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Biography of Thomas Stoddert

Thomas Stoddert, merchant, farmer and stock-dealer, Charleston; among the early settlers of Coles Co. was the Stoddert family, consisting of the mother, Mrs. Mary Stoddert, and nine children, who came from Grayson Co., Ky., at different times from 1836 to 1838; they are descended from the old Massachusetts family of Stodderts, their grandfather, Benjamin Stoddert, being a Major in the Revolutionary war, and was wounded at the battle of Brandywine; he was afterward the second Secretary of the United States Navy; Gen. Ewell, of the Confederate army in the war of the rebellion, was a cousin; their father, Benjamin Stoddert, removed to Kentucky about 1810, and died about 1833; of the nine children who came to Coles Co., as above stated, Richard and Thomas reside in Charleston; Benjamin, William and Campbell are deceased; Sarah is living in Covington, Ind.; Harriet lives in Charleston, the wife of C. R. Briggs; Elizabeth is the wife of Dr. A. M. Henry, of Mattoon, Susan (Mrs. Glover) resides in Ottawa, Kan., and the youngest, Artimisia, died in Charleston; their mother died in Charleston some ten years ago; Thomas Stoddert was born in Grayson Co., Ky., Feb. 28, 1815; he was the first of the family to come to Coles Co.; he came in 1836, and engaged in tanning, continuing in that business till 1851; in 1849, he drove an ox-team across the plains to California, returning the following year, and engaging in merchandising; in 1854, be went into stock-raising and farming, which he continued till 1875; he then resumed mercantile business, the firm being T. Stoddert & Son; he is now engaged in farming and stock business, in connection with his merchandising, owning a farm of 363 acres adjoining the city; he also owns considerable town property; in 1871, he, with John B. Hill and I. H. Johnson, built the Charleston Pork-Packing Houses. Mr. Stoddert was married Dec. 25, 1850, to Miss Melissa Olmstead, of Coles Co., and has three children living – William (now in business with his father), Mary and Thomas.

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