Thomas Alkire, a retired farmer of Mt. Sterling, is a native of Madison County. He was born March 31, 1825, and is a son of John H. and Sarah (Schyles) Alkire. The father, who was born in Kentucky, came to Ohio with Grandfather Alkire when quite young, and was a farmer by occupation. He served in the War of 1812 under Gen. Harrison.
In the usual manner of farmer lads, the boyhood days of our subject were passed and he received very limited educational advantages. When he was fourteen years of age, his father went to Vigo County, Ind., but he remained in Ohio and began working by the day or month as a farm hand. Since that time, he has made his own way in the world, and his success in life is due entirely to his own efforts. Working in this way, he managed to lay by a little money, and on the 18th of January, 1846, he was united in marriage with Miss Damia Strain, of Pleasant Township, Madison County, where the lady was born in October, 1828.
Mr. Alkire had a span of horses but sold one in order to purchase furnititre for his house. He continued to work one season at $11 per month and boarded himself. The next spring, he managed to get another horse and, renting some land, began farming on his own account. Some years afterward, hoping to better his financial condition, he removed to Vigo County, Ind., but was not pleased with the place, and the following spring returned to Ohio. He again rented for some time and as soon as his financial resources had increased sufficiently, purchased fifty acres in Pleasant Township. The land was heavily covered with timber, but he cleared the entire track. He afterward bought and sold several farms in this part of the State. He now owns one hundred and thirty-six acres of land in Madison County, and fifty acres in Vigo County, Ind., which his father left him.
Mr. and Mrs. Alkire have never had any children of their own but have given homes to three. The poor and needy have found in our subject a friend, and as far as possible he has aided in all enterprises for the advancement of the public good. In politics, he was first a Whig and on the organization of the Republican party, joined its ranks, voting for Fremont in 1856. He is a member of the Christian Church and belongs to the Patriotic Order of Sons of America. For twenty-five years, he has also been a Third Degree Mason. In 1887, he erected his pleasant home in Mt. Sterling and has since lived a retired life, the income derived from his farms being sufficient to keep him throughout his remaining years without any manual labor on his part. Mr. Alkire may truly be called a self-made man, for he began life as a poor boy, empty-handed, and has worked his way upward to a place among the substantial citizens of the community. His life has been well and worthily spent, and he has the high regard of many friends.
From PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF FAYETTE, PICKAWAY AND MADISON COUNTIES, OHIO - Chapman Bros. [Chicago, 1892]