THOMAS J. OCHILTREE.
One of the best known men in Morning Sun is Thomas J. Ochiltree, who for nearly fifty years has been identified
with the commercial activities of that city, during eighteen of which he has been postmaster. He was born in Louisa
county on the 1st of June, 1842, and is a son of Henry M. and Margaret Ochiltree. The father, who was born on the
9th of February, 1809, was a native of Virginia, while the mother, whose natal day was the loth of October, 1815,
came from South Carolina. Henry M. Ochiltree, who was of Scotch extraction, removed to Ohio in the early '30s and
continued to reside there until 1836, in which year he came to Iowa, where he entered a tract of government land.
After having made the necessary improvements upon his property he returned to Ohio, where he was married on the
4th of January, 1838. Immediately afterward he and his bride started west, beginning their domestic life in this
state in a log cabin with a clapboard roof and a puncheon floor. This continued to be their home for nine years,
but success attended the efforts of Mr. Ochiltree who at one time owned one thousand acres of land in this county.
Nine children were born to them, three of whom are still living: Thomas J.; Marshall; and Henry M., who is living
in Haddam, Kansas. The father passed away on the 5th of September, 1877, but the mother survived until the 30th
of October, 1887, both being laid to rest in the cemetery of Morning Sun. Mr. Ochiltree always, took an active
interest in political affairs and gave his support to the republican candidates. Both he and his wife were affiliated
with the United Presbyterian church, of which for many years Mr. Ochiltree was an elder.
Reared on the farm on which he was born, Thomas J. Ochiltree acquired his preliminary education in the common schools
of his native county, this being later supplemented by a collegiate course. He remained a member of the parental
household until he was of age, and on the 1st of the July following he enlisted in Company M, Eighth Iowa Cavalry,
and went to the front in defense of the Union. He remained in service during the entire period of the Civil war,
during which time he participated in many notable battles but was never wounded. On the 1st of January, 1866, he
was mustered out and, returning to Louisa county, he engaged in agricultural pursuits for two years. At the expiration
of that period he became associated with his father and brother Marshall in the grain and lumber business in Morning
Sun. This connection continued until 1873 when Mr. Ochiltree bought the interest of his father and brother and
continued the business alone until 1910, at which time he withdrew from commercial activities.
The marriage of Mr. Ochiltree and Miss Elizabeth Brown, also a native of Louisa county, was celebrated on the 27th
of June, 1869. Mrs. Ochiltree is a daughter of J. C. and Mary J. Brown. Her mother has now passed away but her
father is still living and continues to be a resident of Morning Sun. Five children were born unto Mr. and Mrs.
Ochiltree, in order of birth as follows: Stanley; Jennie, who became the wife of A. J. Pooley, of Chicago; William
T., who is in the United States army, now stationed in the Philippines; and two who are deceased.
Mr. Ochiltree, who has always been an ardent republican, takes a prominent part in municipal affairs. He served
as mayor of the town for four terms, and he has been a member of the school board for twenty eight consecutive
years, during the past fifteen of which he has been president. Eighteen years ago he received the appointment of
postmaster of Morning Sun, of which office he has ever since been the incumbent. Both he and his wife are affiliated
with the Presbyterian church, in the work of which they always take an active and earnest interest. In addition
to his pleasant residence in Morning Sun Mr. Ochiltree owns one hundred and sixty acres of farm land in Canada
and is regarded as one of the substantial residents of the town. Always affable and courteous in all of the relations
of life, he has a wide circle of friends who hold him in high esteem.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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