Thomas Finley, County Surveyor of Shelby County, was born in Indianapolis, October 18, 1860.
He is the
son of Morris and Bridgett
(McVey) Finley, and
is an Irish-American, both of his parents having been born in Ireland. The father came to this country about 1852,
and landed at New Orleans, subsequently coming to Indiana. Thomas is the eldest of six children. He
has received a good common school education, together with quite an extensive course at tow of our best Normal
Colleges. He attended quite a number of terms at the Central Indiana Normal School at Danville, where he
completed the course of Surveying and Civil-engineering, and a term or so at the Northern Indiana Normal School,
located at Valparaiso. The family came to this county about 1872, and settled on a farm near
Boggstown. For several
years Thomas worked at the various duties which usually fall to the lot of a farmer's boy. He afterward by
means of hard study, and perseverance succeeded in obtaining a teacher's license and began teaching school, about
the fall of 1880. In his teaching he became very successful, and the best schools of the county were offered him.
In the spring of 1886, he became a candidate for County Surveyor, and received in the Democratic primary
election a large plurality over several competitors. In the fall, he was still further honored by being elected
to that responsible office by a large majority as already intimated. Mr. Finley is a Simon-pure Democrat, and
cast his first vote for Cleveland, in 1884. He is a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church of this city.
a self-made young man, and has worked his own way up in the world. He deserves great credit for what he has
already accomplished, and his friends hope that "the end is not yet."
History of Shelby County,
Indiana, Chicago: Brant & Fuller,
1887, pages 484.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming