Biography of Capt. Thomas M. Kirkpatrick
Howard County, IN Biographies





CAPT. THOMAS M. KIRKPATRICK, Collector of Internal Revenue for the Eleventh District, is one of the representative pioneers of Indiana. He is a native of Ohio, where he was born in Brown County May 2, 1820. His father, James Kirkpatrick, was a native of West Virginia. His grandfather, Andrew Kirkpatrick, was born in Scotland, and, emigrating to America, with two brothers, before the Revolution, participated in the struggle for independence, one of the brothers (David) being killed at the battle of Bunker Hill Andrew married, in Maryland, Elizabeth Bowen, and removed to West Virginia, subsequently becoming a pioneer of Ohio. Here, in the war of 1812, James, with several brothers, enlisted, and served in the campaign on the Ohio border. James subsequently was married to Mary Kincaid, the daughter of another Ohio pioneer, and remained a resident of Brown County until his death in 1828. In 1834, the mother of Thomas, with six children, emigrated to Indiana, Montgomery County, where lived Absalom Kirkpatrick, a brother of James. Thomas received educational advantages, such as the pioneer times afforded, and assisted his uncle in farming. After spending several years in various occupations, chiefly farming, he was married, April 1, 1841, to Miss Margaret J. Baldwin, who was born January 27, 1824, her parents being William A. and Amy (Crooks) Baldwin. In August, 1843, our subject came to explore the "Reserve," and after a thorough examination he decided to fix his claim upon the land upon which he now lives Here he built a log cabin, and on the 13th of November of the same year, he brought his young wife. Upon this land he has resided up to the present time, clearing up a large farm, which he has improved, until today it is one of the most valuable in Howard County. Capt. Kirkpatrick has assisted in the development and improvement of the county, as much as any man living within its borders. He took a leading interest in the organization of Pete's Run Gravel road, and has acted as Secretary of this association since its organization, and is at the present time its heaviest stockholder. He subscribed $500 for the first railroad enterprise, when heavily involved for his land, and was a contractor upon this road, clearing the timber for the track. Having been for the greater portion of his life engaged in agricultural pursuits, he has taken active interest in the County Agricultural Society, and advocates progressive ideas upon this most important of all industries. Until 1874, his farm was included in Clay Township, but upon petition, he was set off into Centre Township. While a resident of Clay Township, he served in various offices of trust, being Trustee several terms. Capt. Kirkpatrick has been a Republican in politics since the organization of that party, and has been honored by many offices by his fellow citizens. In 1852, he was elected Sheriff of the county, and in 1865 and 1866 he served as County Commissioner, and for three terms has represented Howard County in the State Legislature, from 1870 to 1874, during which the redistricting of the State was defeated by the Republicans, and he also supported the resolution in regard to the amendment of the constitution, prohibiting future legislation concerning the bonds of the " Wabash & Erie Canal;" this was passed by the House, and subsequently by the vote of the people was carried. In 1878, he was again, elected, and served one term. In 1883, Capt. Kirkpatrick was appointed by President Arthur as Collector of Internal Revenue for the Eleventh District, and was promptly confirmed by the United States Senate. He entered upon the duties of this office the 31st of March; 1883. In all of the instances when his name has been mentioned for public offices, it has been done unsolicited by him, and his success is due to the fact that through the long years of his residence in the county, he has been true to the highest principles of honest integrity. Capt. Kirkpatrick resides upon his pleasant farm, with his faithful wife, who has ably assisted him in all the struggles and trials of his life. Nothing can be more appropriate to close this sketch than a brief outline of the gallant service of Capt Kirkpatrick during the late war. Before the outbreak of the rebellion, Thomas J. Harrison, Barnabas Busby and himself had met at Kokomo and mutually pledged each other that, if the threatened cloud of war should break, they would each go together, regardless of pay or position. Upon learning of the fall of Fort Sumter, Capt. Kirkpatrick hastened to Kokomo, but found that Harrison had already surrounded himself with 150 men. Kirkpatrick and Busby would have been equally prompt, but being busy upon their farms, did not receive the intelligence as soon as Harrison. Capt. Kirkpatrick and Busby went with Harrison to Indianapolis; and there being too many men in the latter's company, it was divided, and Harrison and Kirkpatrick elected Captains. Associated with the latter was Busby as First tieutenant, and N. P. Richmond as Second Lieutenant. Capt. Kirkpatrick received his commission to date from April 23, 1861, and May 12 his company (C) was assigned to the Twelfth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. In order to enter the three years' service, he was, by permission of Gov. Morton, transferred to the Thirteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, fifty five of his men following him; they were formed, with recruits, as Company E, June 18, being 101 strong, and were mustered in for three years' service. Space will not permit us to relate of the many battles and engagements of this regiment, but through this long period Capt. Kirkpatrick led his company gallantly, often having command. He participated in all of the engagements of his regiment, which has a record that the pages of history will forever perpetuate. At the close of his service, he returned to his home, receiving an honorable discharge. Soon after, in April, 1865, he was asked by Congressman Stillwell to organize the One Hundred and Fifty third Indiana Volunteer Infantry from this district (Eleventh), as Colonel; this he hastened to do, but upon arriving at Indianapolis the surrender of Lee prevented the fruition of this plan, and Capt. Kirkpatrick returned to his home, rejoicing, as did every true American, at the close of this gigantic struggle. Capt. Kirkpatrick had, early in the spring of 1865, been appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the One Hundred and Forty seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which he declined. To the important office which he has now been appointed, Capt Kirkpatrick takes the entire confidence of his fellow citizens. All honor to the brave soldier and the man who has been true to all public and private trusts.

From:
Counties of Howard and Tipton, Indiana
Historical and Biographical
Charles Blanchard, Editor
F. A. Bettey & Co.
Chicago 1883.


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