THOMAS S. LAUGHLIN.
Few men in Locust Grove township, Jefferson county, are more highly esteemed for the services which they have rendered
their community in the interests of both its economic and educational advancement than is Thomas S. Laughlin, who
resides on the farm where he was born, on section 14, of Locust Grove township, on April 9, 1843. His father, Harvey
P. Laughlin, was born in Logan county, Tennessee, in the year 1809, his parents being of Irish descent. He married
Eliza Catharine Newman, who was born in Knox county, Tennessee, September 9, 1817, being a descendant of German
ancestry. Mr. and Mrs. Laughlin removed to Illinois and settled in Coles county, where they lived for seven years.
In 1842 they came to Jefferson county, Iowa, establishing their home in Locust Grove township on section 14, a
tract of land of three hundred and seven acres which they entered from the government. This farm the father continued
to cultivate until his death, December 20, 1887. His wife survived him until 1901, when she passed away at the
home of her daughter, Mrs. George W. Ball, of Fairfield, Iowa. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey
P. Laughlin, namely: A. W., residing in Odessa, Missouri; William M., of Oklahoma; Thomas S.; Sarah J., the wife
of W. W. Whittaker, of Fairfield, Iowa; Margaret, the wife of George W. Ball, also of Fairfield; Mary C., the wife
of James Hayden, of Eldon, Iowa; Floyd K., a farmer of Locust Grove township; and Blanch, deceased, who was the
wife of W. G. Burkhardt, of Fairfield, Iowa.
Thomas S. Laughlin acquired his education in the rural schools near his home and later attended Axline's Academy
at Fairfield and followed the profession of school teaching, securing a position as assistant professor at Brookville,
Iowa, when nineteen years of age. Subsequently he taught school at Abingdon, Batavia, and other places for a period
of ten years, devoting his summers to agricultural pursuits on his father's farm. At the age of thirty one years
he bought from his father a part of the old homestead, buying the remainder of the estate at the death of his father.
In 1892 he took possession of the old family residence on the place and has lived there ever since. He is an industrious
worker, progressive in his methods, finding pleasure and inspiration in the invigorating life of the man who works
in the fields. His farm of four hundred and five acres is situated on sections fourteen and fifteen and is one
of the finest in the county. Here Mr. Laughlin and his two sons devote their efforts to the improvement of the
land and also to raising a high grade of stock, making a specialty of breeding full blooded Percheron mares.
The marriage of Mr. Laughlin and Miss Elizabeth C. Warwick, daughter of Samuel Scott and Nancy Gray (Brooks) Warwick,
occurred on October 21, 1874. Mrs. Laughlin's parents were born near Hamilton, in Butler county, Ohio, the father
being a farmer by occupation. Prior to their marriage they came west in 1846, locating in Locust Grove township,
after Mr. Warwick had made a careful survey of Jefferson county, Iowa, in order to decide upon a suitable place
for settling. He cultivated the soil for fourteen years, passing away in Missouri, July 25, 1860, at the age of
about thirty years. His wife survived him forty years, departing this life at the home of Thomas S. Laughlin in
April, 1900. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Laughlin are: Mary J., the wife of F. E. Robb, of Girard, Kansas;
William A., of Fairfield, Iowa; and Joseph, a resident of Los Angeles, California. In the family of Mr. and Mrs.
Laughlin eight children were born: Grace, who married Edward Abraham, a ranchman in California, and died in March,
1899, leaving two small children, Vida and Frances; Bessie, who became the second wife of Edward Abraham and they
have two children, Meta and Constance; Russell, who married Mattie Barr and operates a farm adjoining his father's,
and has three children, Pauline, Margaret and Baby Barr; Meta, the wife of Oren Fordyce, a farmer of Des Moines
township and also the twin sister of Mervin, living at home with his parents; Mary, who died at the age of one
year; Lawrence, who is attending Parson's College at Fairfield, Iowa, where he is taking the scientific course,
being a member of the class of 1912; and Maurice, who is attending a business college at Burlington, Iowa.
In his political sympathies Mr. Laughlin is an ardent democrat and has served as assessor for three years. He has
also acted as school director for a long continued term. He and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian church
of Locust Grove township, being among the most helpful and earnest workers of its congregation. All that Mr. Laughlin
now owns has been acquired by his own unremitting efforts and in the enjoyment of a comfortable competence he finds
the reward with which faithful service is crowned.
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Jefferson County, IA
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