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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Thomas Tumlinson, of Douglas, Iowa, was born in Londonville, Ashland County, Ohio, March 30, 1839, and is a son of Richard and Elizabeth (Hollager) Tumlinson. His parents were both natives of Delaware, the former born in 1798, the latter in 1813, and in their native State they were married. Our subject was their third child and was followed by six others. The mother died in Ohio, after which Thomas came to Fayette County, Iowa, with his father in 1849. At that time there were but few houses in Auburn Township, and the entire township was sparsely settled with white people. The Indians were numerous and the little copper-faced boys were often the playmates of our subject in those days. Richard Tumlinson engaged in farming in Auburn Township until his death, in 1864, and was a respected citizen of the community.
Our subject acquired his education in the district schools of the neighborhood and was reared to farm life, but afterward learned the cooper's trade, which occupation he followed for many years. During the beginning of the late war he responded to the country's call for troops and donned the blue, becoming a private of Company K, Twelfth Iowa Infantry, on the 21st of October, 1861. He was detailed to take care of the horse of Maj. Broadback and received an injury which necessitated his discharge on account of physical disability March 1, 1862. At the time the wound was not considered very serious, but subsequently developed into inflammation of the tibia of the right leg and has made him a cripple and invalid for life. It will heal over and then break out again. Seventy-five pieces of bone were removed at one time and the sufferings which this wound has occasioned cannot be recompensed by the paltry sum of $18 per month which is given him by the Government as a pension.
On being discharged Mr. Tumlinson returned to Auburn Township, and on the 8th of June, 1865, led to the marriage altar Miss Susan Howe, eldest daughter of William and Elizabeth (Russell) Howe who were the parents of ten children. She was born in England in 1836, came to America with the family at the age of twelve years, and in 1854 accompanied them on their removal to Fayette County, Iowa. Five children graced this union, only one of whom is now living - John Delos, born in Auburn Township February 20, 1868, died of typhoid fever in 1879; Catherine E., born in Auburn Township May 7, 1872, is now taking care of her invalid father; Mary J., born January 23, 1874, died July 4, 1877; and Ephraim A., born in 1876, died March 12, 1879. Mrs. Tumlinson was a widow at the time of her marriage with out subject and had one son. She died January 1, 1879, of typhoid fever, which disease carried off four of her children. Miss Catherine has made preparations for teaching and followed that profession for two terms. In the summer of 1890 she taught a school five miles from home, walking to and fro from her work morning and evening that she might be with her father.
Feeling that he needs her care and attention, she now remains with him all the time. Mr. Tumlinson is a stanch advocate of Republican principles, but his infirmities prevent him from taking an active part in politics. He is a consistent and faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is now Class-Leader, and is an upright man, esteemed for his many excellencies of character.
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