Biography of Thomas P. McCune

Thomas P. McCune, born in Canal Township, Venango County, Pennsylvania, in 1832, is a dedicated farmer in Dixon Township, Illinois. Descended from Scotch-Irish roots, his grandfather, William McCune, and father, also named William, were farmers in Venango County. Thomas married Lydia J. Williams in 1858, and they settled in Dixon Township, Illinois, on land initially purchased by Lydia’s father. They had six children, with four surviving to adulthood. A respected community member, Thomas’s 183-acre farm was well-maintained, featuring diverse agricultural activities, including a successful apiary. He was a Democrat, focused on his business rather than political affairs.

Thomas P. McCune, who is engaged in farming on section 34, Dixon Township, claims Pennsylvania as the State of his nativity. He was born in Canal Township, Venango County, in 1832, and came of an old Pennsylvania family. His grandfather, William McCune, lived and died in Venango County, his occupation being farming, which he followed in Canal Township. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. He married Elizabeth Paxton, a native of Luzerne County, Pa., and she died on the old homestead in Canal Township at about the age of eighty years. Religiously she was a member of the Seceders’ Church.

William McCune was born on his father’s farm in Venango County, of which he afterwards became owner and made it his home until his death, which occurred on the 16th of May, 1889, at the age of eighty-two years. In Mercer County he was joined in wedlock with Keziah Paxton, who became a true wife and helpmate to him. She was also a member of the Seceders’ Church. Unto this worthy couple were born only two children, our subject and a brother, James, who has been twice married and is engaged in farming in Venango County, Pa.

Under the parental roof Thomas McCune spent the days of his boyhood and youth, and the educational advantages afforded him were those of the district schools of the neighborhood. In 1858 he led to the marriage altar Miss Lydia J. Williams, a native of Center County, Pa., and a daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Smith) Williams, the former born in Center County and the latter in Mercer County, Pa. Their union was celebrated in French Creek Township, of the last named county, and there they began their domestic life. Mr. Williams was a millwright by trade. When his daughter, Mrs. McCune, was only three years old, he removed with his family to Canal Township, Venango County, where the family made their home for some years and then came to Illinois, the father purchasing a farm in Dixon Township, the same that is now owned and operated by our subject. Here he died on his eighty-third birthday — January 23, 1885. His wife survived him a few years and passed away at the age of eighty. In early life they had been members of the Baptist Church, but afterwards became connected with the United Brethren Church.

Mrs. McCune is one of five children, three of whom are yet living. Her maidenhood days were passed in her parents’ home, where she remained until she gave her hand in marriage to our subject. Their union has been blessed with six children — S. Miles, who married Minna Martin and is now a photographer of Dixon; W. Irven wedded Christine Weimer and resides on the old homestead; Sarah is the wife of Joseph Atkinson, a resident farmer of Dixon Township; Lorinda E. is the wife of Bert Swartz, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Palmyra Township; Maud is at home; and Byron died in childhood.

Mr. and Mrs. McCune are people of sterling worth and are held in high regard by all who know them. In politics he is a Democrat, but does not take an active part in political affairs, preferring to give his time and attention to his business interests. His fine farm embraces one hundred and eighty-three acres of arable land, the greater part of which is under a high state of cultivation.

The improvements, which are many, are both useful and ornamental, and the neat appearance of the place indicates his thrift and enterprise. The farm is well stocked and Mr. McCune also has an apiary of one hundred and twenty active colonies of bees. For the past few years he has engaged in this line of business and has met with good success.


Biographical Publishing Company, Portrait and biographical record of Lee County, Illinois, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies of all the governors of the state, and of the presidents of the United States, Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1892.

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