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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Thomas Ennis

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


THOMAS ENNIS - Wm. A. ENNIS, the father of the present sketch, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1807. He was the son of Thomas ENNIS, who was born in Dublin, Ireland. The mother of Thomas Ennis, the subject of this sketch, was born in Philadelphia, in 1805, and was married to William A. Ennis, in May, 1826. She was a descendant of the early pilgrims. There were born to them, seven boys and one girl, of which Thomas is the only one living. He was born on the 25th of April, 1827. Sayre ENNIS, his brother, enlisted in the 2d Illinois cavalry during the late rebellion. He was taken sick at New Orleans, and taken on the transport, North America, and in the passage through the Gulf, he died, and was buried at sea. The ill-fated vessel was caught in a storm soon after, and all on board---no less than 400 invalid soldiers---except the officers of the vessel and a lady, were carried to a watery grave. This occurred in 1864.

Thomas Ennis immigrated to the west and purchased North 1/2 of Southeast 1/4 Sec. 4, Town 18, Range 9. He went back to Philadelphia and returned the following year, and improved his land until November, 1858, when he returned to Philadelphia, and remained there until September, 1861, when he returned and farmed until 1872, when he sold out and removed to the village of Philo, and engaged in mercantile pursuits, and continued in business up to the present time. The parents of Thomas Ennis have been active members of the M. E. church, for a long number of years. It was the religion of their youth, and in their old age they cling to it. Mr. Ennis, the younger, is not attached to any Christian organization, but prefers to work by the golden mean of doing to others, as he would have others do unto him, and believes in this, is contained the essence of true religion.

In politics, he is a Republican, but he cut his party vote for Cass and Butler, in 1848, and voted with the Democratic party until 1862, when he changed and voted the Republican ticket, and has continued to vote that ticket ever since.

Mr. Ennis, in his youth, had the advantages of such education as the country schools of that day afforded, which at best, was meager, but yet, with his strong mind and great love for reading, he keeps himself thoroughly posted on the events of the day, and is better informed, and speaks more intelligently upon questions of a public nature, than those of far greater pretensions. In the community in which he lives, none are more outspoken in their views than Mr. Ennis, nor are there any more honest. He bears the reputation of an honest man, and is universally respected by his friends and neighbors.

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