The honorable gentleman whose name appears above is entitled to wear the
badge indicating that he is one of the brave "boys in blue," and while some
casual thinker might not attach much importance to this fact, those who
rightly consider the matter know that no greater badge of honor could be
conferred upon a man.
Thomas M. Lane was born in Madison county, Ohio, August 19, 1844, the son of Hooper and Margaret (Martin) Lane, who were the parents of four children, our subject being the oldest in order of birth. Hooper Lane was born in Ohio, as was also his wife.
The early education of the subject of this sketch was gained in Washington county, Iowa, where he was reared on a farm and labored hard as a boy and young man until 1861, when on June 15th of that year, being unable to resist the call of his government for help in its hour of need, he enlisted in the Tenth Iowa Infantry, under Colonel Parsell, of Keokuk, Iowa, and was mustered into the service of the United States September 28, 1861. He was in Company D, under Captain Berry, of Boone county, Iowa. He remained with this company until 1863, taking part in all its engagements, when he re-enlisted at Huntsville, Alabama, and was transferred to Company E of the same regiment as a veteran. April 1 1864, by Captain York, under Captain Shepherd and Colonel Strong. Our subject made a most gallant soldier, having fought in twenty-eight battles and skirmishes. He was discharged August 15, 1865, at Little Rock, Arkansas, by Adjt. Gen. N. B. Baker.
After the war Mr. Lane returned to Washington county. Iowa, where he remained for two years and devoted his time to farming. He then turned his attention to railroading in 1867, in the fall of that year beginning work on the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad at East St. Louis. From there he went to North Missouri, where he was employed on the Wabash Railroad for two years. He then went to the Rock Island Railroad, running as a brakeman from Davenport to Des Moines. He was also switchman and finally conductor for the Hannibal Railroad, from St. Joseph to Hannibal, Missouri. He then went to the Missouri Pacific Railroad, running from St. Louis to Chamoise, Missouri. Mr. Lane then was employed by the C. B. & U. P., a branch of the Missouri Pacific Railroad; later he went to the Illinois Cental Railroad as yard crew conductor, which position he held for eight years in the East St. Louis yards. While thus employed our subject had the misfortune to lose his right hand on October 14, 1897. When he recovered from this injury he was placed on the detective force of this road, in which capacity he remained until 1900, when he resigned and came to Clinton county, where he bought a fruit farm, which business he followed for two years, when he sold out and came to Centralia, where, on February 19, 1902, he formed a partnership and launched in the real estate business, later purchasing his partner's interest and became sole manager of the "Home Real Estate Company," of Centralia, and he now enjoys a good, thriving business.
Mr. Lane became widely known during his railroading days, giving the various companies for which he worked entire satisfaction, being regarded by them as one of the most trusted and efficient employes, always at his post and conscientious in his work, so that he was always highly recommended for his services. He enjoys the full confidence of his numerous friends. His long and wide experience in army and railroad life has made him a reader of men and a most appreciative neighbor. He votes the Republican ticket, having first voted for Abraham Lincoln at Savannah, Georgia. He was reared by pious Methodist parents. Our subject is unassuming and open hearted and honest to the core.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 594-596.