Thomas H. Leathers, who for a number of years has stood second to none among the competent dental surgeons of Champaign County is an instance of a self-made man who came almost to the age of manhood without schooling or education and by sheer force of will and ambition qualified for a profession requiring a high degree of skill and intelligence.
Doctor Leathers was born in Glensboro, Kentucky, June 30, 1870, son of William and Mary (Royalty) Leathers. His parents were both born in Kentucky, were thrifty farming people but of modest means. The mother died at the age of thirty-one and the father is now living in Montana. There were only two children, Doctor Thomas being the older, while his brother, Alfred, is manager of the Standard Oil plant at Nashville, Tennessee.
The childhood of Thomas H. Leathers was spent on a Kentucky farm, also in the logging camps, and when he was seventeen years of age he began his education. He determined to get an education and he worked constantly to pay his tuition and his support while in school. He first attended school at Palmyra, Illinois, and subsequently completed a four years course in the Danville Normal in Indiana. When he had made up for early deficiencies in the way of a literary training, he entered the Louisville College of Dentistry at Louisville, Kentucky, and in 1898 passed the State Board after two years of work and was graduated in 1899. For three years Doctor Leathers kept his main office at the corner of Fourth and Jefferson streets in Louisville, but practiced throughout the contiguous country district. In 1902 he came to Champaign, and his reputation as a dentist has been steadily growing throughout the past fifteen years. Doctor Leathers now maintains one office and besides his individual skill and attainments he has surrounded himself with every modern equipment and appliance by which the skill of the dentist is immeasurably enhanced.
Doctor Leathers is a man of thorough education and culture and besides extensive travel in this country has been abroad in Europe. In politics he is independent, is a member of the Masonic Order and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was married August 28, 1900, to Minnie M. Crawford, a native of Champaign County.