The son of William and Agnes ( Taylor ) Likely, was born January 29, 1823, in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania . The family on both the father and mothers side are of Irish origin. His father came from Ireland in 1791 and located in the Tuscarora valley. He had six sons and five daughters. Of these Thomas is the youngest but one. He was raised a farmer, assisting his father perform his labors.
He was married September 26, 1844, to Miss Diana A. Doyle, also a native of Huntingdon county. The fruits of this union are ten children, whose names in the order of their ages, are as follows: Ann E. (deceased), Agnes J. (now the wife of E. L. Simpson, of Ringgold county, Iowa), Martha B. (wife of J. C. F^ter, of the same county), William D. (deceased in infancy), Henry T. (deceased), Thomas D. (now residing in Buena Vista county, Iowa), Lyman L., Samuel R. (also of Buena Vista county, Iowa), William M., and Mary J. For about three years he was engaged in landing general merchandise in Trough creek valley. Huntingdon county. In the spring of 1850 he came to Pike county, Illinois, and remained until fall, after winch he went to La Salle by boat; after arriving here he set out on foot to find a suitable place to locate. He traveled in this manner over Lee, Henry, Whiteside, Ogle, Bureau and La Salle counties, and failing to find a place to suit his taste, he came to old Mercer and bought land in the N. E. 1/4 Sec. 32, in Suez township. In 1858 he was elected justice of the peace. At the beginning of the war he received authority from Adjutant-General Fuller to organize a company, which he did in seven days, and was chosen captain.
The company was afterward attached to the 102d 111. Inf., and known as company E. He remained with that regiment until April, 1863, when he resigned on account of disabilities, and was succeeded bv D. W. Seclwiek. In the winter of 1863 he was elected major of the regiment by'vote of the regimental officers. In 1873 he was elected county judge, in which capacity he served four years.
History of Mercer and Henderson County
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