Biography of Thomas Sullivan
Rush County, IN Biographies





THOMAS SULLIVAN, one of Rush county's prominent retired business men, was born on March 16, 1859, in Wayne county, Indiana, the son of Jeremiah and Nora (O'Brien) Sullivan, the former a native of County Clair, Ireland, the latter of County Kerry. They were married in Ireland, where Mr. Sullivan followed the occupation of florist, but realizing that there were far greater opportunities for success awaiting them in America, they made their way hither about the year 1856. They first located in Pennsylvania where he followed his trade of florist, but later came to Indiana and he was employed as a farmer in Wayne county until the outbreak of the Civil war. Then, though so recent an arrival in the United States, he could not bear to think of the flag he had come to love go down to destruction, and he immediately volunteered in the Eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry regiment under Colonel Benton, serving throughout the war. He was in three armies, the Potomac, the West, and the Gulf. and saw some of the hottest fighting of the great struggle, participating in the battles of Shiloh, Pea Ridge, Wilderness, Fort Donaldson, Gettysburg and Stone River. When discharged from the service, he returned to Wayne county where he passed the remainder of his days. He and his wife became the parents of thirteen children, four of whom are now living: John, Hannah, Maggie, and Thomas. One son, Jerry, volunteered in the Union army, though but sixteen years old, and laid his life upon the altar of freedom, being killed in the first engagement in which he was engaged. Thomas Sullivan was educated in Wayne county, and after leaving school worked in a machine shop for several years. He then took up the molding trade at Richmond, Ind., and in 1871 removed to Indianapolis where he was employed in the Quaker City Machine Works until 1876. At that time he came to Rushville to work in the Nolan Madden foundry where he helped make the first casting ever done in Rushville. For the next twenty years he was engaged off and on at the foundry, and then conducted a transfer business for several years. Next he became the proprietor of a saloon and after seven years sold out to devote his time to farming in which he has been successful, having acquired 140 acres of land lying in Rushville township. In 1878, he was married to Catherine Ryan, and to their union have been born four children: Francis, Jerry, Mae, and Anna. Francis married Viola Gordon and died on August 29, 1915, leaving his wife and six children survivors: Margaret, Frank, Thomas, Richard, Dick, and Dennis. Jerry and Mae are both unmarried, and Anna married Doctor Dragoo. The entire family are communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rushville.

From:
Centennian History of Rush County, Indiana
Edited by: A. L. Gary and E. B. Thomas
Historical Publishing Company
Indianapolis 1921


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