Biography of Thomas M. Rider
Jefferson County, IA Biographies





THOMAS M. RIDER.
In a history of Jefferson county mention should be made of Thomas M. Rider, not only because he is one of the few surviving veterans of the Civil war but also because he is a representative of a family which has long been identified with the growth and development of this section of the state. He was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, November 11, 1838, a son of Daniel and Ann (McCall) Rider. The parents were also natives of the Keystone state, the father's birth occurring in Fayette county, in November, 1808, and the mother's in Washington county, October 10, 1810, and in the latter county they were united in marriage. The father first came to Iowa alone in the spring of 1846 and, being greatly impressed with the natural resources of the state and the opportunities offered for advancement in the agricultural field, returned with his family in the following year for permanent settlement. Here he entered a quarter section of land in Jefferson county, being the southwest quarter of section 3, township 72, range 10, and here he made his home until death claimed him. In early life he had learned the tanner's trade and throughout most of his business career he followed that trade in connection with agricultural pursuits. He was also extensively interested in real estate operations, handling a large amount of property and spending twelve years in locating lands. In this connection he located Sioux City, Towa, purchasing the site from a Frenchman. All such trips were made on horseback for the work of railroad construction west of the Mississippi river was yet in its infancy and was limited to one or two main lines connecting only the principle cities of the commonwealth. Politically he was a democrat and ere coming to Iowa had taken an active part in the public life of his native state, serving under General Jackson as postmaster at Claysville, Washington county, Pennsylvania, and representing his district in the Pennsylvania legislature, serving for two terms as a member of the lower house. He also manifested deep interest in the affairs of his adopted state and was the democratic candidate for the office of treasurer of Jefferson county but was defeated, owing to the minority of the party in this section. He served as master of the Grange here and held membership in the Lutheran church, in the faith of which he passed away on the 8th of December, 1893, and in his death Jefferson county lost one of its early and most influential citizens. He had survived his wife for more than two decades, her demise occurring on the loth of October, 1872. They had become the parents of seven children. Mary Jane, the eldest, married Washington Miller and is now deceased. George L. is a resident of Creston, Iowa. Ann Maria became the wife of Andrew Simons and they are both deceased. Thomas M., of this review, is the fourth in order of birth. Emeline married Madison Black and she has also passed away. Henry, who is married and has two children, is successfully carrying on agricultural pursuits in Center township. William T., the youngest, now makes his home in Los Angeles, California.

Thomas M. Rider, whose name introduces this review, was a lad of nine years when he came with his parents to Iowa, and within its borders he has continued to reside since that time with the exception of three years spent at the front and two and a half years later on in Wyoming. As a boy he had taken a trip through Illinois and Indiana with the view of seeing the country, but he returned to Iowa convinced that this state offered equal if not superior advantages in the field of agriculture, which line of activity he had determined to make his life work. He assisted his father for a time in the cultivation of the home farm and on the 2d of August, 1862, enlisted for service in the Civil war, espousing the cause of the Union. He joined Company I, Seventy second Indiana Volunteer Mounted Infantry and with that regiment served for three years except when sent with special detailed parties. He took part in many important engagements, the principal one being the battle of Chickamauga, and went on several raiding expeditions as a member of the famous Wilder Brigade. After the close of hostilities he was mustered out, receiving honorable discharge, and returned home with a military record of which he has every reason to be proud.

When Mr. Rider again took up the pursuits of civil life he at once began farming on a portion of his father's property and is now the owner of one hundred and forty four acres of the old home place, located on section 3, Center township. He also has twenty acres of timber land on section 16 and has recently returned from a sojourn of two and a half years in Wyoming, where he purchased a half section of land and now is the owner of an entire section there. His home place is a well improved property, equipped with all of the modern accessories for facilitating farm labor, and in its operation Mr. Rider is meeting with substantial success for he has ever manifested in the conduct of his affairs that close application, enterprise and perseverance so necessary for success in any walk of life.

Mr. Rider was married, on the 26th of March, 1873, to Miss Belle M. Regester, who was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, on the 2d of May, 1853, a daughter of Aaron H. and Lavina (Greenfield) Regester. Her parents, who were both natives of Washington county, Pennsylvania; came to Iowa on the 26th of March, 1867, locating first in Henry county, and in 1876 they arrived in Jefferson county. Here they both passed away in March, 1891, their deaths occurring only four days apart, the father's when he was sixty five years and the mother's when sixty three years of age. In their family were two daughters, the sister of Mrs. Rider being Mrs. Emma Crawford, a widow who resides at the Rider home. To our subject and his wife were born three children, namely: Harry W., of Jefferson county; Zella B., the wife of J. H. Copeland, of Center township, this county; and Warren A., operating his father's ranch in Wyoming. Mr. Rider belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and maintains his friendship for old army comrades as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He is a stalwart supporter of democratic principles and at one time was the candidate on that party ticket for the office of sheriff of Jefferson county but was defeated. He is a man well known throughout the district in which he resides, not only as one of the early residents here but also because of his straightforward business dealings and his honorable, upright character. He merits the confidence and regard of all who know him and is numbered among the most substantial and respected citizens of the county.

From:
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement Vol II
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1914


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