Early settler of Shelbyville, Illinois, founder of the first bank in that city, Illinois legislator and president of the board of Canal Commissioners overseeing the building of the Illinois-Michigan Canal. Born in Hanover, Virginia, the son of Reuben, a lawyer, and Mildred Grywes Thornton. He was a Captain in the cavalry company of Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812 and was rewarded for his success in that with promotion to Major and in 1827 a commission from John Q. Adams to Brigadier General. He moved to Kentucky where he met and married Ann McClanahan. In 1834 they moved to Shelby County, Illinois. He was a great supporter of Henry Clay and a Whig until the demise of that party and he joined the Democratic Party. He was elected to the legislature in 1836 and also appointed to the Board of Commissioners on the canal by Governor Duncan and he was very successful in selling bonds in England to pay for the completion of the canal. He owned vast property in Illinois and in 1859 opened a bank. He and his wife had six children live to adulthood, Margaret, Mildred, Antonia, William, Thomas and Eliza. Eliza married Capt. Thomas Holloway, who fought in the Mexican War and for the Confederacy in the Civil War.
From the description of Papers, 1797-1905. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 51297866