The 1883 Atlas of Kankakee County has a biography of Thomas Durham. It says that he married Margaret Wyly on October 17. 1811. Ida Perry, wife of Alvah Perry, the grandson of Thomas Durham, told the DAR in 1934 that Margaret (“Peggy”) Wyly “before she was married . . . lived with her parents on a Tennessee plantation with slaves to serve her and her family . . .” Margaret Durham died on Feb. 20, 1882. Ida Perry knew Margaret quite well.
James Wyly’s plantation is said to have been located southwest of Knoxville, Tenn. Thomas met Margaret while he was living near the plantation at a place know as the “lower Settlement.” (now called Friendsville). He was a member of the Quaker Newberry congregation. Two months after his marriage, Thomas was “disowned” by Newberry for marring “contrary to discipline.”
The James Wyly found in ‘Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Tennessee,” is possibly the father of Margaret Durham by his first wife, Barbara. What leads me to this conclusion is that Thomas Durham’s oldest son was named James W. and his oldest daughter was named Barbara. (I admit I have not found Margaret’s name among James Wyly’s children, however.) There is a fourth child in Thomas’ family named Artemesia . In all the Durhams had twelve children. Aside from the three children named above: Arabella was named for Thomas’ mother; Daniel for Thomas’ brother; Stephen possibly for Stephen A. Douglas; Gurdon H. for Gurdon S. Hubbard, and as I noted, Harris K. for John Harris Kinzie, son of Chicago's pioneer leading citizen, John Kinzie.
Thomas was a brick mason by trade, and Hubbard hired him three times — once to build the Vermilion County courthouse at Danville, Illinois, a second time to build a brick warehouse in Chicago, and a third time to build the Lake House, Chicago’s “first real hotel.” John Harris was a merchant and land developer as well as the second town president of Chicago. I have no reference for the name McKinley.
I would appreciate it if you could give me some dates and locations on Harris and Artemesia Wyly.
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