Clay County
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Biography - Thomas M. Sailor

THOMAS M. SAILOR, of Sailor Springs Hoosier Township, was born in Clark County, Ohio, November 1, 1825, and is a son of William Sailor (deceased), a native of Virginia. His mother, Hannah (Sewell) Sailor, was born on the farm famous for the site of the hanging of John Brown, near Harper's Ferry, Va. Mr. Sailor's father was a tanner and currier by trade, and he also worked at that business until he was twenty-six years old. He then engaged in the stock trade in Central Ohio, and did much business there for twenty-two years. During six weeks one season he shipped 20,000 head of hogs. Then, in 1866, he engaged very extensively in the lumbering and building business in Michigan and Ohio, which he followed successfully until 1869. He lost all by the great forest fires. He then came to Clay County, and carried on farming a few years with but small returns. But he has spent his time for the most part in developing the merits of the wonderful medical springs situated on Mrs. Sailor's land on Section 25. At first, and for several years, he met with the sternest opposition. The people laughed him to scorn, and some thought he was insane. But among all the jeers and scoffs of his neighbors, he toiled on, as also did his noble wife, faithfully, until the fact had been demonstrated beyond a doubt that these springs are magnetic and wonderful in their healing virtues (see the chapter on Sailor Springs). The springs were opened to the public in 1877, and Mr. Sailor with his family, in 1878, removed from the farm on the prairie to the beautiful site of these springs. On the 3d day of June, 1850, Mr. Sailor married Miss Rebecca J. Wilson, daughter of John Wilson, deceased. She was born, April 23, 1832, in Champaign County, Ohio. The fruits of this union are four children — William W., the enterprising liveryman of Sailor Springs; Maria B., now Mrs. Manliff M. Coggan, residing on the homestead; Sarah J. and Eva D.

Extracted 26 Jan 2020 by Norma Hass from 1884 History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, Part IV, page 189.


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