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Thomas Cushman


Newport Hoosier State, Wednesday, April 8, 1891

THOMAS CUSHMAN, the subject of this sketch, was born in Onondaga County, NY, October 15, 1814, and died in Newport, April 1, 1891.

He was a sturdy, active, businessman, as might be expected when the fact is known that he was a direct descendant of ROBERT CUSHMAN, one of those intrepid Pilgrim fathers who braved the perils of the deep in company with that devoted little band who landed upon Plymouth Rock, from the Mayflower, December 11, 1620.

But indeed he did not have to go back to that grand old ancestor for inspiration of energy, for his father before him was a man of action.  He was one of those brave pioneers to whom our present civilization is so much indebted.

Emigrating with his family in company with others to this state in the spring of 1818, he settled in Sullivan County, where he pre-empted 40 acres of land and began the work of making a home for his family, which consisted of himself and wife and 8 children.

But he was not permitted to pursue this labor of love long, for in 3 short years exposure, and disease claimed him as their victim.  To prove that his boys were worthy sons of so worthy a father, they continued to improve the farm and to add to it.  Instead of deserting him, and drifting off into the wide world, they stood by the home.

THOMAS CUSHMAN inherited to marked degree, his father’s push and industry, for in 1829, when only a lad of 15, he went to Vermillion County, in search of employment, which he obtained with the firm of TOMLINSON & ROSS.  He remained with the firm 5 years, which is sufficient proof of his steady habits and upright character.

In 1834 he went to Perrysville, and engaged in business with GEORGE BISHOP and R.D. MOFFATT in 1841.  Mr. BISHOP dropped out of the firm, and under the name of MOFFATT and CUSHMAN, they carried on business until 1872, when Brother CUSHMAN removed to Newport, where he has ever since resided.

Although a man of business, Mr. CUSHMAN was a man who loved home, so in 1847 he married Miss SUSAN E. FIRTH, a most estimable young lady.  Five children blessed this happy union, but only 12 years was Brother CUSHMAN privileged to enjoy the companionship of his beloved wife, for in March of 1859, she passed away from the scenes of life.

Of these 5 children, but one remains, WILLIAM J. CUSHMAN, of Danville, IL.

The home thus broken was re-established in 1863 by Brother CUSHMAN’s marriage to Mrs. MARY A. BAXTER.  They lived happily together until July 1883, when Brother CUSHMAN was again called to stand by the bedside of his dying wife.  Of this marriage there was one child left, a daughter, CARRIE GLANTON CUSHMAN, now wife of WILLIAM L GALLOWAY, of Indianapolis.

Again his home was re-established by his marriage to Miss SARAH ASHTON, June 23, 1887, who with the stricken son and daughter are left to mourn his loss.

Brother CUSHMAN was not only an energetic man in his private business, but was also as a public servant, for he served the county faithfully in the capacity of Auditor, to which office he was elected in 1872, and also as Deputy Treasurer.  He was born and raised a Quaker in belief, but united with the Methodist Church in Newport in June 1883, during the pastorate of Rev. J.H. HOLLINGSWORTH, and has remained a faithful member ever since.

His remains were laid to rest in the cemetery at Perrysville, the Odd Fellows’ Order, of which he had been an earnest member for 45 years, performing the impressive funeral service of their ritual.

Brother CUSHMAN was initiated into Charity Lodge No. 32, I.O.O.F. on August 8, 1846; on December 21, 1846, he was elected secretary; on June 28, 1847, Brother CUSHMAN engraved a seal and presented the same to the lodge, and on the same night was elected Vice Grand; on June 11, 1849, was elected Noble Grand; January 7, 1850, permanent Secretary; June 24, 1850, was again elected Noble Grand; December 16, 1850, was elected as one of the trustees and continued to serve in different offices until May 1882, when he took a withdrawal card from this lodge for the purpose of petitioning for a charter for a lodge at Newport, IN.