Distinguished Alumnus
Charter Class of 2013
Thomas Blagg
(December 6, 1919 – August 9, 2015)

AHS Class of 1938

Thomas Blagg is a successful farmer who led by example and earned the respect of his peers in our community. Tom was born December 6, 1919 in southern Coles County, the fourth of seven children of Grover Cleveland Blagg and Sarah Beavers Blagg. His farming family later moved to the Hindsboro area, where Tom attended a country grade school and Hindsboro High School as a freshman. The Blagg family then moved to a farm southwest of Arcola and Tom attended Arcola Township High School, graduating with the class of 1938. He was a key lineman on the legendary 1934-1937 football teams with a 32-1-1 record and a 33 game winning streak that included the final five wins of the 1933 season. Tom served as freshman and senior class president, F.F.A. president and was also on the baseball, basketball and wrestling teams.

Following high school, Tom and his brother, Kenneth, worked together to build a successful farming operation, which continued for more than fifty years. Tom and Rose Barnett were married in the Hindsboro Christian Church on March 29, 1941, became landowners and continued to farm east of Arcola until his retirement in 1990.

The Arcola community has benefited from Tom’s many decades of committed service. He was a Director of Arcola Cooperative Grain Co. from 1975-1988 and on The First National Bank of Arcola Board of Directors from 1974-1991. Tom was a forty-one year member of Arcola Lions and served as the club’s 1974-1975 President. He also served on Citizens’ Advisory Council for our schools and was a member of Arcola Chamber of Commerce. Tom is a Life Member of Arcola Foundation and continues his longtime membership with the Douglas County Farm Bureau. He is a sixty-five year member of Walnut Grove Christian Church, where he has served as an elder and Sunday school teacher. Tom was honored as our 2004 Broom Corn Festival Grand Marshal for his lifelong dedication and service to the Arcola community. Arcola Sports Booster Club chose Tom as their 2009 Honorary “A” award recipient for his continued support of Arcola athletics.

Tom and Rose shared nearly fifty-four years together on their farm before Rose’s sudden death in 1995. They are parents of daughters Mary and Jane, and proud of their two grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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Last Revision November 10, 2017