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John Thomsen
Born May 8, 1858

John Thomsen, who is now capably serving his fellow townsmen as chairman of the board of county supervisors, is widely recognized as a prosperous and progressive agriculturist as well as one of the most extensive and successful cattle feeders in the county. He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, on the 8th of May, 1858, his parents being Carston and Maria (Petersen) Thomsen, who spent their entire lives in the fatherland. Mr. Thomsen of this review spent his youthful days under the parental roof and obtained his education in the public schools of his native land. In 1878, in order to avoid military service, he emigrated to the United States, landing in New York city in August of that year. Owing to the fact that be had a brother-in-law, August Levsen by name, living in Jones county Iowa, he made his way at once to this part of the country and, securing employment as a farm hand, was thus busily engaged for three years. On the expiration of that period he went to Carroll county, Iowa, where he rented a farm and was successfully engaged in its operation for two years. He then returned to this county and for a period of twelve years was here identified with agricultural pursuits as a renter. At the end of that time, owing to his frugality and unremitting industry, he had accumulated capital sufficient to enable him to purchase a home of his own, and in 1896, he came into possession of the old Pratt farm of three hundred and sixteen acres of Madison township one of the finest farms in the entire county. In addition to his agricultural interests be also handles stock on an extensive scale and is widely recognized as one of the largest and most successful cattle feeders in Jones county, having acquired a snug little fortune from this source in the past few years.
In 1884 Mr. Thomsen was joined in wedlock to Miss Maria Jensen, a native of Germany, who came to the United States in 1883. By this union there were five children, namely: Dora, who attended Coe College; Meinhardt, a graduate of the Wyoming high school; Clara, a graduate of Coe College; Jennie, who has also completed the course in the Wyoming high school; and August, who is now pursuing his studies in that institution. All of the children are still at home. The wife and mother was called to her final rest on the 7th of January, 1909, and her death came as a severe blow not only to her immediate family but also to a large circle of friends.
Mr. Thomsen is a stalwart democrat in his political views and has served as a member of the school board for many years. He fully realizes the value of good mental training as a preparation for the practical and responsible duties of life and his children have enjoyed the best advantages obtainable in this direction. In 1906 he was appointed to the office of county supervisor to fill a vacancy and on the expiration of the term, in 1907, was regularly elected for another term. He is therefore the present incumbent in the position, the duties of which he discharges in a highly satisfactory and most capable manner. His record may well serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to others who are obliged to depend upon their own resources for success, for when he arrived in this country he was not only without money but also in debt for his passage. Work earnest, persistent work-has been the source of his prosperity, enabling him to pass on the highway of life many who started out more advantageously e I quipped. His three daughters are members of the Presbyterian church, and the different members of the family are well known and highly esteemed throughout the community.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 149.


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