Biography of Thomas Jefferson Booth
Thomas Jefferson Booth, of Independence, is a native of Illinois, in Adams County, of which state he was born January 4, 1856. He was but eight years of age when his parents removed to Iowa and settled in Des Moines County, where they resided until 1869, in which year they settled in Montgomery County, Kansas, where the father took up a claim and resided until his death in 1878. Thomas J. Booth is a son of Milton and Agatha (Adams) Booth. His father was born in Virginia in 1808, and was a son of John Booth, an Englishman, who came to the United States as one of three brothers, he settling in Virginia. Agatha (Adams) Booth was born in Kentucky and was of German lineage. She bore her husband seven children, four of whom are deceased. All of them grew to womanhood and manhood. She died while the family was living in Iowa, and was but forty years of age at the time of her death. Thomas J. Booth was thirteen years of age when his father came to Montgomery County, Kansas, in 1869, and since then he has continued to reside in this county. He was reared on his father’s farms in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas. He obtained a fair common school education in the public schools of Iowa and Kansas, and also taught several terms in the district or country schools. He aided his father on the farm, breaking prairie sod, herding cattle and doing other work common to the farm life of a youth. Mr. Booth married at the age of twenty-three, and he began the battle of life for himself as a farmer in Montgomery County. He continued strictly at farming until 1884, in which year he engaged in buying, feeding and shipping cattle. For ten consecutive years he was successfully engaged in the business. In 1894 Mr. Booth removed from the farm into the City of Independence, where he has since resided. In that year he became the organizer of the Union Implement & Hardware Company, of Independence, in which business concern he has continued to hold considerable stock, and for ten years he was secretary, treasurer and manager of the company. In 1904 Mr. Booth engaged in the oil business as a producer, and is still interested rather extensively in the oil industry. In 1916 he became president of the First National Bank of Independence. In this form of business he has met with that gratifying success that has attended all of his business undertakings. He is the owner of several business blocks and other real estate in Independence, of which city he has truly been a builder. Among the buildings he has erected in Independence is the Hotel Booth of which he is owner and proprietor. This he erected in 1911. The building is 91 by 111 feet, and five stories above the basement. It is said to be the only strictly fireproof hotel in Kansas, is modern throughout and is thoroughly sanitary in equipment.
Mr. Booth is independent in politics, but he has never sought political honors, preferring to give his time and attention to business affairs. Fraternally he is a Knight Templar Mason, a Scottish Rite Mason in the thirty-second degree and a member of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Mr. Booth has been twice married. In 1879 he married Amanda Peebler, a daughter of William and Elizabeth Peebler, who came to Montgomery County, Kansas, in 1870 from Iowa, in Jefferson County of which state their daughter was born. Mrs. Booth died in 1900, leaving three children, as follows: Clyde E. Booth, who died in 1903 at the age of nineteen years; Nellie B. became the wife of E. J. Lambert, a well known and successful lawyer and oil producer of Tulsa, Oklahoma, by whom she is the mother of a son and daughter, Thomas Benjamin and Mary Frances Lambert; and Ethel E., who became the wife of R. W. Kellough, one of the most prominent and able lawyers of Tulsa, Oklahoma, by whom she is the mother of two children, namely, Helen Virginia and Thomas Booth Kellough. Mr. Booth is very fond of his grandchildren, taking as much interest in them as if they were his own children. In 1904 Mr. Booth married a second time, Laura Bradley becoming his wife. She is a daughter of Milton and Emma Bradley, and was about eight years of age when her parents came to Independence, where she was reared. Mrs. Booth is refined and cultured, and presides with dignity in their home, which is at the Hotel Booth, where they have very elaborate apartments.
Mr. Booth is unassuming, and is highly esteemed in Independence. In all of his business transactions he has dealt with his fellow man fairly, and for probity of character no man of his resident city is more highly respected than he. He began his business career on limited capital, but success has attended his business endeavors.