Thomas Teale, president of the Farmers & Traders State Bank of Leon, is prominent in financial circles in
this part of Iowa and is also known because of his connection with public affairs as for two terms he served as
a member of the house of representatives of the state legislature. He was born in Greenwich, England, June 10,
1842, of the marriage of Frederick and Letitia (Hamm) Teale, who in 1843 emigrated with their family to America.
They first located in New York but later removed to Jo Daviess county, Illinois, where they spent the remainder
of their lives. They were the parents of seven children, of whom five are living. Six sons served in the federal
army during the Civil war, all of whom returned alive although five, including our subject, were wounded.
Thomas Teale grew to manhood in Illinois and received liberal educational advantages. He continued his studies
while serving in the army, which indicates his determination to secure a thorough education. He enlisted in Company
E, Fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as a private and remained with that command until wounded at Shiloh.
Being thus disabled for further service he was honorably discharged and returned to Illinois At the close of the
war he came to Decatur county, where he had resided for a time in 1860. At that time he made his home at Decatur
City but upon returning to this county he secured land near what is now the site of the city of Lamoni. He turned
his attention to the improving of his place and in the fall of 1879 erected the first business house in Lamina,
in which he conducted a general store for a number of years. Later he turned the management of the establishment
over to his son Bert, who was connected therewith until 1894. In 1888 our subject came to Leon, where he engaged
in merchandising as a member of the firm of Young & Teale, whose place of business was on the west side of
the square. That firm continued to conduct the store until 7890, when Mr. Teale sold out his interest, Mr. Young
becoming sole proprietor of the establishment. Mr. Teale then entered the banking business in Leon and in 1894
organized the Farmers & Traders Bank, a private institution, which later became the Farmers & Traders State
Bank, under which name it is now conducted. Mr. Teale has been president of the bank since its organization and
its steady growth has been largely due to his excellent management. His son, Fred E., a sketch of whom appears
elsewhere in this work, is cashier of the institution. The bank owns the building in which it is located and which
it has remodeled, making it one of the best bank buildings in the city. The upper floor is given over to offices.
In 1892 our subject established the Commercial Bank of Lamoni, which he sold before establishing the Farmers &
Traders State Bank at Leon. He is also heavily interested in the Farmers State Bank of Lamoni, which his son Ora
manages, and the Iowa State Bank of Mount Ayr, which is conducted by his son Bert. Mr. Teale has considerable real
estate, owning a store building which he erected in Lamoni and a number of farms in the county. He understands
business conditions thoroughly and is quick to recognize and take advantage of opportunites which many others fail
to see. He is recognized as one of the most successful bankers of the county and his advice is often sought on
matters of finance and investment.
In 1867 Mr. Teale was married in this county to Miss Lucinda Graham, who was born in Jo Daviess county, Illinois,
and accompanied her parents, Theodore and Lethee Graham, to this county soon after the close of the Civil war.
She passed away in 1877, leaving four sons: Fred E., Ora and Bert, previously mentioned; and Charles, who is engaged
in the implement business at Mount Ayr. All are married and our subject has several grandchildren.
Mr. Teale is a republican and has twice been honored by election as representative of his district in the state
legislature, serving as a member of that body during the twenty first and twenty second general assemblies. In
that capacity he proved capable and public spirited and made a very creditable record. He attends the Presbyterian
church and his wife favored the Methodist church. He is a loyal member of Leon Post, No. 261, G. A. R., and through
that organization keeps in touch with others who fought for the preservation of the Union. Hem is widely known
and all who have been associated with him hold him in the highest respect and esteem him for his genuine worth.
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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