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Thomas H. Dye


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/2/2001 at 16:49:53

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
Thomas H. Dye, a substantial farmer and stock raiser of section 12, Jackson Township, and a representative citizen of Van Buren County, has been a resident of Iowa from his birth. The family is of Irish descent, and was established in American in Colonial days, many of its members becoming residents of New York. The paternal grandfather of our subject grew to manhood, was married, and reared a family of children in the Empire State. Later in life he emigrated to Ohio, where he died in 1864, at the very advanced age of ninety-seven. His wife died a few years previous. The father of our subject was born in Noble County, then Morgan County, Ohio, in 1821, and the days of his boyhood and youth were spent at the parental home in the Buckeye State. The year of 1845 witnessed the celebration of his marriage to Miss Sarah Buskirk, also a native of Ohio. Soon after their marriage, they sought a home beyond the Mississippi, choosing as a location Wapello County, in the Territory of Iowa, but in 1846, they removed to Davis County, where on June 27, 1847, our subject first opened his eyes to the light of day. The following year the death of Mr. Dye occurred. Having been afflicted with white swelling, it was thought probable that he would recover, his limb was amputated, but death came in the middle of the surgical operation. His remains lie buried in the cemetery at Lebanon, and a handsome monument marks the last resting place of the husband and father, who will never be forgotten by the children who were the recipients of his loving care and kindness.
In 1850, his widow married George Smith, and came to Van Buren County, where Thomas was reared to manhood. As the schools of a new county are rather primitive in character, the educational advantages, which our subject received, were necessarily limited, but observation and reading in subsequent years, have made him a well-informed man. He chose the occupation of his father as his life work, and has carried on farming with most excellent success, winning a competence, which now numbers him among the well-to-do citizens of the county. His first purchase of land consisted of seventy acres, which he operated until 1875, when he sold out and removed to California, but two years of farm life in that state convinced him that in his opinion Iowa was preferable for a home. Returning then to Van Buren County, he once more resumed his agricultural pursuits. He purchased from his step father the old homestead, and began life in earnest, determined to secure a fair share of the world’s goods, and provide a comfortable home for himself and family. The boundaries of his farm have been extended until from a tract of ninety-one acres, it has been increased until it comprised three hundred and twenty seven acres of as fine a land as can be found in all of southeastern Iowa. The entire amount is under cultivation, yielding a ready return for the care and labor bestowed upon it, while many improvements add to the value of the place, including a comfortable residence, barns and outbuildings, and everything necessary for the care of his stock and grain. His fair dealing and upright life have won him a place in the esteem of his neighbors and townsmen, and he is one of the county’s representative citizens.
A marriage ceremony performed in 1872, united the destinies of Thomas Dye and Hattie Kays, daughter of Martin and Mary J. Kays, natives of New Jersey, who with their family came to Iowa during the year 1858. Mr. Kays has assisted in the growth and prosperity of the county, and is numbered among the early settlers. The wife of our subject was born in New Jersey, on April 11, 1852, and their marriage was blessed with four children, but only two are now living: Alta, the eldest, died in infancy; and Harry, the third child, died at the age of eight years; Charlie and Amy are still with their parents.
Mr. Dye and his wife are members of the Methodist Church of Cantril, and are faithful workers in the Master’s vineyard. He also holds membership in Apollo Lodge, No. 461, A.F. & A.M. and in Prairie Gem Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. He is an ardent Republican in politics, and does all in his power to promote the welfare, and insure the success of his party. He is a member of the Cantril District School Board, recently elected. During the administration of this Board, they have erected the handsome school building, which stands as a monument to the enterprise and progressive spirit of its founders. Anything pertaining to the county’s welfare, receives the hearty support and co-operation of Mr. Dye.
I am not related, and am posting this biography for those who may find this person in their family history.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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