Transcribed by Teresa Kesterke from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


James Andrew Tomlinson, who was for many years a respected and highly honored resident of Burlington, Iowa, was born in Marion county, Indiana, on April 24, 1843, son of William Hughes and Martha Tomlinson. His early education was obtained in the public schools of his native State, and later he attended a school in Chicago. On the completion of his schooling in the Orchard City Business College he began acquiring the trade of carpentering, contracting, and building, which he followed very successfully throughout the remainder of his life. He made a speciality of moldings and carvings, in the designing and execution of which he was an expert. He was also a stair-builder, which at that time was a trade of itself.

He came to the West early in the history of this, then undeveloped region, locating in Burlington, and it was here that he was united in marriage Dec. 15, 1868, with Miss Dora Andress, daughter of Daniel S. and Elizabeth Worden (Mitchell) Andress, the latter of whom bore the name Worden in honor of a relative, Admiral Worden, of "Merrimac" fame. Mrs. Tomlinson is a native of Burlington, having been born on lower Main Street, then very sparsely settled, Nov. 15, 1848, and her parents were pioneers who came to Iowa from Switzerland county, Indiana, about the year 1845. The father was a contractor for brick work, which business he followed in Burlington until the time of his death, Oct. 25, 1858. Mr. and Mrs. Andress were the parents of eight children: Roell, now deceased: a son who died in infancy: Dora, widow of our subject: Bishop J. J.; Dillon N. S., an extensive stock-raiser of western Iowa; Mary Celia, deceased; Mason, deceased; and Martha Adelaide, also deceased. His widow survived him many years, she dying Feb. 24, 1903. Mrs. Andress was united in marriage with William E. Brown as her second husband. Mr. Brown was an old resident of Des Moines county.

Mr. Tomlinson enlisted in Company G, Tenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was with the army of the Cumberland, and also with Sherman on his march to the sea, serving the full four years. He was wounded at Chickamauga, and never fully recovered, and also received a sunstroke, which later was really the cause of his death. Fraternally, our subject was a member of the Independent Order of Good Templars, and as a man of exemplary character and unusual ability, was popular and highly esteemed. He was for many years an active member of the Methodist church, where he held all of the church offices, and was also Sunday-school superintendent and a teacher. He was also a fluent speaker, having on many occasions lectured on temperance, and did much efficient work for the cause.

Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson remained in Burlington till 1877, when they moved to Wilson county, Kansas, where he went into business with his brother-in-law, but later engaged in farming. He did not spend all of his time on his farm, as he carried on contracting for several months in the year.

March 9, 1883, he received a sunstroke while working on a contract near home which, connected with the effects left after his war infirmities, proved fatal. He is buried in Kansas. He was much respected, and left many friends and relatives to mourn his untimely death. Mrs. Tomlinson closed up her husband's estate and with her three children, all under five years of age, returned to Burlington. She is a lady of some conversational powers, possessing wide general information, and her pleasant home at 216 South Central Avenue is a center of social activity. She is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson were blessed with three sons and one daughter: Frank; Guy James: Grace Inez, who was a beautiful young woman, becoming the wife of Orson P. Johnson, and died in Elrick, Iowa, aged nineteen years; and Homer Watt.

Guy James is the only remaining child. He was born in the State of Kansas, July 10, 1876, and received his education in the public and high schools of Burlington and Elliott's Business College of the same place, after which he read law in the office of Attorney Fred Courts, of Morning Sun, Iowa. Rising rapidly he was admitted to the bar on Jan. 17, 1901, when twenty-three years old. Soon after this he formed a partnership with Mr. Courts, with whom he has ever since been associated, and has from the first been unusually successful, enjoying a very extensive and lucrative practice and marked popularity in his adopted city, where he is considered a rapidly rising young man and destined to attain many positions of distinction in his profession. When he was a mere boy he began to assist his widowed mother, assuming the duties of the man of the house. On Oct. 1, 1902, he wedded Miss Cora E. Long, daughter of Nimrod Long, of Crawfordsville, Iowa, who before her marriage was a teacher in the public schools, and to them two children have been born: Eustace Worden, born July 24, 1903; and Grace Aline, born Oct. 12, 1904.

Mr. Tomlinson is rapidly becoming an influential member of the Republican party in his community; and in the fraternal world he has a very desirable standing, having been made a Mason, and also a member of the Chapter in 1903, and also holding membership in the Knights of Pythias. He is a leading member of the Methodist Episcopal church; has held the office of president of the Epworth League, as well as that of superintendent of the Sunday-school, and has for many years been prominent in the work of the church, in which he has always taken the deepest interest. As a type of energetic and consecrated Christian manhood, his character is well deserving of study by all the rising generation who cherish high and worthy ideals.

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