Biography - THOMAS SULLIVAN
Thomas Sullivan, of Allen township, LaSalle county, is one of the substantial and influential farmers of northern Illinois and represents that type of citizenship of whom any community might well be proud. He has amassed a considerable property by hard work and good judgment displayed in looking after his business, and his achievements in this regard cannot but be a source of gratification to him and his family. Starting in life a poor boy, with no one to help him to prosperity, he has shown what an American lad can accomplish when possessed of ambition, industry, perseverance and frugal habits. His example will act as an incentive to the youth of this age, by firing their ambitions, and his life is well-worthy their emulation. He was born in Norway, on May 2, 1835. The death of his father left his mother and three small children without means. She was a woman not easily daunted, and at once set to work to earn a living for herself and little ones. She was not afraid of hard work and the endurance she displayed in caring for her family was one of the characteristics which made her successful in her efforts. She was called to the higher life in 1846, leaving one daughter, Julia, and two sons, Thomas and Avian, of Norway township, to bless her memory.
Thomas Sullivan was reared to manhood by Samuel Pierson, of this county. He first labored three years, receiving no wages, and when he reached an age when he was able to engage his services for wages he worked for Ole Anderson, the first year receiving a pair of calves and the second year four dollars per month. He was frugal in his habits, and soon was able to purchase one hundred and sixty acres of land, paying therefor six dollars per acre. He continued to save his earnings and add to his original purchase until he had secured six hundred and forty acres of land in this township. This is well improved and cultivated, and is as valuable as any land in the state. It is provided with good groves, which furnish the necessary shade for the stock, while the large, commodious barns and a modern residence, which was constructed at a cost of five thousand dollars, make his land one of the most attractive in this section.
Mr. Sullivan and Miss Margaret Ann Thompson were joined hand and heart and have traveled the path of life together for many years. Ten children have blessed their union - six daughters and four sons - namely: Isabella Curren, of Aurora, Illinois; Mary Ann Nelson, a resident of Minnesota; Sarah; Martin; John Allen, who resides in Meeker county, Minnesota, on a farm of three hundred acres, which is the property of his father; Nellie, who lives at home; Ila Anderson, Minnesota; Lydia, Frank and Marshall, all at home. Mr. Sullivan and his family are attendants at the Methodist Episcopal church, of which they are members, and where they are earnest workers. He is a Republican in politics and represents that party as assessor of Allen township. He also renders effective service as a member of the school board and is one of the most honorable and esteemed men of the county.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 172-173.