Among the native sons of England who have become prominent in agricultural circles in Crawford county is Thomas Hodkin.
He was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, January 27, 1838, a son of George and Mary (Brown) Hodkin, both of whom were natives of Derbyshire. The father was by trade a stone-mason and also engaged in farming. He removed with his family to Buxton, England, about the time our subject left home when a boy and continued there during the remainder of his days. He and his wife are both buried at Buxton. There were three children in the family: Jane, deceased; Thomas, of this review; and George, also deceased.
Thomas Hodkin possessed limited advantages of education in his early life. He entered the service of Duke Francis of Bedford as stable boy, continuing in that position until about twenty-four years of age. He was then in the employ of two sisters by the name of Travers, who belonged to the aristocracy and continued in their service for about six years. At the age of thirty he was married and, having decided that more favorable opportunities were presented in the new world, he purchased tickets for himself and bride from London to Iowa City, Iowa. After arriving at his destination he worked in the vicinity of Iowa City and West Liberty and later rented land near Downey.
In 1882 he came to Crawford county and purchased a small farm, which he cultivated until 1893, when he moved to his present location in Willow township. He acquired two hundred acres, which he improved with good buildings and in other ways, and transformed the property into one of the attractive farms of this region. He has since sold forty acres and now has a well kept place of one hundred and sixty acres, which yields a handsome income.
In 1865 Mr. Hodkin was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Compton, of Bedfordshire, England, who proved to him a loving wife and helpful companion. She passed away in 1903 and was buried in the cemetery at Dow City, Iowa. Their home was brightened by the arrival of eight children, namely: Charlotte, now the wife of John Sanders, of Charter Oak, Iowa; George, who is foreman of a bridge gang; Blanch, the wife of Carl Larson, of Redfield, South Dakota; Horace, of Boyer township; Daisy, now Mrs. John Grant, of Charter Oak; Jennie, the wife of Peter Hansen, of Streeter, North Dakota; Thomas B., who is living at home; and Jesse, of Redfield, South Dakota.
In his native country Mr. Hodkin was a member of the Church ot England, but after he came to the United States he united with the Methodist church, with which he is still affiliated. In politics ever since arriving in this country he has adhered to the republican party. He is a strong advocate of education and has assisted greatly in promoting the interests of the schools of his township, having served most ably as a member of the school board. In business he has always been governed by principles of justice and fairness and in the evening of a long and useful life he retains the respect and honor in an eminent degree of his neighbors and acquaintances.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.