Thomas H. Rutherford, the present supervisor of Newman township, and one of the acknowledged leaders in farming as well as in political affairs of Douglas county, was born at Oakland, Coles county, Illinois, January 16, 1853. He is a son of Dr. Hiram Rutherford, settling there in the year 1840, one of the pioneers, and at the time of his death he was one of the oldest physicians in eastern Illinois, and one of the largest land owners as well. He has written much of the early settlers, especially of the eccentric ones of this region.

He has a remarkable memory, and probably knew more of the early history of Douglas and Coles counties than any other man within their bounds.

He was born in Cumberland Valley, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, December 27, 1815. (For further facts pertaining to ancestry, see work of Dr. Eagle, state librarian of Pennsylvania, on early families of the Cumberland Valley.) Dr. Hiram Rutherford, after attending Jefferson University, commenced the practice of medicine at the age of twenty-five years, at Millersburg. Pennsylvania.

Thomas H. Rutherford received his education in the schools of Oakland, and on October 15, 1874, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah R. Zimmerman, a daughter of John B. Zimmerman, who settled in Oakland township in 1837. To them have been born four children: Cyrus W., Bessie (deceased), Hiram B., and Katie. Mr. Rutherford resides on his beautiful farm of two hundred and forty acres, just north of Newman, and is one of the most influential leaders of the Republican party in the county. He has been school treasurer of township No. 16, range 11, since the spring of 1876. In 1885 he was elected commissioner of highways and held that office until December, 1890, when he resigned to be appointed supervisor to fill the vacancy of L. E. Root, who was elected county treasurer. He was re-elected supervisor in 1892, also in 1894, and was elected chairman of the board in 1893 and 1894. He is now a member of the committee on finance, refunding of tax and public buildings and grounds. Socially he belongs to the Newman Blue Lodge and is past high priest of the Royal Arch Masons, Newman Chapter, No. 172, and is also a member of Melita Commandery, No. 37, Knights Templar; is a Knight of Pythias and a member of the Modern Woodmen.

Mr. Rutherford is a man of action and business capacity, and whatever cause he espouses he generally carries through successfully, with a vim and earnestness which are in a high degree characteristic qualities of his makeup.

Extracted 25 May 2019 by Norma Hass from the Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois, published in 1900, pages 187-188.

Templates in Time