IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Christ Thoma

Christ Thoma has been a resident of Clayton county from the time of his birth to the present and has here found ample scope and opportunity for effective achievement along normal lines of enterprise, as indicated by the fact that he now has a well appointed and attractive general merchandise establishment in the thriving town of Garnavillo and has secure vantage-place as one of the representative business men and progressive and popular citizens of his native county.

Mr. Thoma was born in Garnavillo, this county, on the 9th of June, 1874, and was but two years old at the time of his father's death. He is a son of William and Marguerite (Poesch) Thoma, both of whom were born in Germany. Upon coming to the United States, William Thoma proved himself an ambitious young man whose courage and determination were shown in definite action. He became one of the prominent and honored citizens of Clayton county and was engaged successfully in the general merchandise business at Granavillo at the time of his death in 1876. His widow survived him by more than thirty years and was a resident of Garnavillo when she too passed to the life eternal, on the 9th of November, 1908, as one of the venerable and loved pioneer women of Clayton county. Of the eleven children in the family John, Marguerite, William, and Paul are deceased, and concerning the others the following brief data are available Frederick is a prosperous farmer near Clayton, this county; Annie is the wife of John Ihde, of Garnavillo; Rosina is the wife of Christ Schumacher, of Garnavillo; Paulina is the wife of L. H. Schroeder, of Guttenberg, this county; Maria is the wife of B.G. Tangeman, of McGregor, this county; Christ, the immediate subject of this review, was the tenth in order of birth, and Charles J., the youngest of the children, likewise is a resident of Garnavillo.

On the old homestead farm which his father had acquired, near Garnavillo, Christ Thoma was reared to maturity, the while he availed himself of the advantages of the public schools of the village noted. At the age of twenty-five years, and shortly after his marriage, he engaged in general teaming work, to which line of business he devoted his attention for a few years. For six years thereafter he was employed as a clerk in the Meyers general store at Garnavillo, and after severing this association he opened a meat market in this village. He built up a prosperous business and continued to conduct the market about four years. In 1910 Mr. Thoma erected a modern brick building of two stories, twenty-four by fifty-six feet in lateral dimensions, and in the same he has since conducted a general merchandise business of substantial and representative order, his establishment being well equipped in all departments and controlling a large and appreciative patronage. In politics Mr. Thoma is found aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the Republican party, and while he has had no ambition for public office he served with marked efficiency as a member of the village council, a position of which he was the incumbent for four terms. He holds membership in the Modern Brotherhood of America and both he and his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church.

On the 25th of August, 1898, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Thoma to Miss Laura Tangeman, who is likewise a native of Clayton county and who is a daughter of William and Matilda (Kettler) Tangeman, who now reside at Garnavillo. William Tangeman and his wife are both natives of Ohio, and he was a lad of six years when he accompanied his parents on their immigration from the old Buckeye state to Iowa, the journey having been made with team and wagon and his father having become one of the early settlers and pioneer farmers of Clayton county. William Tangeman was long numbered among the substantial agriculturists and stock-growers in Read township, where he accumulated a valuable landed estate, and, now venerable in years, he is living in well earned retirement at Garnavillo. Of his two children, Mrs. Thoma is the elder, and the younger is Irene, who remains at the parental home.

Mr. and Mrs. Thoma have two children- Willis Frederick, who was born August 12, 1900, and Minerva Marguerite Matilda, who was born August 14, 1902. The family home in Garnavillo is known for its gracious hospitality.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 407-408
-transcribed by Mary Cameron


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