Biographies of Elliott Residents

Elliott Centennial History, 1879 - 1979

Elliott Centennial Committee

Page 186-187




    Thomas Wall was born 10 December 1838 at Steubenville, Ohio, son of Nathaniel Wall and Sarah (Craddock) Wall, who came from Dursley, Gloucestershire, England, eventually to Elliott, Iowa.

Thomas Wallís first wife, married 4 December 1865, was Eliza Monsidee Mercer of Morgantown, W. Va. Soon after the birth of their child, Jessie Wall, she died and is buried in the old Mercer cemetery near Elliott. Jessie married Joseph Henry Petty; they were life-long residents of Elliott.

    On 7 August 1870, in Waveland Township, after Thomas returned from a two-year tour of the west, he remarried, to Mary Amanda Collins, born 25 February 1848 at Waterbury, Vt., who had come to Iowa as a schoolteacher with her father, Alfred Collins, his second wife, and children of two marriages.

    Farmer and stockman, Thomas Wall was noted as an orchard enthusiast; the Elliott newspaper celebrated his setting of 500 trees. He carried the habit when he went to Kansas at the end of the 1890ís. There he farmed, operated stone quarries, and opened a real estate development at Yates Center, seat of Woodson County.

    The first two of Thomasís and Maryís children were born in their log cabin home near Elliott, the third in a commodious farmhouse built between 1875 and 1884 and still (1975) standing, unoccupied. The three children were:

Hermon Collins Wall, born 25 May, 1873, founded a business college at Perry, Iowa, but died 26 August 1897, on the eve of marriage to Clara Hully.

    Alden Aaron Wall, born 7 November 1875, attended the then Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls, later taught rural schools in Kansas and Iowa, farmed, engaged with his father in the quarry and construction business, and worked as a salesman. He married Madge Winifred Walker of Batavia, Iowa, in 1897. Dying 3 March 1915, Alden left two sons, the younger Homer Russell, died in 1916. The elder, Hermon Duncan, retired after a career as newspaper man, in the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and 13 years in Rome, Italy, with the U. N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

    Lyra Dale Wall, born 29 October 1884, graduated in home economics from the then Kansas college for women at Pittsburg and taught school in Kansas. She married William L. Boyd. Together they operated restaurants in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Kansas City, while he engaged in real estate and banking. They were living in retirement in Mena, Ark., when they died, she 23 March 1952, he a few years later. To mourn a beloved citizen, the mayor of Mena proclaimed business closing for her funeral.

    Thomas and Mary Wall also adopted a daughter called Birdie. When grown up, Birdie returned to her native Nevada, Iowa where she died, probably in the 1960ís, after winning wide affection for helping neighbors in crises.

Thomas Wall died at Yates Center 25 November 1912. Mary Amanda Wall died 7 December 1916 at the home of her foster daughter, Mrs. Joseph Petty, in Elliott. Both are buried in the Yates Center Cemetery with their son, Alden.



~ Duncan Wall