A large proportion of the active agriculturists of this county are operating not far from the place of their birth, as is the case of our subject, who was born in Sangamon County, this State, June 28, 1831. He was given a common-school education, and in his boyhood became familiar with farm pursuits. His father, Ellis Wilcox, was born in Kentucky, about 1792, where he lived until reaching man's estate. He was then married to Miss Ann Lewis, of South Carolina, whose parents had removed to Kentucky, and the young people continued residents of the Blue Grass State for some time after their marriage. They finally emigrated to Macoupin County, Ill. The father of our subject was married in 1820, and settled in Sangamon County, this State, where they lived five years. Next they took up their residence in this county, and the mother died in 1876. The father is still living with his son in Sangamon County, and has arrived at the advanced age of ninety-seven years. Upon coming to this county he first secured eighty acres of land, to which he added by degrees until he was the owner at one time of 700 acres. The parental family included six children, four of whom are living, viz.: Josiah L., John F., Charles H., and Thomas.
Josiah Wilcox was first married to Alace Parker, of Sangamon County, and they became the parents of one child, Joseph. After the death of his wife he was married to Fanny Patterson, and he is now a practicing physician and surgeon of Springfield; they have three children - Dwight, Annie and Augustus. John E. was first married to Miss Mary Ray, now deceased; his second wife was Fanny Scott, of this county, also deceased, and who became the mother of five children. His present wife was formerly Fanny Meachan; they have no children. Charles married Miss Carrie Caruthers, and they live on a farm in Sangamon County; they have two children - Lew and Warren. Samuel died at the age of twenty-one years.
Our subject was married, in 1856, to Mrs. Catherine (Ruble) Fox. Her father, Jesse Ruble, was of German descent, and came from Tennessee to Illinois at an early day. The record of their ten children is as follows: Charles was born Dec. 10, 1856; Albert, July 23, 1858; Benjamin was born Jan. 20, 1860, and died March 8, 1888; Mary Ann was born Aug. 27, 1861; William, May 7, 1863; Francis was born March 14, 1867, and died July 18, 1885; Ruth S. was born Sept. 22, 1872; Thomas Aug. 22, 1874; and Katie E. Feb. 18, 1877. Charles married Miss Susan Kuhns, of Sangamon County, and is operating as a lumber merchant and agricultural implement dealer at New Berlin. He has four children - Mary, Henry, Edith and Benjamin. Albert married Carrie Wilcox, of Sangamon County, and lives in Macoupin County, where he is engaged in the breeding of Percheron horses; they have three children - Hattie L., Bertha and Dora.
Ellis Wilcox upon coming to this county began at first principles in the accumulation of a competence, for he possessed no capital excepting his strong hands and resolute will. He was a man who persevered through every difficulty, and being honorable and upright in his dealings secured the esteem and confidence of all who knew him. Thomas, our subject, is apparently following in his footsteps, and is perpetuating the reputation of the family in a most praiseworthy manner. Both he and his excellent wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which Mr. Wilcox is a Steward, and one of its chief pillars. He is a Republican in politics, and a man who keeps himself well informed upon current events, while at the same time he carefully avoids the responsibilities of office, having about all one man can attend to properly, in the management of his extensive farming interests.