George C Thomas
Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/27/2010 at 14:26:42
George C Thomas, deceased was one of the most esteemed and respected residents of Woodward. He was born in Canada, June 8, 1850, and was a son of George c and Elizabeth (Strowbridge) Thomas. His father died in Arkansas and his mother in Woodward, Iowa. In their family were four sons and two daughters: John a resident of Kansas, Harvey now residing in Des Moines, Richard, George c of this review, Anna who died at the age of eighteen and Mrs Elizabeth Blake of Chicago, Illinois. All of these children were born in Canada.
George C Thomas Jr moved with his parents to Dallas county, Iowa, the family locating on a farm. There he grew to manhood and subsequently became one of the first business men of Woodward, conducting a restaurant with increasing success for a number of years. He was actively engaged in business until shortly before his death, which occurred in Woodward, October 25 19-5, causing sincere sorrow among his many friends.
On February 25, 1890, Mr Thomas was married in Woodward to Miss Dora Nance, who was born in Peoples township, Boone county, September 23, 1866, and has been a continuous resident of this locality with eh exception of a short time which she spent at Ames. her parents L M and Harriet M (Hornbuckle) Nance, were among the pioneers of Boone county. Her father was born in Green county, Kentucky, May 18, 1827, and died in Woodward, Iowa, May 28, 1897. On leaving his native state he removed to Petersburg, Menard county, Illinois, and in 1855 he and his family came overland to Boone county, Iowa arriving in what his now Peoples township in August of that year. He secured his first 40 acres of raw prairie land for two hundred dollars. At that time the country was very sparsely settled and his nearest markets were at Marshalltown and Oskaloosa. The famous Indian chief, John Green as well as members of his tribe was a frequent visitor at the Nance home and was always welcome. In this county, March 8, 1855, Mr Nance married Miss Harriet M Hornbuckle, who was born in Petersburg, Illinois, June 20, 1832, and died at Woodward, Iowa June 2, 1912, in her eightieth year. Her parents were among Boone county’s pioneers he father having settled herein 1853. He named the first post office this part of the country, giving it the name of Prairie Hill and he also operated the first sawmill on the Des Moines river at Elk Rapids. To Mr and Mrs Nance were born five children, all of whom received good educational advantages in the public schools of Boone. They were Mrs M E Stroms, born December 24, 1855, now a resident of Woodward, Thomas F born June 20, 1858, whose home is in Madrid, Mary Lydia, deceased, who was born December 29, 1861, Dora now Mrs Thomas and Mrs L E Clark who was born January 8, 1873, and resides in Des Moines.
Mrs Thomas was educated in the common schools of her neighborhood, particularly in the Oak Grove school of Peoples township. In April 1914, there were gathered at the home of Mrs Wade in Woodward a class of ten women including Mrs Thomas, who attended that school and tier old school teacher, A C Smith now a prominent resident of Woodward, participated in the celebration. To Mr and Mrs Thomas was born one son, George Wayne, whose birth occurred in Woodward, September 1, 1892. He attended the public schools there until fourteen years of age, when the family removed to Ames, where for four yeas he attended high school. He is at present holding a responsible position with the electrolyte and o\power plant at Woodward.
Mr Thomas was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and his widow also adheres to that faith. He was sincere in his professions and was the teacher of a Bible class for fifteen years. Politically he was a democrat and fraternally a member of Woodard Lodge, No 460, I O O F belonging to the famous I O O F drill team of Woodward, which attended the Baltimore conclave of that lodge and won the championship not only in Iowa and the nation, but of the world. Mr Thomas died October 29, 1905, at the comparatively early age of fifty-five years. He had many friends in Woodard and Boone county among the business men, among the agriculturist, among political leasers and more especially among his lodge brothers. All turned out to do honor to his memory on the occasion of his funeral. In a quiet and modest way he contributed toward development and advancement and he has left Woodward and his county the better for his having lived. His widow now resides with her son in a well furnished home in Woodward and she also owns a well appointed residence in Ames. All who know her esteem her for her high qualities of character, and she is ever ready to extend a helping hand to those who are less fortunate or who find themselves in affiliation or need.
1914 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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