Kansas History and Heritage Project-Anderson County Biographies

Anderson County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Record of Southeastern Kansas"
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1894

THOMAS P. GOWDY, an honored veteran of the late war, is classed among the intelligent and enterprising farmers of Jackson Township, Anderson County, who have contributed so largely to raise it to its present high position as a great agricultural centre. His farm is one of the finest in the place, and here he has a comfortable home.

Mr. Gowdy was born in Clarke County, Ohio, December 21, 1834, to John and Ann (Steele) Gowdy, natives of Kentucky, who married and settled in Clarke County, Ohio, where they remained some time and then removed to Warren County, Ill., in 1851. The former died in 1864, and the latter in 1883. They had ten children: James S., William C., Nancy C., Isabella, John, Joseph, Robert, Thomas P., David and Sarah J.

Our subject spent the early years of his life in his native county, going to Warren County, Ill., with his parents in 1851, and continuing with them until the war broke out. Being of a patriotic nature, young Gowdy enlisted in the service of his country in July, 1862. He enrolled with Company C, Eighty-third Illinois Infantry, and remained on the field until the close of the struggle. In the battle of Ft. Donelson, in 1863, he fought bravely, and when peace was declared, returned home to Warren County, where he resumed his work on his father's farm.

In 1865, Mr. Gowdy was married to Miss Nancy J. Caldwell, daughter of John and Mary A. (Nichol) Caldwell, whose biographies may be found in the sketch of Joseph Caldwell. Mrs. Gowdy was born in Greene County, Ohio, September 24, 1841. She was twelve years old when she went with her parents to Warren County, Ill., where she grew to womanhood and married our subject. After their union, Mr. and Mrs. Gowdy settled in Hale Township, the same county, and there lived until the fall of 1869, when they came to Anderson County, and located in this township, on the land which he had previously bought. In these years our subject has worked industriously, improving his land, and from time to time, as he was able, erecting the necessary outbuildings with which to carry on farming successfully. He is now regarded as one of the most sagacious and prominent farmers and stock-raisers in this part of the state, and is also a marked figure in its political and social life. His farm comprises two hundred and thirty-three acres of fertile soil, which yields an abundant harvest of the various cereals each season. Mr. Gowdy has never been an office-seeker, but has been called to fill some important township offices, having served as Justice of the Peace for two terms, besides filling other equally responsible positions. He is a stanch Republican and takes an active interest in the political issues of the day.

Mr. and Mrs. Gowdy are deeply interested in religion, and are valued and consistent members of the United Presbyterian Church. To this estimable couple were born three children: Brainard W., Kiley Warren and Harry S. A law-abiding citizen, possessed of good social qualities and excellent character, our subject is held in good repute by neighbors and friends.

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