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Decatur County >> 1915 Index

History of Decatur County, Iowa
J. M. Howell and H. C. Smith, supervising eds. 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1915.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Emory Thompson, who is a well known farmer and stockman of New Buda  township, was born May 2, 1860, in Wapello county, Iowa, a son of  Francis and Margaret (Ewing) Thompson.  The father, who was born near  Danville, Indiana, of Irish and Yankee ancestry, came to Iowa in the  early '40s and homesteaded land in Wapello county.  At the time of the  Civil war he put aside all personal considerations and enlisted in  Company E, Twenty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry.  At the close of  hostilities he returned to his farm in Wapello county, where he resided  until 1879, when he came to New Buda township, Decatur county, buying  sixty acres of land.  Five years later he added forty acres to his  holdings and he devoted his time to the cultivation of his land until  his demise, which occurred in 1888.  His wife was also born near  Danville, Indiana, and came of Yankee stock.  Their marriage occurred at  Danville.  She passed away in 1902 in Davis City, to which place she  removed following the demise of her husband.  

Emory Thompson received a good education, attending the public schools  of Wapello county.  On putting aside his textbooks he concentrated his  energies upon helping his father with the work of the farm and following  the demise of the latter took charge of the home place, which he has  since operated.  He owns one hundred acres of excellent land and in  addition to raising the usual crops breeds high grade stock and feeds a  large number of cattle and hogs annually which he sells to shippers.  

On the 14th of November, 1886, Mr. Thompson married Miss Abigail  Robbins, a daughter of John Porter and Rachel (Davis) Robbins.  Her  father was born in Athens county, Ohio, and came of Yankee ancestry.  In  1845 he removed to Decatur county, Iowa, and cast in his lot with the  early settlers of New Buda township, where he entered land.  His demise  occurred at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Sidney Morris, at Bethany,  Missouri, on the 7th of December, 1913, when he had reached the advanced  age of seventy-nine years, two months and nineteen days, his natal day  being September 18, 1834. His wife, who was born in Ohio, became a  resident of Missouri in her girlhood and there their marriage was  solemnized in 1860.  She passed away in 1890 near Akron, Missouri.  Mrs.  Thompson is one of eleven children and has become the mother of six  children, as follows:  Elva, who was born August 26, 1887, died when  nine months old.  Floyd, who was born May 14, 1889, is assisting his  father with the farm work.  He is identified with the Independent Order  of Odd Fellows at Davis City.  Myrl, who was born October 6, 1892, is  the wife of Roy Mitchell, a farmer living near Fairfax, Missouri.  Earl,  a twin of Myrl, died when five months old.  Fay, whose birth occurred  February 13, 1898, will graduate from the Davis City high school with  the class of 1916.  Mary Dean, who was born April 30, 1905, died at the  age of eight years.  

Mr. Thompson is a democrat and for twenty-eight years has been a member  of the school board of independent district No. 2, of New Buda township,  and for a number of years was president of that body.  He is  characterized by industry and, as he plans his work well, he has met  with a gratifying measure of success in his farming operations.  

Martin M. Turpen, D. D.

Elder Martin M. Turpen, who is pastor of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints at Pleasanton, has done excellent work in the religious field and was also identified with agricultural pursuits in this county for many years. He was born in Hamilton township, Decatur county, Iowa, August 19, 1853, a son of Aaron and Lucinda (Miller) Turpen. His parents, who were natives respectively of Kentucky and of Indiana, removed to Decatur county, Iowa, before the admission of the state into the Union and the father entered land in Hamilton township. He cleared his farm and devoted his time to its operation during the remainder of his life with the exception of four years which he spent in Kansas. He passed away in 1905, having survived his wife for many years, her demise occurring in 1870.

Martin M. Turpen was reared and educated in Hamilton township and remained upon the homestead until he was eighteen years of age. He then rented a farm, which he operated until 1900, when he purchased eighty acres of land on sections 15 and 22, Hamilton township. He at once set about improving his property and was active in the cultivation of his land until 1912, when he rented the place to his son. In the meantime he had become a leader in the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints and for the past twenty-eight years he has been a minister of that organization. For a long time he was a traveling missionary and then was for two years pastor of the church at Centerville, Iowa. At the present time he has charge of the church at Pleasanton and under his direction the work of its various departments in being very successfully conducted. He combines the regard for spiritual things and the religious zeal that are the first qualifications of a minister with the practical ability that enables him to work out the high moral teachings of his church into terms of community life.

On the 17th of September, 1876, Elder Turpen married Miss Mary E. McNeil, a daughter of Alex and Elizabeth McNeil, both natives of Indiana. The father was an early settler of this county and for many years farmed in Burrell township. He passed away in 1877 but was survived until 1895 by his widow. Elder and Mrs. Turpen have five children: Claud R., a plasterer and mason residing in Mt. Ayr, who is married and has three children, Eugene, Stephen and Ruth; Clara who married L. M. McNeil, a farmer of Mercer county, Missouri, by whom she has three children, Ellen O., Doris E. and Ray L.; Stephen A., a veterinary surgeon residing in Quenemo, Osage county, Kansas, who is married and his three children, Alma, Thelma and Merle; George M., who is manager of the Lamoni Hardware Company; and David D., who is farming his father's farm. He married Blanche La Follette and they had become the parents of two children: Mildred B., aged four; and a child who died in infancy.

Elder Turpen is a republican and has always taken the interest of a good citizen in public affairs although he was never been active in politics. While he was engaged I farming he was known as an energetic and successful agriculturist but for many years his chief interest has been in his work as a minister of the Gospel and his labors have borne fruit in the deepening of the religious life of the communities in which he has served.