THOMAS W. McCOY, who represents one of the oldest families in the State, is a native of Golconda, born here October 4, 1838, and is proprietor of the oldest established business house in the city, founded by his father, J. W. McCoy.
The grandfather of our subject, Ezekiel McCoy, emigrated from Virginia late in the year 1807 to seek a new home in the wilds of the Northwestern Territory, and penetrated as far Westward as that part of the country now included in Hardin County, this State, arriving at his destination in 1808. At that time Illinois had not been set off from the Territory of Indiana, and was practically uninhabited, except by Indians and wild beasts. Ezekiel secured a tract of land in the afore-mentioned county, and there ended his days, leaving behind him a worthy record as a useful pioneer. The maiden name of his wife was Nancy Davis.
The father of our subject passed his boyhood in Hardin County, and in early manhood began to deal in horses and mules, buying his stock in Illinois, and taking it down the river to some of the lower Mississippi River towns, Natchez being his principal market. In 1837 he came to Golconda and opened one of the first stores here and became one of the pioneer merchants of the place. He built up a flourishing business, and aided in laying a solid foundation for the city's prosperity, and his death was a loss to its mercantile interests. His widow, to whom he was married in 1837, is still living in Golconda at an advanced age. Her maiden name was Eliza Richey, and she was born in Tennessee, a daughter of Dr. William K. Richey.
The subject of this life record was educated in the public schools of Golconda, and at the age of sixteen the stalwart, independent youth started out into the world to seek his fortune. He began as a boat-hand on the Ohio River, but he acted in that capacity for only a short time, however, and then went into his father's store as a clerk. Soon after he attained his majority his father gave him an interest in the business, and he has continued with the house since. He has a neat and commodious establishment, in which he carries an extensive stock of general merchandise. He is a well-trained business man, looks after his interests closely, and enjoys an extensive patronage, as he IS so well known in the city and county, and is trusted by the people, who feel sure that he is strictly conscientious and straightforward in his dealings, and that they can rely upon his word. He is warmly interested in all that pertains to his native city, and besides promoting its material welfare, does all he can for its advancement in a higher sense. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and are active in religious matters. Politically, our subject is a Republican.
In 1861 Mr. McCoy's marriage with Miss Lucy A. Robinson was celebrated, and it has brought them much happiness. They have been blessed with five children, of whom these are living: Hattie C, Berkley, Effie R. and Fred. Their first child, Mamie E., died at the age of fifteen years and three months. Mrs. McCoy is of New England birth and origin, born in Middlesex, Vt., and a daughter of Henry and Mary E. (Smith) Robinson.
Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 248
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