Thomas McLees (1823 - 1906)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Blue Rock, Muskingum, OH, USA
Death: Died in Muskingum, OH, USA
Managed by: Kevin McLees
Last Updated:

About Thomas McLees

Thomas is with father Joseph in 1840 Blue Rock Twp. census as 15-10 year old son. Father dies when Thomas was 25 and he got the farm. Father was born in Ireland and Mother born in PA. Sold farm, known as Blossom farm, to his son James R. S. McLees in 1891. Thomas and Elizabeth had nine children, five sons and four daughters

seven of whom were living in June of 1892.

Was in Civil War Co I 160 th Reg Ohio. The regiment was a part of First Brigade First division of General Hunters army of West Virginia.Was mustered out on Sept. 7, 1864.

Was twice married. Probably died in Zanesville Ohio, where he had bought a house and intended to remain there as a permanent home.

Autobiography of his eventful life. Zanesville Times Recorder about 1902-1903: Thomas McLees, whose residence is No. 1 Washington Avenue, was born November the 12th, 1823, on what is known as Blossom farm, Blue Rock township. He is the oldest of a family of eight children; two boys and six girls. John Morrison McLees died some five or six years past in Wisconsin. Margaret Melissa died September 1863. The other five sisters survive, two of them live in Ohio, two in Wisconsin and one in Breckinridge, Minn. Thomas received his education in what was know as the district school. No free schools at that time. Thomas went first to school to Jeremiah Argo in the Blue Rock Baptist church, a hewed log structure in section twelve, range twelve and township twelve, the identical same section in which he was born. His one brother and six sisters were born with

this difference, that Thomas was born on the hill in a log cabin, northeast of Spring, less than two rods of the stone house in which his fourth son James Ralston Seward McLees, was born. Joseph McLees, his father, bought the same quarter section congress land in April, 1818, moved in covered wagon, lived a few days in same. He had to cut

the brush out of the way of the wagon until a log cabin could be built. Neighbors were few and far between. The county was one vast forest of magnificent timbers. Joseph McLees and Hannah Morrison McLees were members of the Convenantor church ruled over by Rev.

Robert Wallace, one of those Scotchmen who was not afraid to preach.

My mother used to tell me that she and I were baptised by the same hand, Mr. Wallace's, and out of the same baptismal bowl. Father and mother made their appearance in the same church the Middle meeting house, located on old Clay pike, about three miles north of Chandlersville. On August 30, 1844 I and my first wife, Elizabeth Starrett, made our first appearance in the same church, and the same old Scotchman, Rev. Robert Wallace, with this difference, the church folks said that mother was the prettiest girl that ever came into the church and folks said that I was the proudest man that ever walked the aisle. I had a fine broadcloth suit, auburn hair, April curls, ruddy face, grey eyes, was six feet high, forty inches around the heart, wore a 7 3/8 hat, and felt that I was an American. I am an American today and as proud of it today as I was then,-- yes and more so.

Thomas McLees raised nine children by his first wife, five boys and four girls. His first son, Josiah McLees, gave his life for his country. He was in his nineteenth year, was five feet ten and one-half inches high, weighed 174 pounds, was forty-two inches around the

heart. A better or braver soldier never died for his country. He died July 20, 1864. The two oldest sons are dead and second oldest daughter. Two sons are in this county, one on the Blossom farm, James Samuel near by. One daughter in Southern Missouri. John C. my roving boy, lives at Tanks, Ore., 4,500 feet above sea level, and my baby Harriet B.S. at home. For religion a Presbyterian, in politics a Whig and Republican. Helped to elect old Rough and Ready in 1848; voted for General Scott in 1852; was an ardent supporter of John Charles Fremont, and can show a badge of Fremont and Dayton, also of A.

Lincoln, and made a promise that I would not shave my face until he was elected president, and have not shave my face since May 31, 1856. I was a delegate to the American convention which met in the city of Cleveland. June 4 and 5, 1856, which adjourned to meet with the Free Soil party to be held in Columbus a few days later, at which convention Salmon Portland Chase was nominated for governor, and

Thomas H. Ford, Lieutenant.

In the winter of 1855 and 1856 I was elected first in Columbus when the legislature met to attend the national council, and on the first day of February, 1856, was elected at McConnelsville to the nominating convention, both conventions to

meet on the 22nd day of February, Washington's birthday, in the city of Philadelphia. The 18th of February, on which I started, we had fine sledding. We had snow nearly two months that winter. On the 18th day the thermometer registered eighteen degrees below zero. Over at Fitlerman, W. VA. it was thirty degrees below. On the fourth day of the convention when pandemonium reigned, President E.B. Bartlett, of Kentucky, was in the chair. Parson Brownlow and Felix H. Zollincoffer were on their feet and making Rome

howl. You could not hear. It looked as though things were coming to a crisis. They were abusing Tom Ford and Tom Spooner for aiding and abetting the abolition convention, as it was called, then in session in Pittsburg, Pa. I got tired of listening. I took up the chair on

which I sat, started up the aisle with the chair over my left shoulder, I am left handed, by the way. I walked right up in front of Zollincoffer with the chair drawn over my head. Was just close enough to strike when I demanded that he sit down in words more forcible than

polite. He sat down when he saw my grey eyes and red beard. He saw a man before him who even dared to face death. You could have heard a pin fall after he sat down, it was as still as death. He died with his boots on, a traitor to his country. I am still a living patriot. W. B. Allison, senior senator of Iowa; James H. Baker, of Minnesota; Henry

C. Hedges, of Mansfield, and myself were there. Within the last thirty days I met J. R. Serpell, of Louisville, Ky., who told me he saw it all. He was quite a young man at that time.

Served five days under N. F. Claypool, captain in Morgan's raid, in July, 1863. Enlisted in May with two sons. The second, Joseph S., was only 15 years of age and was

rejected. Josiah and I went. Josiah was mortally wounded by gun shot July 7, 10 a.m. Died July 20, 1864. I have the ball which killed him. Dr. Adams of Frederick City, Md., who made the post mortem examination said he never saw a more perfect man than he was. Three of my sons were over six feet in height. I have had twenty-two grandsons, two of

them are six feet. Henry McLees Ray, of Jasper county, Mo., weighs 240 and has two sons. I have four great grandsons, and only nine granddaughters. I have two daughters-in-law, one in Southern Missouri, who weighs 222; one in Oregon 212 pounds. The other two a shade less. I have been a church member for fifty-eight years.

Have never missed an election, never played a card, never have sworn but one profane oath,never have used tobacco in any shape, never have been drunk. I am not an angel for the best reason in the world-- they don't take men to make angels of. I am happy as a lark, live in the best country the sun shines on, and am glad I have had a part in helping to make and keep it.

Thomas McLees

Sunny Side, Washington avenue

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Thomas McLees's Timeline

1823
November 12, 1823
Muskingum, OH, USA
1844
August 27, 1844
Age 20
Chandlersville Muskingum Co OH
1845
August 25, 1845
Age 21
Muskingum, OH, USA
1847
June 14, 1847
Age 23
1848
September 17, 1848
Age 24
Muskingum, OH, USA
1850
February 2, 1850
Age 26
Muskingum, OH, USA
1851
October 31, 1851
Age 27
Muskingum, OH, USA
1851
Age 27
1853
December 30, 1853
Age 30
Muskingum , OH, USA
1856
April 7, 1856
Age 32
Muskingum, OH, USA