whom she came to Morgan County and where Mr. Ham died when past middle life, leaving three children. Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis live quietly in their comfortable home and have sufficient of this world's goods to provide for them in their old age. Mrs. Gaddis is a member of the Christian Church and our subject, politically, belongs to the Democratic party.