Thomas Mahoneyâ€”Conspicuous among the successful and self-made men of Huntington, is the gentleman whose biographical sketch is herewith presented. Thomas Mahoney, eldest son of James and Mary (Vance) Mahoney, is a native of Washington County, Tenn., and dates his birth from the 29th day of August, 1821. His parents were natives of Virginia, but in an early day emigrated to Tennessee, and from that State in 1831, to Rush County, Ind. Subsequently, about 1841 or 1842, they moved to Huntington County, and settled in Wayne Township, where their deaths occurred a number of years later. Thomas Mahoney removed with his parents to Rush County, Ind., and until the age of nineteen remained on the farm, attending such schools as the county afforded in the meantime. Having early manifested decided tastes for mechanical pursuits, he finally abandoned the farm and was apprenticed to learn the cabinet makerâ€™s trade at New Salem, Ind., his employer being William Miller, of that place. After becoming proficient in his trade, Mr. Mahoney opened a shop in the town of New Salem, an undertaking which proved anything but a fortunate venture. His earnings did not equal his necessary expenses, in consequence of which he soon became financially embarrassed. His creditors finally levied upon his property, excepting only a few household articles, even the tools upon which he depended for his support were under the ban of the law, and although it was his privilege to exempt from execution property to the amount of $125, he positively refused to do so, believing it would be acting in bad faith toward his creditors. His refusal to avail himself of legal means of escape at once established his reputation as an honest and conscientious man, and inspired his creditors with a new confidence. By preserving labor he finally succeeded in overcoming his difficulties, and discharging all his obligations. On the 20th of October in 1842, was solemnized his marriage with Miss Mary J. McClanahan, who was born in Kentucky, July 10, 1821. In 1843, Mr. Mahoney came to Huntington County and settled at the Town of Mt. Edna, where for a number of years he carried on the cabinet makerâ€™s trade. He struggled hard against the many difficulties which beset his way, and by diligent application and rigid economy, accumulated in time a comfortable competence. In 1855, he disposed of his property in Mt. Edna, and purchased forty acres of land a short distance from the village, upon which he still resides. By subsequent purchases he enlarged the boundaries of his home until he is now the owner of 145 acres of valuable land in Lancaster Township, and thirteen acres in the vicinity of Mt. Edna, upon which is situated his large three-story frame flouring-mill, and the steam saw mill operated at this time by his sons. Mr. Mahoney purchased his milling interests recently, and in addition to farming is now largely engaged in the lumber business. For many years Mr. Mahoney has been actively identified with the cause of religion and temperance. He united with the Methodist Church when but sixteen years of age, and one year later signed the Washingtonian temperance pledge. He is one who has always been honored and respected by his neighbors, and has done much developing the resources of the country. Starting in life with no capital, but a determination to succeed, he has steadily won his way to prosperity; but this point has been obtained by the most unremitting toil and good management, and is by no means the result of favorable circumstances. His marriage has been blessed with nine children, whose names are as follows: Mary A., born December 4, 1843, died May 23, 1878; Almira S., born March 1,1846; died May 10, 1865; Martha J., born October, 1848, died January 12, 1849; Orange L. born February 7, 1850; Thomas E., born November 9, 1853; George A., born May 10, 1855; Anna J., born January 5, 1859, died November 12, 1874; William M., born August 31, 1860; Elmer I. Born July 5, 1864.
History of Huntington County, Indiana (Brant & Fuller: Chicago) 1887. Biographical Sketches of Lancaster Township, pages 720 and 721.