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Biographical History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa

THOMAS H. JEFFERSON, a prominent farmer of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, is a son of William Jefferson, who was born in 1801, and was married to Elizabeth Hewett, daughter of John Hewett, a native of England.  Mr. Jefferson came to America in 1823, and settled in Trumbull County, Ohio, where he was among the early settler.  He was the only member of his family that ever came to this country.  He was engaged first in driving a stage for the Ohio Stage Company for sixteen years, and next in clearing a farm from heavy timber.  The country at that time was covered with giant beech, oaks, walnut, maple, hickory and almost all kinds of timber native to that State, and wild beasts were also plentiful.  To Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson were born five children:  William, Mary, Thomas, Edward, and one who died when young.  The father lived on his farm for many years, where he was a well-known and prominent man, and both he and his wife were members of the Church of England.  In 1863 he went to Black Hawk County, Iowa, where he lived the remainder of his days, dying at the age of seventy-six years.  He was a hard-working and upright man.

Thomas H. Jefferson, our subject, was born February 23, 1839, and after his marriage was engaged in the oil country in Warren and Erie counties, Pennsylvania, for three years.  In 1867 he came to Iowa, settling in Black Hawk County, where he remained two years; he next lived on the Missouri line in Polk and Cedar counties, and in 1872 he came to Belknap Township, Pottawattamie County, settling on wild land.  There was but one house between him and Big Grove, now Oakland, which then contained a store, blacksmith shop, and a saw-mill and three small cabins.  In 1881 he came to his present fine farm of 320 acres, one-half o which is in Belknap Township.  Politically he is a Democrat, and stands deservedly high as a straightforward and honorable man.

Mr. Jefferson was married in 1863, in Pennsylvania, to Rose Stewart, daughter of Simeon and Hannah ((Blakesley) Stewart, and they have three children:  Stewart, Charles C., and Tommy.  Simeon Stewart was born in New York State, and was the father of five children:  Tryphenia, Calphurnia, Perry, Rose and Dora.  He was a carpenter by trade, but owned a farm in the woods of Erie County, Pennsylvania, where he lived for many years, and where he was a pioneer settler.  He went thirty-two miles to Erie on horseback for his flour.  He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and lived to the age of eighty-two, dying on his farm.  He was a member of the Masonic order, and a man well known and respected in his county.  He kept a hotel on the road from Oil City to Corry, Pennsylvania, and during the oil exitement [sic] did an immense business, accumulating a handsome property.

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