This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Thomas Harmeson

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

SURNAMES: ALLEN, BIGGS, FARNSWORTH, GORDON, HARMESON, PERKINS, SHREEVES


THOMAS HARMESON. The subject of this biography, a representative farmer of Ogden Township, has a fine estate of 360 acres of land, with a handsome residence and other suitable buildings on section 21, besides seventeen acres of timber. The balance is laid out in pasture and grain fields which, under the careful supervision of the proprietor, who superintends their care and cultivation, present a beautiful picture during the summer season of peaceful country life, where plenty reigns and where thrift and intelligence are the distinctive features.

Mr. Harmeson became a resident of the Prairie State in 1852, locating at once upon the land included in his present homestead. He is a native of Marion County, Ohio, born April 10, 1829, and the son of William and Elizabeth (FARNSWORTH) HARMESON, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Ohio. William Harmeson was born in 1802, and followed farming as an occupation, and during the latter years of his life made his home in Homer Township, this county, where he rested from his earthly labors in 1876. He was Democratic in politics, and religiously a hard-shell Baptist. The mother was born in 1811, and died twenty years before the death of her husband, in 1856. She was a member of the German-Baptist Church, and a lady of strong character, who impressed upon her children the strictest moral principles, and a rigid honesty and integrity, which formed the basis of their character in after life. The household was completed by the birth of twelve children, all, with one exception, living to mature years. They were named respectively, Isaiah, John, Thomas, Robert, William, Nancy, Elizabeth, Sarah J., Esther A., Alvira, Washington M., and one who died in infancy.

The life of young Harmeson began on the farm, and he has continued in the midst of rural scenes since his first introduction to the busy world. He remained under the home roof until after reaching his majority, occupied with his father and brothers in sowing and reaping, and the varied employments incident to life upon the farm. On the 10th of April, 1851, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah PERKINS, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride’s parents, in Madison County, Ind., where Mrs. H. was born Oct. 21, 1832. She was the daughter of George and Agnes (ALLEN) PERKINS, who spent the greater part of their lives in Indiana. The mother died in 1885, in Clark County, Ill., where the father is still living, being seventy-nine years of age, and making his home with his son Henry. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Harmeson, twelve in number, were Melissa, Matilda, Sarah Ann, Jane, John, Burke, Henry, Frank, Lucinda, Lydia, Susan and Adam.

After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Harmeson went to housekeeping on a farm in Indiana, where our subject attended to the outdoor work, and the wife faithfully performed her share inside. In due time there came a third member into the family, who was followed by twelve more, and to whom were given the names of William P., Albert F., George W., John A., Agnes S., Charles C., Robert L., Cynthia A., Celia A., Mary E., Fannie, Noah and Lydia. Agnes S., Charles C. and Mary E. are deceased. The eldest son, William, is married and has three children; his wife was formerly Miss Mary SHREEVES; Albert married Miss Mary E. GORDON, and they became the parents of one child, who died young; George W. married Miss Effie R. BIGGS.

In addition to the ordinary employments of mixed husbandry Mr. Harmeson has of late years given considerable attention to the raising of fine stock. Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party, and in his religious tendencies adheres to the German-Baptist doctrines. Mrs. Harmeson died of quick consumption on the 30th of August, 1886. She was a lady of much personal worth, and had been connected with the German-Baptist Church for a period of sixteen years.

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