Thomas D McGrath
Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/20/2009 at 01:58:53
Thomas D McGrath, whose home is on Sec 11, Colfax township, was born in the neighboring state of Illinois, his birth having occurred n Jo Daviess county, April 16, 1851. His father William McGrath, born in Pennsylvania, was a representative of one of the old families of the Keystone state that was established near Pittsburg, his youth having been passed in Pennsylvania and when a young man he hade his way westward to Illinois, settling in Jo Daviess county about 1834. There he entered land from the government and improved an excellent farm. In early days he took a very active and influential part in promoting the progress and improvement of the county and was elected treasurer of his township upon its organization. He filled that office for many years, or until he declined to further served. He was quite active in politics and was also known as one of the leading agriculturists of his township for many years, Upon the home farm he reared his family and there he spent his remaining days, being called to his final rest in August 1899. He was married in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania to Mary Ann Simpson, who was born in Pittsburg, Allegheny county. She died sometime prior to her husbandís death passing away on August 17, 1895.
Thomas McGrath the immediate subject of this review spent his boyhood days on the old home place in Jo Daviess county and during the period of his youth pursued his education in the common schools near his home and in the high school of Mount Carroll. He also received ample training at farm work, for during the period of vacation he labored in the fields and meadows. In 1876 he came to Iowa and the following year he purchased land upon which he now resides. He bought 160 acres at Kelley, and there spent the first season after which he sold his property and became the owner of a quarter section of the present farm. Returning to Illinois he spent the winter season in his old home there, again assisting his father in farm work, but in the fall of the succeeding year he once more came to Iowa and took up his abode on Sec 11, Colfax township. Upon the place a few improvements had been made, but those were of rather a primitive character. He afterward bought 80 acres of land adjoining his first purchase and today has a valuable farm of 240 acres under a very high state of cultivation. In December 1900, Mr McGrath bought six thoroughbred shorthorn cows and one bull, all registered and has at the present time fourteen head and is making quite a specialty of the raising and breeding of this class of cattle.
On January 5, 1881, Mr McGrath was united in marriage to Eliza Anderson whose birth occurred I Clinton county, Iowa. She was born, reared and educated in Lyons and is a daughter of Nels Anderson a native of Sweden and one of the early settlers of Clinton county, where he located in 1854. Mr and Mrs McGrath began their domestic life upon the home farm and in order to provide a better place for his wife he erected a large and attractive residence. He has also built a good barn and a carriage house, has put up good outbuildings f all kinds necessary for the shelter of grain and stock and altogether his place is a model one. There is a good bearing orchard and a beautiful growth of pines, the latest improvements are used and everything is neat and attractive.
Mr and Mrs McGrath are the parents of eight children, of whom seven are yet living, as follows: Harry H, Bertha Viola, Nellie Myrtle, Earl Wesley, Frank Deming, Charles Byron, and Alice Blanche. They also lost one son Edwin W who died at the age of nine months. The family attend the services of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr McGrath is known as an active and earnest supporter of the Republican party. He has never failed to vote at a presidential election since casing his first ballot for Rutherford B Hays, in 1876. He has been called to public office having served as township trustee and as a member of the school board. His interest in the welfare and progress of his community is deep and sincere and has been manifest by his hearty cooperation in many movements and measure for the general good.
1902 Boone County History Book
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