Thomas Reynolds was born on March 12, 1796 in Bracken County, New York. He served as Clerk for the Illinois House of Representatives from 1818 until his appointment to the Illinois Supreme Court on August 31, 1822. He remained on the high court until January 19, 1825, and served as the court’s chief justice during his entire tenure. He served one term in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1826 - 1828, and then moved to Missouri where he served in the Missouri House of Representatives and as a Circuit Judge. In 1841 he was elected Governor of Missouri, a post which he held until his death on February 9, 1844.