Thomas A. Churchill is an extensive stock raiser and dealer and owns and operates a splendid farm of five hundred
and eighty three acres on sections 28 and 29, Garden Grove township. His birth occurred near Springfield, in Sangamon
county, Illinois, in 1856, and he is a son of Joel and Lucretia (Bondurant) Churchill, both natives of Kentucky,
although descended from New England stock. The ancestry in the Churchill line is traced back to England. The Bondurants
were originally French Hugenots but about 1687, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, emigrated to Virginia.
When a boy, Joel Churchill accompanied his parents to Sangamon county, Illinois, and there his marriage occurred.
He was a farmer and was well known and highly respected in his community. In 1865 he removed with his family to
Douglas county, Kansas, settling between Lawrence and Ottawa. In the spring of 1874 they returned to Illinois and
became residents of Piatt county. Mr. Churchill's political allegiance was given to the republican party and he
and his wife were devoted members of the Christian church. Both passed away in Piatt county, his demise occurring
in the spring of 1902 when he was seventy six years of age, and that of his wife in January, 1896, when she was
seventy years old. To their union were born six sons and five daughters, of whom our subject is the sixth in order
of birth, and all of whom are living, residing in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.
Thomas A. Churchill was reared in Illinois and Kansas and received his education in the public schools. He began
his independent career in Illinois and although he had no capital, he was energetic and determined and soon began
to prosper financially. Later he removed to Wayne county, Iowa, where he farmed for five years, and on the 18th
of November, 1908, he removed to Garden Grove, Decatur county. He remained there until October 18, 1909, when he
settled upon his present farm of five hundred and eighty three acres on sections 28 and 29, Garden Grove township.
His property is not only extensive, but is well improved, and he is meeting with marked success as a raiser of
high grade hogs and cattle.
Mr. Churchill was married in Kansas to Miss Mary Browning, a native of Indiana, who accompanied her parents to
the Sunflower state in 1868. Her father was a farmer and blacksmith and took considerable interest in public affairs,
serving at one time as assessor of Franklin county, Kansas. His wife passed away in the faith of the Methodist
Episcopal church and he is also deceased, both dying in Kansas. They were the parents of four daughters and three
sons, of whom two have passed away. To Mr. and Mrs. Churchill have been born six children, the eldest of whom died
in infancy. Olive L. graduated from a high school in Illinois and later attended Drake University. She is now teaching
in the Des Moines public schools. Vera Pearl is also a high school graduate and has taught school, although she
is now at home. Martha Elizabeth is at home. Clifton Bondurant, who operates part of the home farm, married Miss
Louise Gehlhaar, and they have a daughter, Lorene. Thomas Arthur is also at home.
Mr. Churchill is a republican and is now serving as a member of the Garden Grove township board of trustees. Fraternally
he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and to the Royal Neighbors, and his wife is likewise a member of the
latter order. Their daughter Pearl is a member of the P. E. O. Sisterhood. Mr. Churchill has made many improvements
upon his farm since it came into his possession and has but recently erected a large barn, which replaces one destroyed
by fire a year ago, the building with its contents, including five horses, being an entire loss. Although he began
his career empty handed, he has accumulated more than a competence, and his success is a source of justifiable
pride to him. He has also gained the sincere respect and esteem of all who know him, for his business methods have
at all times been open and honorable, and he has manifested a praiseworthy consideration for the rights of others.
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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