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Biography of Thomas McQuaid

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Thomas McQuaid. Three generations of the McQuaid family have devoted their industry and their active years to the business of farming and the affairs of their community in Champaign County. The founder of the family here was Thomas McQuaid, Sr., now deceased, while Thomas, Jr., is owner of the old homestead in Compromise Township, but its chief responsibilities are now in the hands of his son John McQuaid.

Thomas McQuaid was born at Rantoul, a son of Thomas and Catherine (Moiland) McQuaid. He was one of two children, his sister being Ellen. Thomas McQuaid, Jr., was educated in the Rantoul High School, and in 1884 married Anastatia Gordon. She was born at Aurora in Kane County, Illinois, a daughter of John and Mary Gordon.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. McQuaid located on the old McQuaid homestead and took the active management of the farm. His parents lived with them until they passed away. Thomas McQuaid, Sr., was a native of Ireland and came to America in 1848. He married in Michigan and on coming to Illinois bought 240 acres in Champaign County. He had all the characteristics of those worthy people who come from the land of the Shamrock, and he earned his prosperity and left in his farm a splendid monument to his industry. It was Thomas McQuaid, Sr., and wife who set out the many trees which now make a complete grove around the homestead, and it is one of the finest tree plantations in the county.

After the death of his parents Thomas McQuaid, Jr., continued to live on the farm, and the well kept fields show the character of his work as a husbandman.

Mr. and Mrs. McQuaid had three children: Catherine Agnes, Emily and John J. Death came into the home and removed both of the daughters, so that the only surviving child is John McQuaid.

Mr. John McQuaid, one of the most progressive young farmers of Champaign County, began his education at Penfield, and in 1905 his parents moved to Champaign in order that he might have the very best training for the serious duties of life. In 1912 he graduated A. B. from the University of Illinois, and on leaving college he entered the service of the First National Bank of Champaign. He remained there three years and gained an experience invaluable to him for his future years. In 1916 he assumed active management of his father’s farm, and both of them now spend their working hours on the farm but retain their home in Champaign. Mr. Thomas McQuaid is an active Democrat, and he and his family are members of the Catholic Church at Champaign. While they enjoy the comforts of a good town home, the old homestead is endeared to them by many associations and tender remembrances. Every visitor to this choice spot of Champaign County is attracted by the stately old trees, the broad, fertile fields, and the many evidences of successful cultivation and management. The farm consists of 560 acres, and in quality of soil it is not surpassed by any other similar tract of land in the state. The companionship of Mr. and Mrs. McQuaid has been one of rare felicity and a happy combination of talents and qualities that have made their years most happy and productive. Mr. John McQuaid, the son, though the only child of well-to-do parents, was not content merely to use the means which were so liberally supplied him. He made a splendid record as a student in the University of Illinois and has shown capability and wisdom in every business undertaking. He is a young man of exemplary and temperate habits, and his life has already justified the sanguine expectations of his family and friends.

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