The following data is extracted from Illustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties, Oregon.
THOMAS TANNER. - A representative and enterprising agriculturist of Union county, the subject of this sketch stands high in the estimation of his fellows and has won, by his straightforwardness and upright life the confidence and esteem of all, while in his business career he has displayed energy and wisdom and a staunchness of purpose and thoroughness of execution that are praiseworthy and have brought their sure rewards in a competence of this world's goods.
Like so many of our thrifty and substantial citizens, Mr. Tanner was a native of England, being born on August 9, 1831, in Newbury, Berkshire county to Thomas and Mary (Cruse) Tanner. The father was a shoemaker and the son learned the same trade at which he wrought until they came to this country in 1850, being a family of seven children and our subject the oldest of the number. They settled at St. Louis, Missouri, and there the father and son wrought at their trade, the latter also spending some time in service in a dairy, until 1853 the year in which the mother was called to the world beyond. Then they gathered all together and came to Utah, settling in Salt Lake City and then engaged in farming in Tooele county until 1878, when the subject of this sketch came to this county. He sought out a homestead and found that which suited him at the mouth of Anthony creek, eight miles west from North Powder, where he settled at once. He commenced the task of building a home and turning the wild soil of the face of nature into fertile fields, whence he should reap the bountiful harvests that were called for by his industry and skill. He has added to the original piece of land until it is now two hundred and twenty acres, one hundred acres being well improved. He has a comfortable dwelling and a fine orchard and other improvements. He raises some stock but gives most of his attention to handling the fruits of the soil.
The marriage of Mr. Tanner and Miss Susana Elsie was celebrated on October 23, 1853, and they have been blessed with the following issue: Susana E., wife of Lorenzo Kelsey, near North Powder, but since deceased; Mary Ann, wife of P.L. Smith, of North Powder; Thomas, deceased; Joseph E., deceased; William E., married to Lillie Speirs and living in Idaho; Sarah E., deceased; George E.; Emma J., married to John McPhee, near North Powder. On September 18, 1882, Mrs. Tanner was called from the scenes and duties of life to the realities of another world.
Mr. Tanner contracted a second marriage, the lady of his choice being Mrs. Catherine E. Buckley, and the nuptials occurred on November 1, 1883. Mr. Tanner is beginning the golden years of his life and stands secure in the esteem and respect of the entire community and his life of faithfulness is commendable and praiseworthy.
Source: Illustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties, Oregon