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John A. Thomas


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/19/2011 at 00:34:09

JOHN A. THOMAS. Probably there is no resident of Grundy County or the adjoining counties better known than this gentleman, who has been living here since 1869, and is now occupying a valuable farm of three hundred and seventeen acres located in Grant Township. He is a Canadian by birth, and was born in Lower Canada, February 29, 1832.

Orsemus and Eliza Thomas, the grandparents of our subject, were natives of Vermont and Ireland, respectively, and were farmers. The Thomas family originally came from Wales, the first American representative of the name locating in the Green Mountain State during the Colonial days. The grandfather removed with his family to Canada in the year 1800, where he followed farming. His family comprised the following named children: Malachi, William, Elijah, John, Mary, Cynthia and Caroline. He departed this life when sixty-one years of age. His wife died many years previously.

The parents of our subject were Elijah and Betsey (Allaid) Thomas, the former of whom was born in Chatham, Vt., in 1801, and was reared to manís estate in Canada. His education was gained in the common schools and he always followed the life of an agriculturist. The mother of our subject, who was the daughter of John and Dorothy (Cook) Allaid, was born in New Hampshire, of which state her parents were also natives, but of English descent. Grandfather Allaid was also a farmer, and after a residence of some years in Canada he came to the States, and died in Illinois at the advanced age of ninety-three years. His wife departed this life in Canada when in her sixty-seventh year. They had the following children: Stephen, Comfort, Betsy, John, Mariann, Thomas and Benjamin.

The father of our subject emigrated to Illinois in 1856, and made his home with our subject until his decease, which occurred when he was sixty-two years of age. His wife survived him many years, living to see her eighty-first birthday. John A., of this sketch, began working out when a lad of nine years, receiving twenty-five cents per day as his pay. He continued to earn his own money, but remained at home with his parents until reaching his majority. In 1866 the latter accompanied him on his removal to Illinois, where he rented a farm in Stephenson County, living there for some time. He came to Grundy County about twenty-five years ago, and when he took possession of his quarter-section of land in Grant Township not a furrow had been broken. For a quarter of a century he has resided upon this place, and they have been years not only of labor, but of prosperity. During that time they have witnessed many changes in the country about them and have contributed their share to its development and improvement.

While residing in the Prairie State, Mr. Thomas and Miss Alvina Keniston, daughter of Abraham and Nancy (Berry) Keniston, were united in marriage. Mrs. Thomas was born in Canada, her parents being natives of Vermont. The children which have come to bless the home of our subject and his wife are, Daniel, Addie, Mattie and Sylvester.

Our subjectís brother, Elijah, was a soldier in the late war and was a member of Company F, Ninety-second Illinois Mounted Infantry. During his three years of service he was never wounded or taken prisoner. A Republican in politics, Mr. Thomas in local elections always votes for the best man regardless of party.

Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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