Thomas S. Battles

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Battles Farmhouse.jpg

A picture of the Battles farm, north of Shreve on the West side of Route 226.

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Battles Farmhouse.jpg
A picture of the Battles farm, north of Shreve on the West side of Route 226.
  • Thomas S. Battles
  • 19 January 1803
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Shreve, Ohio
  • 24 October 1900
    Nokomis, Illinois
  • Nokomis, Illinois
  • Farmer ()
  • Anne Elright (b.1815–d.1896)
  • Dr. William S. Battles (b.1827–d.1895)
  • Johnson G. Battles (b.1829–d.1909)
  • Thomas Battles Jr. (b.1833–d.1894)
  • Susan Battles (b.1846–d.1929)
  • Neland Battles (b.1846)
  • Barbara Battles (b.1850–d.1872)
  • Melancthen/Ella M. Battles (b.1853–d.1936)
  • Anna Battles (b.1857–d.1951)

See also: Dr. W. S. Battles

Spelling Variations

no spelling variations found.



Given Names or Nicknames


Biographical Sketches

Thomas S. Battles, born on January 19th, 1803, was one of the prominent abolitionists in Shreve, Wayne County. He played a leadership role in operating the Shreve-Millbrook route with the help of other local abolitionists. Battles was born in Philadelphia; in his later years he moved to Nokomis, Illinois where he was buried as well. Although he did not reside in Wayne County for the longest amount of time, his contribution to the Underground Railroad has secured him a permanent spot in the history of Wayne County. The Battles farmhouse north of Shreve was considered to be a significant landmark of the local Underground Railroad operations.


It is unclear when the Battles family migrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio. Based on the leading articles written by E. H. Hauenstein and Ola M. Arick on the Underground Railroad, the Battles family was present during the period of active Underground Railroad operations and resided in the Battle farmhouse in Shreve. There is a 1850 census of the Battles family residing in Shreve, however in the 1870 census, Thomas Battles and his wife seemed to have moved to Nokomis, Illinois. Although Dr. W. S. Battles, one of the sons of Thomas Battles, stayed in Shreve and played a huge part in the Underground Railroad, it is uncertain whether T. Battles was there throughout the whole period.


Like many other local abolitionists, it is hard to determine the exact timeline of the Battles family's participation in the Underground Railroad. What can be found is several stories of their experiences. Emma Battles Slaybaugh, the daughter of Dr. W. S. Battles, has recollected stories of her father and grandfather's endeavors. Often times the whole family will come together to make an operation successful. One story is that two slavecatchers came down to Shreve to track the escapees and visited the Battles farmhouse area. What they did not know is that the fugitives were very discreetly taking shelter in the Battles barn, and they did not suspect anything. As soon as they left, Dr. William Battles took them on a wagon, hiding them under layers of wheat as he left for the next station.[1]


  • Spouse: Anne Elright (May 20th, 1815- Aug 27th, 1896)
  • Children-
    • Anna Battles (1857-1951)
    • Barbara Battles (1850 - April 17th, 1872)
    • Hannah Battles
    • Johnson Battles (April 1829 - 1909)
    • Melancthen Battles (Dec 25th, 1853 - May 24th, 1936)
    • Neland Battles (1846 - ?)
    • Susan Battles (Jan 25th, 1846 - Feb 6th, 1929)
    • Thomas Battles Jr. (1833-1894)
    • William S. Battles (1827-1895)
  • Relatives-
    • Mahala Kiester Battles (wife of Dr. W. S. Battles)
    • Ellen Stewart Battles (wife of Thomas Battles Jr.)
    • Grandchildren
      • Emma Battles Slaybaugh (Oct 15th, 1866- Feb 6th, 1951)
      • Catherine/Kate Battles Brown (1859- Jun 23rd, 1945)

Vital Records


January 19th, 1803- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Anne Elright (March 10th, 1842)[2]


October 24th, 1900- Nokomis, Montgomery, Illinois[3]


Nokomis Cemetery

Census Records

  • 1850 US census for Clinton, Wayne County, Ohio[4]
    • Thomas S. Battles, 48, PA, Farmer
    • Anne Battles, 34, PA
    • Johnson Battles, 21, PA, Farmer
    • Thomas Battles, 19, PA, Farmer
    • Susan Battles, 4, OH
    • Melancthen Battles, 4, OH
    • Barbary Battles, 2, OH
    • William S. Battles, 23, PA, Physician
    • Ellen Stewart, 25, PA
  • 1870 US census for Nokomis, Montgomery County, Illinois[5]
    • Thomas S. Battles, 70, PA, Farmer
    • Anne Battles, 60, PA
    • Neland Battles, 24, OH, Farmer
    • Barbara Battles, 22, OH
    • Melancthen Battles, 18, OH
    • Anna Battles, 16, OH
    • Hannah Battles, OH
  • 1880 US census for Witt, Montgomery County, Illinois[6]
    • Thomas S. Battles, 78, PA, Farmer
    • Anna Battles, 63, PA
    • Anna Battles, 23, OH
  • 1900 US census for Witt, Montgomery County, Illinois[7]
    • George N Uzzell, 59, IL, Farmer
    • Anna Uzzell, 42, OH
    • Barbara S. Uzzell, 15, IL
    • Lucy N Uzzell, 9, IL
    • Thomas S. Battles, 97, PA
    • Sophia L. Stander, 17, IL, Servant
    • John H Beck, 17, IL, Farm Hand

Places of Residence

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Shreve, Wayne County, Ohio
  • Nokomis, Montgomery County, Illinois

Immigration and Naturalization Records

not applicable.

Court Records


Tax Records


Land Records


Denomination Affiliations






Community Involvement



  • unknown

Awards and Recognition

  • unknown




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