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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Oliver W. Thomas


Delaware Twp.



     A finely improved farm of one hundred and twenty acres, located on section 11, Delaware township, has been the home of Oliver W. Thomas since 1902 and is the merited reward of his life of thrift and industry. Born in Connecticut, April 20, 1862, he is the son of William and Lucretia (West) Thomas, both natives of that state. They came to Iowa in March, 1864, and located on a farm in Hazel Green township, Delaware county, where they spent the remained of their lives, Mr. Thomas passing away on the 24th of July, 1884, while his wife survived until April 29, 1899. To them were born seven children, three sons and four daughters, as follows: Albert W., a resident of Nebraska; Herbert S., deceased; Bessie E., the widow of Richard Howe and a resident of Oxford, Mississippi; Abbie, who has also departed this life; Oliver W., of this review; Mary, the wife of John Daker and a resident of South Dakota; and Carrie, also deceased.

     Oliver W. Thomas remained at home with his father until he reached maturity, having in the meantime pursued his education in the common schools and assisted in the care and operation of the homestead farm. After his marriage he purchased a tract of land in Hazel Green township, to the cultivation of which he gave his entire time and attention until 1902, when he disposed of that property and purchased the farm which has since been his home, this land being located on section 11, Delaware township. He has here one hundred and twenty acres, which is improved with good buildings, while the soil is rich and , owing to the practical methods which he follows in its cultivation, yields abundant harvests. He also owns a residence property in Manchester.

     Mr. Thomas was married in 1888 to Miss Ida M. French, who was born in Jones county, Iowa, a daughter of Jesse and Laura (Mudge) French, natives of Pennsylvania and Vermont respectively. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas has been blessed with one daughter, Loie Ernestine, whose birth occurred January 6, 1890, and who is now the wife of Arthur Wagner, living in Delaware township. They have one son, Leonard E., born June 13, 1912.

     Mr. Thomas has always supported the men and measures of the republican party but has never aspired to public office. His wife is a member of the Congregational church. He has been successful in life, and while this is chiefly due to his own well directed efforts, he attributes not a little credit to the able assistance of his estimable wife. They are people of sterling worth, respected and esteemed by a large circle of acquaintances and friends.

    Jesse French, father of Mrs. Oliver W. Thomas, in early life went to Jones county, Iowa, and it was there that he was married. Subsequently he and his wife took up their abode in Minnesota but spent only a short time in that state, when they returned to Jones county and located on a farm, Mr. French engaging in carpentering and wagon-making for a number of years. He eventually purchased a farm in Jones county, to which he removed, but in due time disposed of that land and bought a farm in Hazel Green township, Delaware county. After a few years he sold the latter place and invested in land in Milo township, this county, but his last years were spent in retirement in a pleasant home in Manchester, and it was in that city that his death occurred in 1905.  His wife still survives and yet makes her home in Manchester, at the age of seventy seven years. They were parents of seven children: Elmer D. and Loyal Newton, both deceased; Charles H., of Hawarden, Iowa; Alice A., the widow pf Byron Lawton, of Hawarden, Iowa; Ida M., now Mrs. Thomas; Effie L., the wife of Wesley Metteer, of Creighton, Nebraska; and Herbert A., a minister now located in Virginia. Mrs. Thomas enjoyed the advantages of a college education and prior to her marriage engaged in teaching for two years.  



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 508-509.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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