Thomas Folsom


Thomas Folsom, one of the most progressive and well known farmers of Post township, owns and operates a fine property of one hundred and twenty acres, upon which he has resided since 1887. He was born in Ripley county, Indiana, on the 16th of April, 1849, and is the son of Benjamin and Sarah (Webster) Folsom, both natives of that state, the former born May 15, 1816, and the latter on the 29th of May, 1818. In early life the father engaged in milling in Indiana. He came to Iowa in 1865, turning his attention first to farming and afterward to his former occupation, becoming connected with the Myron mill, wherein he remained employed for ten years thereafter. At the end of that time he secured a position in another mill a short distance down the river but after five years there was taken sick and retired from active life, dying on the 29th of October, 1883. In addition to his activity as a miller he was also a well known Baptist minister, preaching the doctrines in which he believed, at intervals, for many years although he never had charge of any church. His wife survived him a number of years, dying on the 5th of January, 1912. They had a large family of children, of whom the subject of this review was the fifth in order of birth. His oldest brother was killed during the Civil war on the Chickamauga battlefield.

Thomas Folsom acquired his education in the district schools of Indiana and came with his parents to Iowa in 1865. When he was fifteen years of age he began working as a farm hand by the day and month and so continued until he was twenty-eight years, when he married and rented a farm in Post township which he developed and improved for some time, buying in 1887 the land in Post township upon which he still resides. The years have brought him steadily increasing success in his farming operations, for his methods have been at all times practical and progressive and his industry unflagging. He is a successful grain grower and an extensive stock-raiser and his farm is one of the finest in this part of Allamakee county, its excellent condition reflecting his many years of care and labor. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers Cooperative Store at Postville and in the Cooperative Creamery and is known as a far-sighted, reliable and discriminating business man.

On September 30, 1877, Mr. Folsom married Miss Eliza N. Ewing, who was born in Post township, this county, October 24, 1857. She is a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Clark) Ewing, natives of Hamilton county, Indiana, the father a plasterer and mason by trade. They came to Iowa in the spring of 1858 as pioneers and located on Yellow river, in Post township, where Thomas Ewing purchased land. He later sold his holdings and thereafter worked at his trade until his death, which occurred on the 22d of September, 1887, when he was sixty-one years of age. He and his wife became the parents of twelve children, of whom Mrs. Folsom is the fifth in order of birth. Mr. and Mrs. Folsom have ten children. Lonnie, who was born August 10, 1878, married Hazel, a daughter of George Harris and they now reside on the Harris farm. Rachel, born September 4, 1879, married Warner Harris, of whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work. William, born September 25, 1881, is a painter by trade. He married Miss Josephine Getkins and they reside in Postville. Lee, who was born September 20, 1883, married Miss Bertha Hammel and they make their home on a farm two miles southeast of Postville. Richard, whose birth occurred on the 3d of February, 1886, married Mabel Harris, a daughter of George Harris, and they now reside on a farm near Hardin, in Franklin township. Melbert, who was born February 9, 1888, resides at home. Austin, born May 3, 1890, is also at home. Angie, born September 5, 1892, is the wife of Earl Hammel, a farmer in Ludlow township. Gilbert, born November 16, 1894, is residing on the home farm. Milo, the youngest member of the family, was born August 19, 1897.

Mr. Folsom affiliates with the Modern Brotherhood of America. He devotes practically his entire time to his farm and his labors during the twenty-six years of his residence upon it have been rewarded by success, so that he stands today in the front ranks of successful and progressive agriculturists.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Linda Earnheart

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