Biography of Thomas J. Gideon

THOMAS J. GIDEON is one of the leading attorneys practicing at the Springfield bar and a man who served his country faithfully as a soldier and bears the honored scars of wounds received in her defense. He is the son of William C. Gideon, an honored pioneer of Christian County. (See sketch of Judge James J. Gideon.) He was born on his father’s farm in Christian County January 24, 1845. He received the common education of the district school in the old log pioneer schoolhouse of those days. After the war he attended a private academy in Springfield for two years and thus gained a good education. On March 5, 1862, he enlisted in Company F, Fourteenth Regiment, Missouri State Militia, same company and regiment as his father, being then eighteen years of age. He was appointed corporal and our young soldier was in the battle of Ozark, Missouri, Talbot Ferry, Arkansas, Turner Station and Springfield. At this last battle he was wounded by a piece of shell which ruined his left hand and wrist. He was also struck by a ball in the head and narrowly escaped death, falling insensible on the battlefield. He was picked up by his father and carried to the rear and regained consciousness. The ball had struck him above the frontal bone, broken through the skull and losing its force plowed through the scalp to the back of the head. He was in the hospital two months. He was discharged on account of his wounds. Not being content with his experience as a soldier and wishing to be of service to his country, in July, 1864, he recruited at Springfield, Company A, Fifty-first Missouri Infantry. In the spring of 1865 he recruited in Christian County a company of enrolled militia to exterminate the bushwhackers and horse thieves which then greatly infested the country, and was commissioned by Gov. Fletcher as first lieutenant. He acted as commander of his company, it having no captain. He was soon released from his duties on account of the close of the war.

In 1866 he was elected clerk of the County and Circuit Court, and ex-officio recorder of Christian County, and held the office until 1875. On September 3, 1868, he married Letitia F., daughter of Robert H. and Emeline (Bailey) Williams, and to Mr. and Mrs. Gideon have been born five children: Mary B., Waldo G., Thomas H., Charles R. and Nellie G. In 1875 Mr. Gideon read law with his brother, Judge Gideon, and was admitted to the Missouri bar in 1877. He practiced successfully at Ozark until 1880, when he moved to Springfield, where he is now engaged in the practice of his profession and where he has built up an excellent business. Socially he is a member of the I.O. O. F., New Harmony Lodge, of Springfield, and has held all the offices in his lodge and has been a member of the order twenty-eight years. He is also a member of the Solomon Lodge of Masons, of Springfield. He is a member of the G. A. R. post, Capt. John Matthews, No. 69. In politics he is a stanch Republican. Mr. Gideon is one of those men who, when the country needed his services as a soldier, had no hesitation in facing bullets in her defense. As a lawyer and as a man he is widely known in southwest Missouri and his integrity is un-impeached.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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