Thomas O. Francis, a prosperous farmer of Clark Township, was born in Sugar Creek Township, Shelby County, March 8, 1848, son of Milton and Sarah (Henderson) Francis. To our subject’s father and mother these children were born: Mary E., born January 19, 1846; Thomas O., born March 8, 1848; Emma C., born September 9, 1853; Jennie, born January 15, 1860. Our subject’s early life was spent on a farm, working on it in summer, and attending the district school in winter. He received a good common school education, and he began life for himself at the age of twenty-one as a farmer. His father being an extensive stock-trader, he was away from home a great deal of his time, which placed the responsibility of looking after the farm upon our subject while he was yet quite young. In 1870, Mr. Francis went to Kansas on a prospecting tour, where he remained six months, he then returned to Shelby County, where he remained with his father one year, and thence to Clark Township, Johnson County, where he “batched” one year, and raised one crop, then returned to Shelby County and remained about six months, when he again returned to Clark township, Johnson County, and settled on the farm on which he now lives. On the 19th day of November, 1873, he was united in marriage to Mary L. Craig, a daughter of Henry T. and Mary (Ransdell) Craig. To this union the following children were born, viz.: Alice A., October 25, 1874; Mary A., September 17, 1876; Charles E., January 10, 1878; Stella, January 22, 1881; William O., July 10, 1883, and Thomas E., July 15, 1886. The mother of these children was born November 28, 1857. He and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. He is also a member of the Masonic order. During the late war he belonged to a company of Home Guards under Capt. B. F. Reeves. In politics, he is an ardent republican, casting his first presidential vote for Grant. He now owns eighty-nine acres of well-improved land.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 484.