THOMAS H. STUBBS, County Superintendent of public instruction for Hardin County, is a son of Thomas S. Stubbs, who was born in England, and came to this county about 1830. He was a machinist and blacksmith by trade, having learned his trade in London, England, and came to this country by steamer, landing in New York. He went first to Evansville and there built the first blacksmith shop of any size or importance in that now large and flourishing city. He lived there until the death of his father, and then removed to Rollo, DeKalb County, Ill., where he continued to work at his trade, and was there married to Elizabeth Clark, a native of Virginia. After remaining there about three years he removed to Oallatia, Saline County, and thence to Princeton, Ky. He afterward removed to Saratoga, Ky., and thence to Eddyville, the same State, where his wife died. At all these places he followed his trade, and after the death of his wife, whom he buried in 1874, he removed to Cave in Rock, Hardin County, and there followed his trade. He was married there to Magdalena Smith, and removed to Elizabethtown, where he again followed his trade until his death. He was thoroughly versed in his work, and was an unusually good mechanic. He had three children by his first marriage, viz: Thomas H.; Alice, wife of G. Jennings, of Tennessee; and George, who died at Cave in Rock. He also had three children by his second marriage.
Thomas H. Stubbs, who was the first child by the first marriage, was born on Christmas Eve, 1862, at Rollo, Ill. He lived at home until he was twelve years old, when his mother died, and he was bound out to William Wallace, of Kentucky, for whom he worked and received private instruction from a tutor in the family. At the age of fifteen he went to work as a porter in the drug store of Dr. Ayres in Elizabethtown, and being a faithful and competent boy, honest and industrious, he was made a clerk at the end of six months. After being there one year he filled all prescriptions, and attended to all the business of the firm. Besides the instruction received as mentioned above, he also attended for a time Princeton College, and being an apt and ready student he acquired under all his disadvantages a greater degree of knowledge than was to have been expected. He afterward went to Rollo and became engaged in the drug store of a half-brother, where he proved himself fully competent and reliable, and worked one year. He then went to Cave in Rock and worked on a farm six months for John Mitchell. He later attended normal drill, managed by Prof. Fowler, whose biographical memoir is elsewhere introduced into this work, and after being engaged in general farm work for six months he was again under the instruction of Prof. Fowler. Being then qualified to teach, he taught his first school at Peters Creek, Hardin County, at $35 per month, remaining in this school four terms, and receiving increased wages, being well liked as a good instructor and a fine disciplinarian. He next taught at Harris Creek three terms, when he was culled to the principalship of the schools at Cave in Rock.
In the meantime Mr. Stubbs had taken much interest in politics, and while teaching in Bassett he took an active part in the Presidential campaign of 1884, making thirty-two speeches during that time. Being a convincing speaker, strong in argument and of pleasing address, he was much sought after, and was one of the most successful of the young orators of the State. In 1886, he was appointed mail agent on the route from Evansville to Paducah, remaining in this position until the close of President Cleveland's administration, when he was of course relieved. He then resumed school teaching, and also at the same time read law with Hon. Lewis F. Plater. He was nominated in 1890 on the Democratic ticket for County Superintendent of public instruction, and was elected, holding the office ever since and being a very efficient officer.
Our subject was married in 1883 to Henrietta Ralph, a native of Illinois, by whom he has three children, viz: George Edward, Arthur and Ethel, all at home. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, while Mrs. Stubbs is inclined to adhere to the tenets and doctrines of the Baptist denomination. He is now studying law with the State's Attorney, R. F. Taylor, with whom he has formed a partnership, and this bids fair to be a very strong legal firm. Mr. Stubbs is very intelligent and gentlemanly, and being possessed in a large measure of the qualifications necessary to constitute a lawyer, it is but just to expect of him a marked career. It may be doubted whether there is any part of the country where more young men start out in life as school teachers than in southern Illinois, make that profession a success, and then transfer their activities to the law, making that also a success, greater if anything than that of an instructor. Mr. Stubbs is one of those numerous cases and was a superior teacher, made himself a success in that field of labor, and to his natural endowments has by industry and application qualified himself for the distinguished career in the law which all his friends confidently anticipate.
Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 391
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