Biography of Roscoe P. & Leo D. Thoma
Jefferson County, IA Biographies





Roscoe P. and Leo D. Thoma constitute the well known firm of Thoma & Thoma, practicing at the Fairfield bar. They are young men, but a Harvard training and laudable ambition well equip them for professional duties of an important character and they are now enjoying a large and distinctively representative clientage. Roscoe P. Thoma was born in Fairfield, October 8, 1885, and Leo D. on the 16th of May, 1887. They are sons of Louis Thoma, whose birth occurred in Atchison, Kansas, April 23, 1861. Their paternal grandparents were David and Theresa (Irrer) Thoma, both of whom were born near Stuttgart, Germany, where they were reared and married. In 1848 they crossed the Atlantic in one of the old time sailing vessels landing at New York, whence they made their way to Burlington, Iowa. A year later they removed to Kansas and in 1866 came to Fairfield, Iowa, where they resided until called to their final rest, David Thoma passing away in 1878, when fifty six years of age, while his wife died in February, 19o8, at the age of seventy nine. He was a stone cutter, having come from a part of Germany where nearly every one followed that trade and it remained his occupation throughout his entire life. In response to the country's need in her supreme hour of danger, he enlisted in 1861, in the Third Kansas Cavalry, at the first call for troops and served for three years. Although wounded at the battle of Shiloh he continued at the front and as soon as his health permitted was again actively engaged in duty. Unto him and his wife were born six children: Lena, the wife of George Vurtz, residing in Polk county, Nebraska; Lizzie, the wife of John Bartholomew, a resident of Fairfield; Louis, of Fairfield; Mary, the wife of E. O. White, of Grand Island, Nebraska. Two children, Herman and John, died in their youth.

The birth of Louis Thoma occurred while his father was at the front during the Civil war. He came with his parents to Fairfield in 1866 and has since resided in this city, acquiring his education in its public schools. When sixteen years of age he started out in the business world and secured employment in a drug store. Before attaining his majority he was engaged in business on his own account, becoming a member of the firm of Afford, Bradshaw & Thoma. A later change in the personnel of the firm led to the adoption of the firm style of Bradshaw & Thoma, and some time afterward Mr. Bradshaw passed away. The firm is now Thoma & Son, Lotus Thoma having admitted his youngest son to a partnership. His first store was located on the south side of the square and later he removed to the west side. He is now conducting business at the southwest corner, having been at his present location for six years. He erected the building in 1893, a double store, one department being used for the sale of drugs, the other for paints and wall paper. The building is forty four by sixty six feet, a brick structure two stories in height with basement. Mr. Thoma also owns the Bradshaw & Thoma building occupied by Jerico & Easton as a drug store. It was built by Dr. Bradshaw and Mr. Thoma in 1882. In addition to this Louis Thoma had at one time owned the opera house block but sold it. He is now the owner of the oldest business block in town, occupied today as a harness shop. His real estate holdings contribute in no small measure to his income and for many years he has been accounted one of the leading and substantial business men of the city.

In September, 1884, Louis Thoma was united in marriage to Miss Antoinette Petzinger, who was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, in 1865, a daughter of Jacob Petzinger, a native of Germany. Their three children are Roscoe P., Leo D. and Clifford I. The last named was born in Fairfield, in January, 1889, was graduated from the high school, attended Parsons College and six years ago entered the drug business with his father. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Thoma is a fine residence at the corner of Washington and B streets. Throughout the period of his residence in Fairfield he has been a public spirited citizen, interested in all pertaining to the welfare and progress of the city and giving active and helpful support to many measures for the general good. In business, too, he sustains an unassailable reputation for enterprise and reliability and thus enjoys the good will and high regard of all who know hint

The two sons, Roscoe P. and Leo D. Thoma, were students in the public schools and are graduates of the high school, Roscoe P. completing the course in 1902 and Leo D. in 1903. The former then entered Parsons College, from which he was graduated in 1906. The year 1906-7 he spent at the State University. The latter completed a course in the State University at Iowa City in 1907. He had also spent three years in Parsons College but completed his more specifically literary course in the State University. The brothers then entered the Harvard Law School and were graduated in the class of 1910, successfully passing the bar examination in October of that year. They then opened an office in Fairfield and are making substantial progress in their chosen profession. The elder brother has an A. B. degree from Parsons College and an A. B. from the State University, while the younger has an A. B. from the State University and both received the LL. B. degree from Harvard.

Leo D. Thoma was united in marriage on the 24th of November, 1910, to Miss B. May Fisher, a native of this county, and a daughter of P. H. Fisher. Both brothers are republicans in their political views and have been active in local affairs, doing much to promote public progress along various lines. The elder brother is now secretary of the Law Library Association and the younger secretary of the Chautauqua Association. Having spent their entire lives here they are widely known and many of the comrades of their youth remain the friends of their manhood.

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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