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Rev. Thomas A. Renfro


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/3/2001 at 08:28:31

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties - 1890
Rev. Thomas Augustus Renfro, pastor of the Christian Church of Milton, Van Buren County Iowa, was born in Madison County. Illinois May 4, 1835, and is a son of William and Elizabeth Hall Renfro. His father was born in Kentucky, July 23, 1800, and was of Scotch descent. His mother, a native of North Carolina was born August 31, 1806. In their family were seven sons and four daughters and with the exception of two all are yet living. Accompanied by his wife and children, Mr. Renfro in 1845, immigrated to the Territory of Iowa and located a claim in Polk County. Two years later her removed to Eddyville, and in 1849 we find him living in Oskaloosa, where he was engaged in the manufacture of brick and in bricklaying. He removed to Stewardville, Missouri in 1858, but after two years returned to Iowa and located I Indianola. His death occurred June 27, 1886, when about eighty-six years of age and his wife died November 2, 1865.
Our subject was the sixth in order of birth in the family. He was educated in the Oskaloosa High School under Professor Drake and became a bricklayer which trade he followed for some time. On September 7, 1859, In Abingdon, Jefferson County, he was united in marriage with Miss Emma Ploughe, daughter of Jacob and Jane Caldwell Ploughe, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, the former born May 26, 1800, and the latter March 6, 1800. The family came to Iowa in August 1848. There were 10 daughters and one son and Mrs. Renfro is the youngest. Hr father died January 23, 1867, and her mother passed away September 9, 1878. To Mr. and Mrs. Renfro have been born the following children: Elizabeth Jane, born October 27, 1861, is now the wife of Fred Kneisel, of Clark County Missouri; Florence Viola, born April 25, 1866, is the wife of Alfred C. Jolly of Milton; and Alice, born June 24, 1860, died on July 18th of that year.
Shortly after his marriage, Mr. Renfro settled in Lucas County Iowa, where he engaged in farming until thinking it was his duty to respond to the country’s call for troops he enlisted in August 1862, becoming a member of Company G, Thirty Fourth Iowa Infantry, from which he received an honorable discharge August 15, 1865. He took part in a number of important engagements, including the attack upon Vicksburg, the battle of Arkansas Post and others. After the war he came to Van Buren County and settled in Jackson Township, where he engaged in farming until 1875. He began preaching in 1871, but did not devote himself entirely to that work until four years later. He has had charge of the church in Mt Sterling, Lawn Ridge, Prairie View and Salem Missouri and other places in Iowa. For nine years he was employed in Lawn Ridge and the call was again extended to him. He has now had charge of the church in Milton for four years and is doing excellent work as its pastor. He is respected throughout the community and is greatly loved by the people of his own church as is indicated by his continued service. He has ever taken an active part in temperance work, and in all reforms and interests for the upbuilding of the community and the advance of its general welfare. In politics he is a Republican having supported that party since its organization.
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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