BIGGERS, THOMAS R. , well known farmer and stock-raiser of Chapin, Morgan County, Ill., was born near Maysville, Ky., March 3, 1860, a son of Richard and Nannie (Adams) Biggers. Both of his parents were born in Marion County, Ky., in 1832, his father's birthday being January 6th, of that year. By occupation Richard Biggers was a blacksmith. In 1865, he located at Winchester, Ill., where the family remained eight years, and where the mother died. The father then moved to Chapin, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying November 17, 1893. In early youth Thomas R. Biggers received a good common-school education at Winchester, and at the age of seventeen years became a teacher, continuing in this occupation for nine years in Morgan County. He was Principal of the Chapin public schools three years, and of the Liberty (Ill.) school, two years, throughout this period being prominent in the literary societies of that vicinity. He was for several years engaged in the grain business in Chapin, first, in connection with F. Eintsman & Co., and afterward with H. & C. Oaks, of whose extensive transactions he was the local manager. For two years he was connected with the store and postoffice conducted by H. D. Cooper, and for a number of years superintended the Chapin Mercantile & Implement Company. At present he is the manager of the Billings farm of 800 acres, and has filled this position with marked ability and fidelity for a considerable period of time, having paid more than $30,000 in rentals to the owner of this property. In connection with his farm work he has established quite a reputation as an auctioneer, making stock and farm sales a specialty.
On March 16, 1881, Mr. Biggers was united in marriage with Mollie L. Bridgeman, a daughter of Columbus and Emma (Gledhill) Bridgeman, of Morgan County, pioneer settlers of the county, the father having served in the Civil War. Four children resulted from this union, namely: Amy Joyce and Chester (twins); Vena Vita, who was born May 4, 1889; and Ruth, who was born April 19, 1894. Amy J. and Chester were born January 18, 1883. The former died September 13, 1883, and the latter, November 8th, of the same year.
In politics, Mr. Biggers is an unswerving Democrat, and has taken an active and influential part in local campaigns. He has served repeatedly as Precinct Committeeman, and is a member of the City Council of Chapin, an office which he has held for several terms. For a long period he was Clerk of the Village Board, and is now serving his second term as Justice of the Peace. In April, 1902, he was the nominee of his party for Representative in the State Legislature from his district, comprising the counties of Morgan and Sangamon, and made a vigorous but unsuccessful race, carrying his home county by a good majority, but falling in Sangamon.
Religiously, Mr. Biggers is a member of the Methodist Protestant Church, with which he united in early life. When but twenty-five years old he was made an Elder and has served in that capacity ever since. He has been a teacher in the Sunday school, and for a number of years its Superintendent. In church work he is very active and useful and has manifested his zeal in the Christian cause by earnest efforts as an evangelist. Besides his devotion to the Christian faith, Mr. Biggers has always been a man of pure habits, never having indulged in alcoholic beverages or tobacco, and never having used profanity. As a business man he is thoroughly capable, diligent, careful and systematic. Socially he is genial and courteous; his intelligence is of a superior order and his information is broad and varied. Fraternally, Mr. Biggers is prominently identified with the M.W.A. and I.O.O.F. In the first named order he has held all the offices in the local lodge, and is now officiating as Excellent Banker. He has also held all the chairs in the subordinate lodge, including that of Noble Grand, and has taken the Grand Lodge degree at Springfield, Ill.