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Thomas Walpole


Posted By: Peter Gausmann (email)
Date: 2/7/2010 at 17:38:39


Thomas Walpole, editor of the Thompson Courier, has been identified with newspaper work for many years and for almost six decades has been a resident of Iowa. He was born, however, at Groton, in Tompkins county, New York, on the 21st of September, 1855, a son of James and Julia (Murphy) Walpole. While comparatively little is known concerning the ancestral history of the family it has been learned that the name originated in Spain, from which country members of the family removed to France and in later generations from France to England and from England to Ireland. The paternal grandfather of our subject was Thomas Walpole, and the birth of his son James occurred at Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, Ireland, on the 2d of February, 1832. In early manhood the latter emigrated to the United States and after living for several years in New York came with his family to Iowa. He farmed in both Delaware and Buena Vista counties and passed away in 1874. His wife was born in Cork, Ireland, on the 5th of August, 1832, and was a representative of one of the old and highly respected families of the Emerald isle. To their union were born nine children, as follows: Thomas; John; James; Mathew; Mrs. John Howell; E. E.; Elizabeth; Mrs. C. S. Relyea and Mrs. W. H. Irving.

The boyhood and youth of Thomas Walpole were spent in Delaware and Buena Vista counties, Iowa, and after completing the work offered in the public schools there he attended for one term the Southwestern Normal School at Shenandoah, Iowa, and also took a business course at Valparaiso University, at Valparaiso, Indiana. Following the death of his father he operated the home farm for eight years and during that time devoted the winter months to teaching school. In 1882 he became superintendent of the schools of Alta, Iowa, and filled that position until 1884, when in partnership with A. C. Smith he purchased the weekly paper published at Alta under the name of the Advertiser. Subsequently his brother, E. E. Walpole, bought out the interest of Mr. Smith but later in turn sold out to C. H. Wegersley. Mr. Walpole of this review, however, was continuously connected with that publication until 1895, when he sold it and bought the Storm Lake Tribune, which he consolidated with the Pilot under the name of the Pilot-Tribune. He was associated in this venture also with A. C. Smith, and they made the paper a recognized force in the molding of public opinion in that section of the state. In 1904, however, Mr. Walpole became the sole owner of the Pilot-Tribune, and continued to publish it with gratifying success until 1910, when he sold it. He then located at Manson and purchased the Manson Journal which he owned and published until November, 1916, when he disposed of that paper and came to Thompson, Winnebago county. He purchased the Thompson Courier and the large circulation of the paper is proof that it is a liberal, up-to-date and well edited sheet. He has a first class printing establishment and in addition to publishing the Courier does a large job business.

Mr. Walpole was married on the 11th of May, 1887, to Miss Minnie Darnell. Her father, William Darnell, fought in the Civil war as a member of the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry and took part in many important engagements. He was with Sherman on his famous march to the sea and participated in the Grand Review at Washington. To him and his wife were born five children, as follows: Mrs. Walpole; Mrs. C. B. Mitchell; Mrs. W. N. MacChesney; Mrs. Joseph Donaghu; and Mrs. E. S. Ballou. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Walpole are four in number: Elsie, who is a graduate of the Northwestern University at Evanston; Fay, who is a graduate of the State Teachers' College at Cedar Falls, Iowa; and James W. and Eileen.

Mr. Walpole is a republican in politics and from 1888 to 1896 was county superintendent of schools of Buena Vista county, Iowa, while in 1898 he was made postmaster at Storm Lake, which office he held for many years, or until July 1, 1915. His official record was one of the conscientious and efficient discharge of his duties and received the commendation of all good citizens. He is a member of the Masonic order, of the Court of Honor, of the Modern Woodmen of America and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and in religious faith is a Presbyterian. Although he has been a resident of Thompson for only a short time he has already established his position among the most highly esteemed residents of the town and his personal friends are many.

Source: History of Winnebago County and Hancock County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Vol. II. Pioneer Publishing Company (Chicago), 1917. pp. 152-153.


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