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Thomas M. Champion

CHAMPION, Thomas M., long and successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits in Emmet Township, McDonough County, Ill., and now on the verge of retirement from active labor, was born in Washington County, Ky., April 4, 1836. He is a son of Edward and Joanna (Mitchell) Champion, who were born in Washington County, Ky. His paternal grandparents, Thomas and Martha (Cannon) Champion, were natives of Virginia. The maternal grandfather, Daniel Mitchell, was born in South Carblina, and his grandmother, Jane (Berry) Mitchell, was a native of Kentucky. Thomas M. Champion is the eldest of six children, and was born on the home farm, where he lived with his parents until he was twenty-one years old, attending the common school in his boyhood. On October 16, 1856, he came to Emmet Township, and worked for six years, with his uncles, Mankin and Jacob Champion. His uncle Mankin died, and when the estate was settled the subject of this sketch bought the interests of some of the heirs, amounting to 160 acres, which constitute a part of his present farm. It was mostly timber land and used for pasture. Mr. Champion has cleared and now cultivates about thirty acres of this tract. He has added to the original place until he now owns 460 acres, nearly all of which is tillable land. He keeps fifty head of cattle, and also raises horses and hogs, but is making arrangements to sell out and retire from active work. He has been a very careful and diligent farmer and has met with merited success.

On January 13, 1874, Mr. Champion was married to Sadie Stickle, who was born in Emmet Township in 1852 and pursued a course of study in the University at Normal, Ill. Three children have blessed this union, namely: George E., Eleanor, a music teacher, of Blandinsville, Ill., and Mattie Thomas (Mrs. Charles Griffith). Mrs. Champion left school in 1874 but she had taught five years previously, in Hire, Chalmers and Emmet Townships. Her parents, George and Julia (George) Stickle, were born in Pennsylvania. Her grandparents, Abram and Susanna (Bentley) Stickle, and William and Martha (Burnett) George, were also born in that State. Her great-grandmother, Holipeter, was a native of Germany. Politically, Mr. Champion is an adherent of the Republican party, and served one term as Collector in Emmet Township.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907.

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