THOMAS BUCK was born in Carroll county, Ohio, near the Virginia line and in the vicinity of Canton, the home of William McKinley, November 11, 1841. His father, John Buck, was one of nature’s noblemen. He was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania. When he reached manhood he wedded Margaret Slemmons, a lady of Scotch-Irish descent and a native of Harrison county, Ohio. He had left Pennsylvania when about twelve years of age and had settled in the Buckeye state, where he was married and spent his remaining days. To him and his wife were born three sons and three daughters.
Thomas Buck, whose name introduces this record, was reared upon his father’s farm and made his home there until he was about twenty-one years of age. During that time he attended the country schools and a high school at Port Washington and was also a student in the Presbyterian Academy at Hagerstown, Ohio, after which he followed the profession of teaching in Ohio, Iowa and Missouri. He was engaged in teaching to a greater or less extent for a period of eight or ten years and was recognized as a capable educator.
During the period of the Civil war Mr. Buck enlisted in the Ohio State Guard, and upon the call of Governor Tod, went to the southern border of the state to defend it against the raids of Generals Morgan and J. Kirby Smith. This brigade was known as the Squirrel Hunters. His discharge from the service was signed by Adjutant General Hill and Governor Tod in 1862. In 1868 he engaged in the granite and marble business in connection with F. W. McCall & Company, one of the old business concerns of Oskaloosa, Iowa, and remained with them for about eighteen years. They were manufacturers of finished granite and marble work.
On the expiration of that period, Mr. Buck started out to seek a new location, for the rigorous winters of that locality proved detrimental to his health and he decided to seek a more congenial climate. Removing to the south, he remained for a brief period in Florida, whence he made his way westward to Colorado and New Mexico. Finally leaving El Paso, Texas, he went to the interior of the state and located at Abilene, reaching this city in February, 1888. Here he has since made his home and has become a prominent factor in its substantial development and improvement. He immediately entered into partnership with G. B. Triplett, a son-in-law of Judge Cockrell, in the real estate, insurance and live stock business. The association was maintained for about one year and since the dissolution of the business alone with constantly increasing success. He has conducted his affairs with thoroughness and energy and general good has also accrued in addition to his personal benefit. His judgment on lands can be taken as sound and the policy uon which he has based all his operations is in harmony with honest, straightforward dealing. There is no misrepresentation in his opinions concerning property and his labors have been of direct benefit to the community as well as a source of profit to himself.
Mr. Buck has been married twice. In 1867 he wedded Miss Mattie E. Borrell of Connorsville, Indiana, and in March, 1903, was united in marriage to Mrs. Zelpha Ebersoll of Abilene, Texas. By the first union there were two children: E. Todd Buck, deputy postmaster of Abilene, and Lulu M., the wife of J. A. Frates, chief train dispatcher of the Frisco railroad system at Springfield, Missouri. Perhaps we cannot better give account of his political and religious views than to quote his own words: “Having been born and raised a Presbyterian of the Presbyterians and a Democrat of the Democrats, after the George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton school, yet, now at this date, am forced to say I am classed and allied with the Republican idea of politics and the Liberal of Free Thought of school of religion, utterly refusing to be bound by the legends and mythology of the barbaric past and especially ignoring what I regard to be the misconceived and almost shocking conception of a merciful God.”
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 546.