THOMAS B. CROSS.
There is no record which the American citizen holds in higher honor than that of the man whose strength of character,
determination of purpose and indefatigable energy have enabled him to work his way upward from a humble position
to one of affluence, and who throughout his business career has followed a straightforward, honorable course that
neither seeks nor requires disguise. Such is the history of Thomas B. Cross who, when a little lad of but eight
years, began to earn his own living and has since been dependent upon his own resources.
Born in Crawford county, Ohio, on the 20th of October, 1847, he is a son of David and Nancy (Louther) Cross. The
father was a native of Delaware and the mother of Holmes county, Ohio, where they were married. That remained their
home until the father's death, at which time the mother brought her family to Iowa, locating first in Ahlainakee
county, where they spent one winter. They then went by boat down the Mississippi river to Muscatine county, where
they made their home for one year, renting what was known as the Cy Townsley farm. The family remained together
for a time, engaging in farming, but after about two years they became scattered, the mother making her home at
different times with her various children until her demise, which occurred in Sheridan county, Missouri, when she
had reached the age of sixty six years. She was the mother of eight children, of whom only two now survive, D.
W., of Fredonia, Iowa, and Thomas B. The others were: Rose Ann, who married William Slough and passed away in Page
county, Iowa; William, a veteran of the Civil war, belonging to the Thirty fifth Iowa Volunteers, whose death occurred
in Muscatine county; John, a member of the First Iowa Cavalry, who died at Springfield, Missouri; Ellen, who first
married Samuel Walker, who was killed in the Civil war, and later married Enoch Aurand, both now deceased; James,
whose death occurred in Nebraska; and Finley, who passed away in Kansas City.
During the early life of Thomas B. Cross he attended the common school in the acquirement of an education but when
only eight years of age was compelled to earn his own livelihood, owing to the straitened circumstances of the
family after the death of his father. Thus he entered the business world at a time when other lads were yet attending
school, and for sixteen years was employed as a farm hand. He then began business on his own account as a farmer,
renting land for about seven years, after which be purchased forty acres in Page county, Iowa, upon which he resided
for one year. He then sold that farm and bought eighty acres in Nebraska, which he operated for a similar period,
after which he purchased one hundred and sixty acres in Nebraska, which remained in his possession for two years.
He next removed to Hamilton county, that state, and invested in two hundred acres which he continued to operate
for sixteen years. At the end of that time he sold his property and returned to Iowa, locating in Louisa county,
where he became the owner of one hundred and forty seven acres. There he resided for two years, when he sold out
and bought eighty acres in Grand View township, which he farmed for one year, and after disposing of that property
he purchased one hundred and twenty acres in Grand View township, upon which he now makes his home. Since that
time he has added more land until he is now the owner of a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of finely improved
property, all under a high state of cultivation. He has added improvements, from time to time, until his place
is now provided with substantial buildings, modern machinery and all conveniences requisite for carrying on the
work successfully. For several years he has made a specialty of raising and feeding stock, the excellent quality
of which is recognized throughout the community. He is a good judge of stock so that he is able to make judicious
purchases and profitable sales. Success has attended his efforts in both branches of his business and today he
is ranked among the representative and prosperous agriculturists of the township.
On the 6th of September, 1888, Mr. Cross with united in marriage to Miss S. J. Fester, who was born in Louisa county,
a daughter of Harrison and Sarah (Reynolds) Foster. The parents were both natives of Ohio, where they were married
in January, 185o, immediately after which they came to Louisa county and here resided upon a rented farm for a
year. They then bought land in Concord township, upon which they resided throughout their remaining days, and with
the passing years accumulated a valuable estate of two hundred acres, all under a high state of cultivation. The
father passed away in 1867 but the mother survived until the 23d of December, 1900. Their family consisted of eight
children, as follows: Mrs. Mary E. Compton, of Raymond, Washington; Mrs. Frances M. Foster, of Wayne county, Illinois;
Mrs. Fannie C. Bushong, of Fredonia, Iowa; Mrs. Cross; Henry H., of Creston, Iowa; Andrew J., operating the old
homestead in Concord township; Solomon D., of Conesville, Iowa; and Mrs. Lydia E. Henderson, now deceased. Unto
Mr. and Mrs. Cross have been born five children, namely: Edna B., born on the 21st of August, 1889, in a sod house
in Hamilton county, Nebraska, who has a high school education and now makes her home with her parents; Ralph R.,
born February 12, 1891, also a high school graduate; Alvin J., who was born October 4, 1892, and attended high
school; Zena A., born July 8, 1894, also a graduate from high school; and Sallie E., who passed away in infancy.
All of the members of the family attend the Church of God and are people of genuine personal worth, highly respected
in the community in which they reside. In politics Mr. Cross gives his allegiance to the democracy but has never
sought nor desired office as a reward for party fealty. The history of the career of Mr. Crass is indeed a most
creditable one, for it is the record of a self made man. On the strength of his own resources, through constant
application of perseverance, coupled with hard work and careful management, he has been able to rise in the world
from comparative penury and obscurity to a position of independence in the agricultural circles of Louisa county.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium