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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Thomas O. Darrah

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


THOMAS O. DARRAH,a successful farmer of Pesotum Township, was born in Delaware County, Ohio, March 12, 1839. His parents were John and Elizabeth (ORR) DARRAH. The father, born in Harrison County, Ohio, in 1810, was the son of James and Nancy (KENT) DARRAH, natives of Virginia. His maternal ancestors were from Ireland and Scotland, respectively, and emigrated to this country, settling in Pennsylvania at an early day, where his mother was born in 1799 in Huntington County. Our subject's parents removed from Ohio to Illinois when he was but an infant, settling in Pike County, where they remained until the spring of 1865, then removed to Champaign County, this State, where the father bought 320 acres of land then known as the Howlet farm, and where our subject remained until his marriage, when his father gave him a deed to eighty acres of the home farm. John Darrah died in 1886; the mother of our subject preceded her husband to the silent land in 1868.

The marriage of Thomas O. Darrah and Miss Arclissa NELSON occurred Dec. 1, 1870. They are now the parents of two children-Mertie M. and Sylvia M., both at home. The parents of Mrs. Darrah were Benham C. and Lydia NELSON, who were natives respectively of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and of German origin. Mr. Darrah's parents had a family of ten children, he being the eighth in order of birth. Of these three are now deceased.

Mr. Darrah has been uniformly prosperous, and added to his first purchase until he now has 185 acres all under a good state of cultivation, and notwithstanding he has traded to a considerable extent, he has always retained his first homestead, the gift of his father. He has contributed his share in building up his community, and has filled the office of Township Supervisor for four years, Commissioner of Highways five years, and School Trustee eight. In politics he is a Democrat, and upholds the principles of that party.

Mr. and Mrs. Darrah have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the past six years, and are carrying out the principles of that faith in word and deed. They are worthy members of society and are highly respected by their friends and associates.

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