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A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement


Digitized for Microsoft Corporation by the Internet Archive in 2008. From New York Public Library.
May be used for non-commercial, personal, research, or education purposes, or any fair use.
May not be indexed in a commercial service.

Transcribed and donated by Vance Tigges & Kathy Weaver.

HON. THOMAS RICH *pages 304, 305 & 306*

Page 304 Thomas Rich

Page 305 Thomas Rich

Page 306 Thomas Rich

Thomas Rich Text File


During a period of more than forty years the name of Rich has been prominently identified with the agricultural and political development of Carroll county. Its bearers are not esteemed for possessing great wealth or extensive property interests, but for two generations its men have been renowned throughout the country because of their high standard of citizenship, their trustworthiness and incorruptible integrity. The late Thomas Rich was born in Brighton, England, on the 3d of March, 1830, and was the eldest son of Richard and Mary Rich, who were the parents of twelve children, the order of their birth being as follows: Fannie, Mary, Martha, Rebecca. Rachel. Thomas, Naomi, Ruth, Sarah, Joseph, Benjamin and Ebenezer, all but two of whom are now deceased. In 1833 Richard Rich accompanied by his wife and children emigrated to the United States from the mother country, locating in Erie, Pennsylvania. They continued to reside there for seven years, during which period the father worked at his trade, which was that of cabinet maker. Subsequently they removed to Illinois, settling in Como, Whiteside county, where Mr. Rich continued to follow his trade for many years. Mrs. Rich passed away on the 26th of May, 1872, and thereafter the father made his home with his children in Chicago, where he was living at the time of his demise on the 6th of December, 1875.

Thomas Rich was only a lad of three years when his parents emigrated to the United States, but as the family was large and their income limited he very soon had to assist in the support of the household. Although he had only attained his twelfth year when they removed to Illinois he had for some time previous been working at the carpentry trade with his father, his schooling in Pennsylvania having been limited to three months. He remained a member of the paternal household until his marriage, following which he established a home of his own. After twenty-eight years residence in Whiteside county, during which time he worked at the carpentry trade continuously, Mr. Rich removed to Carroll county, Iowa, settling on a farm four miles east of Glidden. Here he engaged in general farming and stock-raising until 1885, at which time he received the appointment of postmaster at Glidden following which the family went there to reside. Mr. Rich gave most efficient service in this capacity for four years at the expiration of which period he received the nomination on the democratic ticket for state senator. Despite the fact that the district had for many years previous gone republican by a pronounced majority Mr. Rich was elected and served through two sessions of the state legislature. His record as a senator was characterized by honesty, independence and a progressive tendency. He was naturally on the side of economy and financial reform, but he voted for the liberal support of all public institutions, and was a trusted friend of Governor Horace Boies and Judge Woolson of the federal district court, who was then a senator. In 1890 Senator Rich and his family removed to Carroll, purchasing a home in the north part of the town which they were occupying at the time of his demise. Seven years thereafter Carroll county felt the need of a man possessed of his characteristics on the board of supervisors, and although his colleague on the ticket was defeated by a republican, Thomas Rich having been tried and found to be true, was elected. He was known to be able to withstand the most alluring blandishments of unscrupulous lobbyists, his integrity and honor ever having been above suspicion during the entire period of his public career. During the last year of his life he was chairman of the board but owing to his increasing infirmities was able to attend but one meeting of the last session.

Miss Angeline Barrett became the wife and helpmate of Mr. Rich, their union being solemnized in Como, Illinois. To them were born eight children, namely: Charles, who was the first born, and died in infancy. Thomas R., the eldest surviving son, married Miss Leta Gabriel. Minnie, who married Andrew Jenks, has the following children: Ruth, Herbert, Sarah, Pearl, George, Vern and a baby boy. William O., who was born in Como, Illinois, in 1860, and passed away on the 16th of April, 1910.

During the early years of his manhood W. O. Rich was engaged in business, making a success of every enterprise with which he was identified but he later withdrew from mercantile activities to enter public life. He held a number of city and township offices the responsibilities of which he discharged in a highly creditable manner and four years prior to his death he was elected to the board of supervisors of which body he was chairman at the time of his demise. He made a record during his public service which for honesty and efficiency was fully equal to that of his father. He was united in marriage on the 24th of December. 1884, to Miss Ida A. Griffin of Glidden, who survives him. Earl M., a resident of Glidden township, is an agriculturist. Nettie, who married Walter English, has two children: Louise and Jean. Herbert, who was the seventh in the order of birth, is deceased. Roscoe, the youngest member of the family, married Miss Maude O'Neil and they have two daughters, Angeline and Margaret. Mrs. Rich is still surviving at the venerable age of seventy-eight years and makes her home with her son Roscoe.

The family attended the Baptist church with which denomination the parents were affiliated, while his political support Mr. Rich always accorded the candidates of the democratic party. Although many years have passed since his demise the record he made as a public official is remembered and referred to as being in every way worthy of emulation. Mr. Rich was a man of modest, unassuming disposition, who rarely spoke of himself, and yet withal possessing such strength of character that he clung to his ideals with absolute inflexibility. It is said of him that he never forgot a friend nor missed an opportunity of reciprocating a kindly act.

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