Thomas Kewley, who is extensively and successfully identified with the agricultural interests of Ford county, being the owner of three hundred and eighty-two acres of fine farming land in Mona township, was born on the Isle of Man on the 12th of August, 1849, his parents being Thomas and Katherine (McQuade) Kewley. The father emigrated to America in 1854, locating in New York, and three years later his wife and family joined him there. They remained in the Empire state until 1861, which year witnessed their arrival in Henry county, Illinois, where the father operated a tract of rented land for ten years. On the expiration of that period they came to Mona township, Ford county, purchasing land on section 16. Here the parents remained until called to their final rest, the mother passing away in 1890, while Mr. Kewley survived until the 23d of August, 1902. They were among the early pioneer settlers of this portion of the state, establishing a home on the frontier and aiding in the cultivation and development of hitherto wild land. They had but two children, our subject being now the only survivor of the family.
Thomas Kewley was but eight years of age when he accompanied his mother on her emigration to America, and remained under the parental roof until he had attained his majority, assisting his father in the labors of the home farm during the summer months and attending school in the winter seasons. On reaching man's estate he started out in business life on his own account by renting a tract of land, which he operated successfully and energetically for sixteen years. With the capital he had acquired during this period he then purchased eighty acres on section 18, Mona township, where he has since made his home. As the years have passed he has made many substantial improvements on the place and, owing to the prosperity which has attended his farming interests, has been enabled to purchase more land from time to time until he now owns three hundred and eighty-two acres in Mona township, while he also has three hundred and twenty acres in South Dakota. His landed holdings are thus quite extensive and he is widely recognized as one of the prosperous and influential agriculturists of the county.
In 1874 Mr. Kewley was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Tredenick, who was born in Grundy county, Illinois, in 1857. Her parents, who were natives of England, went to Canada in 1854, later establishing their home in Grundy county, Illinois, where the father followed farming for a few years. They then came to Ford county, where both the father and mother passed away. They were the parents of four children, namely: John, deceased; Mrs. Kewley; Charles, who resides in Cullom, Illinois; and William, deceased. Unto our subject and his wife have been born six children, as follows: Minnie L., who has passed away; Charles E., at home; Jennie A., who became the wife of Charles Thorn and makes her home in Cullom; Katie M., the wife of A. D. Layman, a farmer of Livingston county; and Frank H. and Bernie N., both at home.
In his political views Mr. Kewley is a republican and is quite prominent in the local ranks of his party. He is now serving as school trustee and also as supervisor of Mona township, having held the latter office for six years. He was likewise acted as school director for fifteen years, the cause of education ever finding in him a warm and helpful friend. Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 680, and Camp No. 1886, of the Woodmen, both of Cullom, while both he and his wife are members of Rebekah lodge, No. 656, at Cullom. Their religious faith is indicated by their membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and they are widely and favorably known for their many excellent traits of character and upright lives. For twenty-two years Mr. Kewley has been an important factor in the agricultural development of Ford county and his prosperity is well deserved, as in him are embraced the characteristics of an unbending integrity, unabating energy and industry that never flags. He is public-spirited, giving his cooperation to every movement which tends to promote the moral, intellectual and material welfare of the community.

Extracted 19 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 1, pages 354-358.

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