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CLOVER, Thomas Francis

Thomas Francis CLOVER. This able lawyer of Henry, Illinois, now serving as state’s attorney, was born on the Delaware Indian reservation in the Territory of Kansas, January 23, 1859. His father, G. CLOVER, is a native of Indiana, of German descent. During the revolutionary war two brothers came over with the Hessian army, and taking a fancy to the country and its brave men who fought so courageously for their independence, concluded to remain here. One of the brothers settled in New York and his descendants yet remain there in large numbers. The other settled in Pennsylvania. From the Pennsylvania brother our subject traces his descent.

In early childhood G. CLOVER was taken by his parents to Grundy county, Illinois, and there grew to manhood. Before attaining his majority, however, he went to Hardin county, Iowa, where he formed the acquaintance and wed Miss Susan D. MADDOX, who was also born in Indiana, but grew to womanhood in Iowa. While both were natives of the same state and both lived for a time in Illinois, it was not until removal to Iowa that they became acquainted. By this union were two sons, Edward L, an attorney and democratic politician of Morris, Illinois, and our subject.

Soon after their marriage the young couple moved to Kansas and settled on the Indian reservation, and there began to improve a farm. They were not, however, permitted to occupy it and were forced to abandon their claim, not having sufficient means to pay the price demanded. While residing here with the intention of making it their permanent home our subject was born.

From Kansas the family returned to Iowa. The war for the union was now in progress, and the husband and father determined to enlist. Bidding his lived ones good-bye, as a private in the Sixteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, he marched to the front, after spending a few days in camp at Marshalltown. The Sixteenth Iowa is noted as being one of the fighting regiments from that state. In almost all the great battles of the southwest it was actively engaged, including Shiloh, Iuka, first and second battles of Corinth and Holly Springs. It was with Sherman on his march to the sea. In all this service Mr. CLOVER did his duty faithfully and well, and while meeting many hairbreadth escapes, came off without a serious wound.

While at Goldsboro, North Carolina, the time of the regiment expired, and there Mr. CLOVER received his discharge. Taking a vessel he went to New York and there by rail hurried to his home. Before arriving there he was offered a colonelcy and $1,000 in cash if he would again enter the service. While only a private he was a thorough drill master and his fact was appreciated by those in authority. But three years’ active service was enough and he put aside the offer that he might again enjoy the society of wife and children.

While he was in the service his wife returend with the children to Grundy county, Illinois, and thither he hastened. On a farm near Gardner they resided for several years, until on account of the failing health of the father, they removed to Labette county, Kansas, and there remained three yeas, and again returned to the old home in Grundy county, Illinois, where they still reside, Mr. CLOVER being postmaster at Gardner.

The boyhood and youth of our subject were passed in Grundy county, where he was engaged in farm work during the summer months, while through the winter season he attended the district school, completing his course at the Morris high school, of which he is a graduate. At the age of eighteen years he engaged in teaching for one term in Kansas, where his father was then living. With the design of making the law profession his life work, at Oswego he began reading law in the office of Webb & Glass, prominent attorneys of that city, and was admitted to the Kansas bar in 1880 before he had attained his majority.

Returning to Illinois, Mr. CLOVER was examined before the supreme court of this state, and was admitted to practice here. Locating at Braidwood, he there followed his chosen profession until coming to Henry in 1889. He has here built up a large and paying practice, ranks high among his professional brethren, and in 1892 was elected state’s attorney for four years, being the regular democratic nominee. He takes an active part in political affairs, and at the Peoria convention in 1894 placed in nomination the democratic candidate for congress, Hon. George O. BARNES, of Lacon. He also goes as a delegate to state conventions, and takes a prominent part in all campaigns, being particularly active in committee work.

On the 27th of April, 1893, Mr. CLOVER was united in marriage with Miss Losty DELZER, who was born in Henry and was there reared and educated. She takes quite an active part in the Woman’s club, and is a devout member of the German Catholic church. Socially, Mr. CLOVER is a charter member of Henry lodge, No. 489, Knights of Pythias.

Our subject is a man who thoroughly loves his profession, and is eminently gifted with the capabilities of mind which are indispensable at the bar. He was counsel in the Seeley case in which Mrs. Seeley applied for separate maintenance, and argued before the appellate and supreme courts that eth plaintiff would not have to prove the same degree of cruelty for separate maintenance as for divorce. The supreme court supported this view, and the fact has become precedent in such matters. He has also been engaged on many other important cases in which he has come off victorious. In preparing a case for trial every fact, however insignificant, is carefully studied and its possible relevancy to the merits of the case weighed and considered. He is thoroughly familiar with authority and never at a loss for a precedent. He has a large circle of personal friends, the regard of the entire profession and has won the respect of all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact.

Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.


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