Biography of Thomas J. Kerr
Columbiana County, OH Biographies

Thomas J. Kerr, who lives retired in East Liverpool, is a veteran of the Civil War, and a prominent pioneer citizen of Columbiana County. He was born at Freedom, Beaver County, Pa., Dec. 28, 1845, and is the son of Nathaniel Preston and Isabel (Hall) Kerr.

Both Nathaniel Preston Kerr and his wife were natives of Pennsylvania. He was a blacksmith by trade and spent most of his life at Freedom and Vanport, Pa. There were seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Kerr as follows: Thaddeus, Isabel, Robert, Judson, all deceased; Edith, lives in Washington, D. C.; Alice, lives at Vanport, Pa.; and Thomas J., the subject of this sketch.

Thomas J. Kerr received his education in the schools of Beaver County and for a number of years engaged in the pottery business, specializing in stone ware. He served throughout the Civil War in Company F, 140th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and engaged in the following important battles and skirmishes: Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Bristol Station, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Totopotomy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Reams Station, Appomattox, and Hatcher's Run. In Mr. Kerr's company of 1,132 men, 198 were killed in action, 128 died of wounds, 534 were wounded, 30 died in southern prisons, and 74 died of disease. At the last encampment of this regiment in 1924 only 93 members were present. After the close of the war Mr. Kerr returned to East Liverpool but in 1876 went west to Yorktown, S. D, where he spent 13 years as a marine engineer on the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. He then spent three years on the Ohio River, serving in this capacity, and in 1892 became connected with the Homer Laughlin China Company of East Liverpool as an engineer. He had complete charge of the installation of machinery in the company's East End plant, and remained in its employ for 30 years.

Mr. Kerr was married first to Miss Elvira Russell, of Vanport, Pa. She died, leaving two children, Ralph and Maud. The latter is deceased. Mr. Kerr was later married to Miss Emma L. Burgett, who died in 1913. To this marriage four children were born: N. P., resides in East Liverpool; Ernest, resides in Alliance, Ohio; Elsie L., deceased, was the wife of D. H. Crawford of East Liverpool, and they had three children, Margaret, Ada, and Irma; and George, died in infancy.

Mr. Kerr holds membership in the Presbyterian Church and belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic. He is a Republican and ranks among the substantial citizens of the community.

History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

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