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Osborne, Thomas De Courcey (1844-1925) | Eastern Kentucky University - Special Collections and Archives

Name: Osborne, Thomas De Courcey (1844-1925)

Historical Note: Thomas DeCoursey Osborne, son of Lee B. and Ann E. Osborne, was born near Owenton, Owen County, Ky., November 8, 1844. His paternal grandfather, Bennett Osborne, was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary Army. In 1846, the family removed to Louisville, thence, eight years afterward (1854), to Seymour, Ind. ; but in 1859 they went to Murfreesboro , Tenn., where this son entered Union University, then presided over by Dr. Joseph H. Eaton. Among the students were Dr. R. W. Morehead, Dr. T. T. Eaton, Dr. H. C. Irby, Dr. Wm. H. Whitsitt, Judge Hammond, and other leading men of the South. When the war between the States opened, the university closed. Having engaged with his father, as indicated above, till early in 1863, he went to Manchester and enlisted in Co. A, Sixth Kentucky Infantry (February 2oth). Thenceforth he was the good and brave young soldier, campaigning with his regiment wherever it was called to go and fighting wherever it joined battle with the enemy during the next fifteen or sixteen months; as, at Jackson, Chickamauga, Rocky Face, Resaca and Dallas, he fought with the foremost. At the latter place (May 28th, 1864), he was shot down and with others severely wounded left on the field. The Federal soldiers carried them, after the Confederates retired, to New Hope Church, and placed them therein on cotton pallets, but soon abandoned them, after which they were found by Surgeon Newberry and a detail, sent to take charge of them, in a sad state of neglect and suffering. Young Osborne was taken to the Fair Grounds Hospital, Atlanta, later to Macon, and at Augusta was honorably retired. His father and family had refugeed South, and when peace came they returned to some property at Stevenson, Ala., where he engaged in merchandising and planting. In 1868 he became half-owner and editor of the New Era, a weekly and afterward a semi-weekly Democratic paper. In 1870, by appointment of Gov. R. B. Lindsay, he, with five other commissioners, located and organized the A. & M. College at Auburn, Ala. Through his instrumentality Dr. I. T. Tichenor, an ex-Kentuckian, was elected president of the college. September 1st, 1870, he was married in Louisville, Ky., to Miss Christina C. Ray, daughter of Col. W. R. Ray. In 1872, his father having died, he moved to Louisville, and was a short time managing editor of the Daily Ledger. In 1876, associated with O. H. Rothaker and W. H. Gardner, he started the Sunday Argus. In 1879 he was elected assistant city license inspector, which office he has held ever since. Has never held any political office except delegate and alternate delegate to State and National Democratic Conventions. He has served as secretary of many organizations, namely, Alabama Press Association, Tennessee River Association, General Association, (State Board), Long Run Association, Louisville Charity Organization Society, Confederate Association, Orphan Brigade, etc, etc. He is a member of the Baptist Church. When fifteen years old he was baptized in Stone River near Murfreesboro , Tenn., by Dr. J. M. Pendleton, and has ever since been a quiet worker among the Baptists. Aided in organizing the Baptist Book Concern of Louisville, was the first secretary, and was a member of the board of directors till he resigned. Recently he joined in founding the Baptist Argus, in which corporation he is a director. For twenty years or more he has been a delegate to the Southern Baptist Convention and other denominational assemblies. His membership is at Broadway Baptist Church, where he is chairman of the deacons, assistant-superintendent of the Sunday-school, and superintendent of the Foreign Sunday-school, also member of the Board of Managers of the Baptist Orphans Home. He has for many years had charge of the religious department of a well-known city paper, being called " the religious editor." He is also prominent in fraternal circles. Is one of the founders of the Fraternal Congress, over which he presided several years. At the death of James A. Demaree, grand reporter, founder of the Knights of Honor, in accordance with his request Osborne was appointed grand reporter, but declined to accept the office. He has filled leading offices in Grand Lodge K. of H., A. O. U. W., Golden Cross, Royal Arcanum, Chosen Friends, and Knights of Honor Commandery. Thomas DeCoursey Osborne dies at Belton, Texas on February 16, 1925 while visiting his daughter.

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