Thomas C. Patterson was born in County Down, Ireland, February 3, 1846. He came with his parents to America in 1854, and settled in Paterson, New Jersey, where they lived about two years; then went to Chicago, Ill, where they resided, and at Joliet, until he came West. He enlisted on 1 November 1861, in Company E, Nineteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served until July 4, 1864, when he was transferred to Bridge's Battery, then Company B, First Illinois Light Artillery, and participated in the battles of Tullahoma, Chattanooga, Atlanta campaign and Siege of Franklin and Nashville.
He mustered out of the Amry in Chicago on July 9, 1865. He was married in Chicago to Miss M. V. Morris, of Beaver, Penn. He moved to North Platte in the fall of 1868, where he was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad for nearly two years, first as fireman, then as blacksmith, until the fall of 1870. He then became a schoolteacher, teaching in the district school until June 1871. In June 1871 he was appointed Postmaster by U. S. Grant, and held the office until June 1, 1882. In 1882 he was engaged in the real estate and insurance business. In 1890, he and his wife had three children, Emma L., George T., and Ruth M. He was a member of the Stephen A. Douglas Post, No. 69, G.A.R.