Thomas Leonard Rothwell, known in live-stock circles throughout the county, state and nation as the Angus Stockman, is one of the men who have made Logan county famous as a district of rich farms and fine stock. His home is upon a splendid farm on section 18, Mount Pulaski township, where he makes a specialty of breeding Aberdeen Angus cattle and Percheron horses. He has been a resident of the county his entire life, having been born here January 30, 1868. His parents were John M. and Angeline (Scroggin) Rothwell, the father having only recently died.
John M. Rothwell, Sr., was born in Lancaster, Garrard county, Kentucky, October 5, 1843, and was a son of Thomas and Matilda Rothwell, natives respectively of Virginia and Kentucky. His paternal grandfather, Thomas Rothwell, was also a Virginian, though he removed to Kentucky quite early in life. John M. Rothwell, Sr., came to Sangamon county, Illinois, in 1863, and engaged in farming and stock-raising. During the Civil war he traveled throughout Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Illinois buying mules for the government and was one of the best agents employed in that capacity. Later he traveled in the interests of the late John Allen, cattle king and mule operator, and visited Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas and North and South Carolina on his stock-buying trips. He came to Logan county in 1865 and engaged in farming and stock-raising for a time, then went to Kansas, where he remained from 1873 to 1882, operating a flour mill at Oxford. He next went into Indian Territory, carrying on the cattle business. In 1883 he returned to Logan county and located in Elkhart township, feeding cattle and hogs. In the spring of 1894 he took up residence in Mount Pulaski and engaged in the buying and shipping of cattle, hogs and sheep. On April 6, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Angeline Scroggin, a daughter of Leonard K. and Lavina (Buckles) Scroggin and the third child in a family of fourteen. She is still living in Mount Pulaski.
Politically the father was a democrat and he took an active part in public affairs. He served as highway commissioner and county supervisor, and in 1896 was elected mayor of Mount Pulaski to fill out the unexpired term of the late A. G. Jones. He was reelected in 1899, and served, in all, three years in that office. He traveled extensively and was widely known throughout the west, particularly in the stock-growing states. Mr. Rothwell died April 24, 1909, and the business houses of Mount Pulaski closed their doors during the hours of his funeral as a mark of respect to his memory. He was a well informed man and was of honorable, upright character. His death caused widespread grief as he was a man who made and held friends.
John M. and Angeline Rothwell were the parents of four children: Myrtle, who married Nelson Gasaway, and lives in Decatur, Illinois; Thomas L., of this review; John M., Jr., a lumberman of Mount Pulaski who married Miss Clara Mitchell and became the father of two children; and Mabel, who is living at home with her mother.
Thomas L. Rothwell received his education in the public schools of Logan county and the Central Normal of Danville, Indiana. He then turned his attention to farming and the raising of cattle and horses. He has exhibited stock at the International Live Stock Show of Chicago, at St. Louis, at the state fair in Springfield and at fairs all over the country for eight years. He has shipped pedigreed stock into fifteen states and also to Manitoba, has won many medals and premiums and is generally known as the Angus Stockman. He is a member of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Association, the Percheron Horse Association and the Shire Horse Association. He has two hundred and forty acres of land in his home place on section 18, Mount Pulaski township, and fifty-three and a third acres on section 22. For a number of years he has dealt quite extensively in land in different parts of the United States and has sold several hundred acres in the last few years.
On the 12th of November, 1890, Mr. Rothwell was united in marriage to Miss Ora E. Buckles, who was born November 13, 1871, and is the second in order of birth in a family of ten children, her parents being Elias and Bettie Buckles, of Mount Pulaski township. To Mr. and Mrs. Rothwell have been born seven children, namely: Everett L., who was born October 18, 1891, and is now attending the university at Valparaiso, Indiana; Leverett R., who was born December 28, 1892, and died January 11, 1894; Harry B., born October 8, 1894; Raymond S., who was born November 16, 1897, and died March 20, 1901; Clarence W., born June 4, 1899 ; Robert T., born January 4, 1902; and Jessie Louise, born August 27, 1907.
Mr. Rothwell gives his political support to the democratic party, and is now acting as central committeeman for his township. He was a delegate to the congressional convention at Bloomington and has filled the office of township assessor for two years and as school director for a number of years. He is a Royal Arch Mason, belonging to Mount Pulaski Lodge, No. 87, A.F. & A.M., and both he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star, while she also holds membership in the Christian church of Mount Pulaski. For nineteen years, Mr. Rothwell has also been a member of Lake Fork Lodge, No. 986, M. W. A. The family are held in the highest esteem by all who know them.
Source: History of Logan County, Illinois, by Lawrence B. Stringer. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Company . pp. 315-17.
Submitted by Cheryl Rothwell who is the great granddaughter of Thomas Leonard Rothwell.