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Thomas Jackson 1825-1897

A resident and citizen of this country by adoption, he came to Byron Township in 1851, he was born in Gloucestershire, England in the year 1825, coming to America in 1844. The father of Mr. Jackson was a wagon maker by trade and according to the custom prevailing in the land of his nativity, the son was trained in a knowledge of the same business. He was married in March of the year in which he came to this country to Miss Elizabeth Kitchen, a native of the same Shire as that in which her husband was born, and in the month following their union in marriage they crossed the Atlantic, landing in Quebec, Canada. She and Mr. Jackson were schoolmates and were reared together and were on their ocean voyage 56 days. They came to the city of New York, where they remained until 1849, when they went to Wisconsin, passing two years in Milwaukee, where he was occupied as a mill-wright. They then came to Ogle County and located in Byron, where he obtained employment as a farmer. The second year of his stay in Ogle County, he rented land and was occupied in his relations in that capacity until 1854, when he bought a farm in the township where he is now living, situated on section 23, and was it's occupant for four years. He sold out in 1858, and again farmed as a renter until 1864, when he bought the farm on which he has since been occupied in the prosecution of his interests. It is situated on section 22. The place includes 120 acres and is in advanced cultivation, ranking fairly with other farms in the township. Fruit and shade trees have been planted and the buildings are all in good condition. At the time of his taking possession, Mr. Jackson found a few acres under the plow, which included all the improvements then on the farm, and he has since improved and developed it into its present creditable condition. The barn is 38 by 58 feet in size, with 20 feet posts, and there is a stone basement under the entire structure. In 1852 Mr. Jackson established a livery stable business in Byron, which he managed for a year, and then his son, John, who is it's manager still. Mr. Jackson built a house there also, in the same year. Nine children have been added to his household since his marriage, and the following is their record: Sarah is the wife of Daniel A. Hazzard, and they reside in the township of Leaf River; John is the second in order of birth; Richard is a farmer on the same section where his father's farm is located; Henry is a grocer in Byron; Frank is a farmer in the township of Byron; Watson W., and Andrew live in Byron; Will and Charlie manage the homestead. Mr. Jackson is now building a dwelling in Byron. His first wife died in January 1869, and he married his present wife on May 2, 1871, who was Mrs. Sarah Shurtliff, nee Elliot. She was born in Yorkshire, England, Feb. 25, 1828, and came to Rockford, Illinois with her parents when 13 years old. She had four children by her first marriage, and three of her daughters married three of Mr. Jackson's sons by his first wife, and, it will be observed; Mr. Jackson married the mother.

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