Kidd, Thomas W. S.

Born: 1828-10-22 New Castle, Delaware

Died: 1904-08-17 Springfield, Illinois

Flourished: 1852 to 1904 Springfield, Illinois

Thomas W. S. Kidd, machinist, businessman, and public official, was raised by an aunt after being orphaned at a young age. Kidd attended school briefly in his native Delaware, then moved to Philadelphia about 1840 where he was employed as an errand boy. He subsequently worked for two years in a type foundry in that city before relocating to Wilmington where he pursued work in machining and blacksmithing. In 1849 Kidd moved to Chicago to take charge of a machine shop started by a former employer. He subsequently became a manager and a salesman for the firm of Allen, Vane, & Company, which manufactured agricultural implements. Kidd moved to Springfield in 1852, settling there permanently in 1856, and continued working for the firm until its failure in 1857. Kidd held a series of offices in Springfield, first becoming bailiff in the U.S. marshall’s office about 1856 and winning election as coroner in 1858. He was appointed deputy sheriff around this time, and after a year was made sheriff of the Illinois Supreme Court. In about 1860 Samuel H. Treat appointed Kidd court crier of the U.S. Circuit Court for the Southern District of Illinois. He also served as Springfield city assessor for fifteen years and as collector for two years. Kidd registered for the draft in the Eighth Illinois Congressional District in 1863, but there is no further evidence that he served in the Civil War. He married Charlotte Janney in 1854 and the pair had six children, only two of whom lived to adulthood.

Joseph Wallace, Past and Present of the City of Springfield and Sangamon County Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1904), 2:1012-18; History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 236; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Springfield, Sangamon County, IL, 119; U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 (Lehi, UT: Operations, 2010); Illinois State Register (Springfield), 18 August 1904, 5:2-3; The Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 18 August 1904, 6:5-6; Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL.