Thomas Hoadley

Stark County, Illinois and its People:  A Record of Settlement,
Organization, Progress and Achievement, (1916)
Pages: 46-48
Submitted by Danni Hopkins

     Among Stark county’s well known business men is Thomas Hoadley, who is engaged in the grain and lumber trade at La Fayette. He has been connected with this line of business activity for a longer period than any other grain merchant of Stark county, for he began dealing in grain thirty-seven years ago and for twenty-seven years has been thus engaged in the county in which he now makes his home. He is honored and respected by all, not alone by reason of the success he has achieved but also owing to the straight-forward business policy which he has ever followed, his course measuring up to the highest commercial standards.
     Mr. Hoadley is a native of New York, his birth having occurred at Tuckahoe, Westchester county, December 27, 1854. His father, Richard Hoadley, was a native of the same county and was a son of Thomas Hoadley, a native of England, who was there reared and learned the blacksmith’s trade. After working at the forge for a few years in England he determined to try his fortune in the new world and crossed the Atlantic to the United States, settling at White Plains, New York. There he largely devoted his time and energies to the business of tool making. His son, Richard Hoadley, was reared in the Empire state, where he learned the trades of blacksmithing and tool making, devoting a number of years to that kind of work. Before leaving New York he was married to Miss Hannah Mort, a native of New York and of English lineage. They afterward removed westward to Ohio and for a year Mr. Hoadley worked at his trade in Cleveland, after which he came to Illinois, settling at Long Ridge, Stark county, about 1850. There he built a shop and carried on business. He was a natural mechanic, possessing marked ingenuity along mechanical lines, and for some year he successfully continued in business at Long Ridge, but later disposed of his interests there and removed to Sparland, where he again engaged in business in the line of his trade. He was afterward employed in a shop in Toulon and then opened an establishment for the manufacture of carriages and buggies, in addition to which he maintained a blacksmith shop. He did very fine work as a carriage and buggy builder and his exhibits at state fairs won various premiums. He never lowered the standard of workmanship, which was of superior quality and finish. He carried on business at Toulon for a number of years and became widely known, the products of his factory finding favor among those who cared for the best that is to be obtained. While living in Sparland he lost his first wife and later he married again. He is now living retired in Toulon, where he has a circle of friends almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintance.
     Thomas Hoadley was reared in Toulon and at the usual age became a public school pupil. When his textbooks were put aside he obtained a clerkship in a store at Duncan and later had charge of the business, which was owned by A. J. Scott, whom he represented as manager for some time. Subsequently, however, he turned his attention to the grain trade, taking charge of an elevator. He was next sent to Nebraska and was connected with Mr. Brockway at Burchard, Pawnee county, where for more than a year be bought and shipped grain. He afterward returned to Illinois and took charge of an elevator in Peoria county, where he continued for two years. He then again went to Nebraska and represented a Chicago company in the grain trade at Ord.
     It was while he was residing in Castleton, Illinois, that Mr. Hoadley was married, on the 22d of June, 1898, to Miss Agnes B. Ruhl, a native of Illinois, who was born at Topeka. Her father, Dr. A. N. Ruhl, was a native of Ohio and was married in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Miss Elizabeth Dickey. He has engaged in the drug business at various places, but is now devoting his attention alone to the practice of medicine in Oklahoma. He served his country as a soldier of the Civil war and has always been loyal in his citizenship.
     Following his marriage, Mr. Hoadley engaged in the grain business at Castleton for ten years, and in 1903 came to La Fayette, where he purchased an elevator and grain business and also a residence. He has likewise invested in good land in Kansas, where he owns an improved farm. His business affairs are capably managed and in their control he has displayed sound judgment and keen discrimination. He has ever based his advancement upon industry, and his life record indicates what may be accomplished through resolute and determined purpose.
     To Mr. and Mrs. Hoadley have been born two daughters, Grace and Dorothy, who are now students in the La Fayette school. The family home is an attractive one and its warm-hearted hospitality is greatly enjoyed by their many friends. Mrs. Hoadley is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and she and the elder daughter are active workers and teachers in the Sunday school. Mr. Hoadley supports the republican party but has never sought nor desired office. He is loyal in matters of citizenship, however, and works for those interests which he believes will be of value and benefit to the community.

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Updated April 12, 2007