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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1011~




One of Illyria township's most progressive agriculturists and highly honored citizens is Thomas Greathead, who has won success in life because he has worked for it along legitimate lines. He was born in April, 1865, in Dubuque, Iowa, and was educated in the public schools of McGregor, Iowa. He is the son of William E. And Mary (Davis) Greathead, the father born in McConnelsburg, Fulton county, Pennsylvania, about 1825; she was born in Wales about 1835, having come to America with her parents, who located near Elkader, Iowa, where they lived until their deaths. Mr. Greathead was a carpenter by trade. He left his home in Pennsylvania when a young man and came to Iowa, working in the city of Dubuque for a time, also worked in Elkader, and it was there that he met and married Mary Davis. After this event he and his bride moved to Dubuque, where they lived a year or two, then returned to Elkader, thence moved to McGregor and then he moved to Kansas, where he lived until his death, in 1909. He had worked at his trade all the while. His family consisted of five children, four of whom are living, namely: Thomas, of this review, is the eldest; Frances, deceased; William D. lives on a farm in Westfield township, near Fayette; F. S. lives at Oelwein, being an instructor in the manual training department of the public schools there; Mary E. Is the wife of W. J. Whitson, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mrs. Greathead has made her home with her son, William D., for a number of years.

Thomas Greathead was about fifteen years of age when he began working as a farm hand, continuing to work as a laborer until 1888, when he came to Fayette county, Iowa, and rented a farm in Illyria township, usually renting about one hundred and seventy acres. He continued to rent until 1898, laying by a competency, then he purchased eighty acres, forty acres in section 7 and forty in section 8, Illyria township. He has brought his place up to a high standard, adding some substantial buildings, a gasoline pumping outfit, and has built an addition to his dwelling and made many other changes that makes his place a very desirable one. He has a beautiful home, neatly kept and which is presided over by a lady known in her maidenhood as Inez E. May, whom Mr. Greathead married on January 11, 1894; she was born in Illyria township, this county, August 19, 1868, and is the daughter of Robert H. And Martha (Alcorn) May, pioneers of Fayette county and a highly honored family. Mr. and Mrs. Greathead have no children. A sketch of Mrs. Greathead's parents is to be found on another page. Politically, Mr. Greathead is a Republican, but is not interested in politics to any great extent. He is a man who is well thought of by his neighbors, having always led a quiet, honorable life and tended strictly to his own affairs."

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Kathy Moore


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