IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


Thomas Henderson Studebaker is one of the most prominent citizens of Clayton County, being editor of the North Iowa Times, of McGregor. As a politician he has taken an active part, being greatly interested in the workings of the Democratic party and has been a delegate to various conventions of the same.

The birth of Mr. Studebaker occurred in Muscatine, Iowa, September 20, 1854. In the spring of the same year his father, Harmon W. Studebaker, who was a native of Adams County, Pa., came to the west, making a location at Muscatine. He is still living, being robust and stong, though he has reached the advanced age of eighty-three years and is now a resident of McGregor. The paternal grandfather, jacob, was born in the Keystone State and was the son of Wireman Studebaker, a native of Germany, who emigrated to America, settling in Pennsylvania at an early day. The wife of Harmon W. bore the maiden name of Mary Gardner. Her birth occurred in Huntingdon County, Pa., and she departed this life in 1891, at the age of sixty-seven years. The Gardner family originated in England and the ancestors of the American branch were early settlers in the Keystone State, our subject's maternal grandfather bearing the Christian name of Joseph.

When only an infant Thomas Studebaker was brought by his parents to Mallory Township, Clayton County, where his father settled on a farm to which he devoted himself for many years. The lad obtained a practical knowledge of agricultural pursuits and received a fair education in the district schools. At the age of twenty he entered Western College, at Toledo, Iowa, and graduated from the scientific course in 1882. He was ambitious, though poor, and was determined to have a good education, even if obliged to make his own way through college. For a time after his graduation he worked on the homestead, after which he taught school for two years in the county. In 1885 he entered the railway service on the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, continuing in the service until 1889, when he resigned.

It was in August, 1889, that Mr. Studebaker concluded to adopt another line of business, and therefore purchased the Times, which he has ably conducted since. It has an actual circulation of over sixteen hundred copies, and yearly numbers many more among its regular subscribers. The office is thoroughly equipped with modern type, presses, etc., and the genial proprietor is ready at all times to do job printing and other work in the best possible manner. The editorials which appear from time to time in the paper are well and carefully written, showing careful thought and good judgment.

June 29, 1882, Mr. Studebaker was married to Miss Mary Dorcas. The lady is a native of Cedar County, Iowa, and her father, John Dorcas, was one of the prominent early settlers of that locality. To our subject and his estimable wife two sons and a little daughter have been born, as follows: Lulu, Claude and Ward. The parents are faithful and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have a pleasant home in the city.

Fraternally our subject belongs to Itasca Lodge No. 111, I.O.O.F., Duncan Lodge 136, k.P., and Bellwood Camp No. 5, Modern Woodmen. In June, 1892, he was appointed by Governor Boies as a delegate to the Nicaragua Canal Convention, held in St. Louis, and the same year was a delegate to a convention held at New Orleans. As previously stated he is a stanch Democrat, having taken active part in county, state and national politics. In August, 1894, he was appointed Postmaster at McGregor, which position he now holds.

~source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties; Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894; pg 493-494
~transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

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