Thomas SOAPER, one of the oldest and leading merchants of Henderson, second son of William and Susan Frances Henderson SOAPER, was born in Henderson, Kentucky, 20 Jan 1838.
Thomas was reared in his native city attending a private school taught by Professor McCULLOCH; and in 1856 went to Kenyon College at Gambier, Ohio, for one year, and then entered Hanover College, where he pursued his studies for another year.
Returning to Henderson in 1857, he was employed as a clerk or salesman in the dry goods house of L. C. DALLAM, and in 1859, purchased an interest in the establishment and was associated with Mr. DALLAM, his brother-in-law, for sixteen years in the well-known house of DALLAM & SOAPER. In January, 1876, he purchased Mr. DALLAM's interest, since which time the business has been conducted in the name of Thomas SOAPER. In 1892, he succeeded Mr. DALLAM as president of the Henderson County Bank.
Thomas is one of the most successful merchants of Henderson, a fact which is due to his remarkable ability as a business man, as well as to the reputation he has gained for honesty and sincerity. He is a man of strong convictions, warm in his friendships, but not ostentatious or demonstrative, a genial companion.
He is faithful and devout member of the Episcopal Church, in which he was confirmed in 1860. For more than thirty years he has been a member of the church vestry, of which he was treasurer for many years, and has been senior warden since 1876, has represented his church a number of times in the diocesan conventions, and has been one of the foremost men in all matters of interest to the parish; was superintendent of the Sunday school for many years; is a member of the Masonic fraternity; and is a Democratic voter.
In addition to valuable real property in Henderson, including his elegant residence, he owns a farm of one hundred and ninety acres of rich bottom land in the county; another one of five hundred acres in the county and one of two hundred acres in Union County, which farms he cultivates through employees, under the direction of a competent superintendent, the products of which afford a handsome income.
Thomas married 12 Oct 1862, to Cora COOK, daughter of Dr. B. COOK, formerly of Huntsville, Alabama and founder of the HENDERSON & McDOWELL Medical Societies. Mr. and Mrs. SOAPER have two charming daughters: Bettie Cook and Susan Henderson SOAPER.
Kentucky Biographies, John. W. Gresham Company, 1896
Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2002 HCH&GS