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Although a pioneer of Cass county, having come to Bear Grove township to live as far back as 1874, Thomas M. Tice is a native of Iowa, and was born in Marion county on November 19, 1852. His parents were David and Catherine (Metz) Tice, the former a native of Virginia, and the latter of Germany.

The father, who was a farmer during all of his mature life, moved from his native State to Illinois in his boyhood, accompanying his parents who located in Sangamon county. There he remained until 1843, when he came to this State and found a home in Marion county; or rather, it should be said he made a home in Marion county; for it was on the frontier when he took up his residence there, and he was a pioneer in that section. At his advanced age his memory is still excellent and he narrates many interesting incidents of his young manhood in that region. He was obliged to hew out his estate from the obdurate wilderness and the hard conditions of life on the frontier, and every step of his progress was literally the result of his own efforts. His farm comprises 320 acres of excellent land, on which he is still living at the age of eighty-six years. His wife died in 1889. They were the parents of six children, all of whom are living--William O., a farmer of Marion county, this State; Thomas M., the immediate subject of this review; Leroy D., a resident of Cherry county, Neb.; George M. and Sylvester, both of Marion county; and Annie, now Mrs. Hoagland, of Jasper county, Iowa.

Thomas M. Tice farmed in Marion county until 1874, after reaching a proper age for the work and securing a district school education. In the year last mentioned he moved to Cass county and bought the tract of land on which he now lives, which was virgin prairie when he obtained possession of it, and is now one of the well cultivated and highly improved farms of Bear Grove township. What it is today represents the bounty of Nature, enriched by almost a generation of systematic, skillful and conscientious human labor.

Mr. Tice was united in marriage with Ada Baker, who was born in the same county as himself, and is a daughter of Milton and Melissa J. (Kelsey) Baker, who moved to this State from Berrien county, Mich., in 1852. Both died in Iowa, the father in Jasper county in 1889, and the mother in Calhoun county in 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Tice have four children, Nellie E., now Mrs. Wm. Dyer, who is living in South Dakota; Claud B., attending school at Iowa City; and George M. and Bertha, who are resident at home. The father has always taken a lively and helpful interest in the affairs of his township and county, and has served as township trustee, assessor and school director, and in various other local positions of trust and importance. He is generally well esteemed as an excellent citizen, a good farmer and a sterling, upright man.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 528-529.

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