Thomas Monroe RIDPATH, b. 8Oct1856


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Thomas Monroe Ridpath, now living in Prairie township, is numbered among the native sons of Mahaska county, his birth having occurred in Richland township, October 8, 1856. His father, Joseph Ridpath, a native of Indiana, is now living in Audubon county, Iowa, and will be seventy eight years of age on the 1st of September, 1906. His wife, who in maidenhood was Elizabeth Betsey Jarard, was born in Ohio and died in Prairie township, Mahaska county, when her son Thomas was but nine years of age. She was a daughter of John Jarard, one of the early settlers of the county. Joseph Ridpath came to Iowa when a young man and was preceded by an elder brother, who had taken up one hundred and sixty acres of government land. After his marriage Joseph Ridpath purchased a half of his brother's farm and built thereon a log cabin, in which his son Thomas was born. He made that place his home until after Thomas M. Ridpath had reached mature years and was married. After losing his first wife the father wedded Mrs. Petty and removed to Audubon county, Iowa, where he is now living. Thomas Monroe Ridpath was the third in a family of four children, the others being: Henrietta, the wife of Gilford Petty, of Audubon county; Ollis, who died in childhood; and Albert, who married Emma Moore, of Barns City, and is living in Whatcheer, Iowa. In the district schools of Prairie township Thomas M. Ridpath pursued his education and when about twenty years of age began working as a farm hand by the month, receiving twenty dollars per month, which was considered excellent wages for those days. After two years he rented a farm belonging to his cousin, Mrs. Reynolds, and cultivated that place for two years. He then married and came to the farm where he now lives, first purchasing forty acres of unimproved land. There were no buildings upon it, so he rented the farm adjoining, upon which buildings had been erected. For his first forty he paid twenty nine dollars per acre and he afterward bought the eighty acres which he had been renting for thirty dollars per acre. He then moved the house to its present location from the other side of the farm and has a comfortable home. There is also a good barn and other buildings upon the place and he has extended the boundaries of the farm until it now comprises two hundred acres of rich and productive land, in addition to which he owns one hundred and thirty acres in Poweshiek county. He started out with a team and a few tools and has made all that he possesses through hard and unremitting labor. He has always been a stout, robust man, enjoying good health, as has his wife, and they have labored earnestly in order to gain their present desirable property. Their sons are now large enough to do the work of the farm, so that Mr. Ridpath is to a considerable extent relieved from the strenuous work which claimed his attention in earlier years. In 1904 and again in 1905 the sons raised five thousand bushels of corn. But little stock is raised on the place, the grain being sold on the market. Mr. Ridpath built up his farm by putting it to clover and he sold two hundred bushels of clover seed in a single year. It was in 1879 that Mr. Ridpath was married to Miss Sarah M. Burkes, who was born in St. Clair county, Missouri, October 22, 1861, a daughter of William Burkes, who was born in Ohio, May 23, 1828, and was married March ?6, 1855, to Nancy M. Eblen, whose birth occurred in Ohio and who is still living at Linnville, Iowa. Mr. Burkes removed to Missouri in 1858, and in 1862 came to Mahaska county, living on a farm near Garden Hall in Prairie township for thirty eight years. In 1900 he sold that property and took up his abode in Linnville, Iowa, where he died February 17, 1904. He was spoken of by his neighbors as a "fine man," was kind and generous and earned and enjoyed the esteem of all who knew him. Although not a member of any church he was firm believer in the Deity. In his family were eight children. John C., the eldest, now deceased, was educated at Keokuk and taught school for thirty terms in Mahaska county. He married Miss Mary Sheesley, of Richland township, and removed to Arizona, where he engaged in the practice of law and in the real estate business and was also interested in silver mines in that part of the country. James M. Burkes married Ida Smith and is living in Linnville, Iowa. Fremont died in childhood. Mrs. Ridpath is the next of the family. Cynthia J. and Jacob both died in childhood. Oliver P. is living in New Mexico. Mary A. is living with her mother in Linnville. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ridpath have been born nine children, of whom seven are living, as follows: Joseph F., who died at the age of four months and five days; Clara B., an invalid now in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, for treatment; Lucy K., at home; William A., who died at the age of four months; James W., Mary R., John C., Rena Belle and Monroe Bryan, all of whom are at tending school. In politics Mr. Ridpath always has been a stanch democrat and is a warm admirer of William Jennings Bryan. He has never sought office, preferring to devote his attention to his business interests and his indefatigable energy, frugality and earnest purpose have led to his success, making him the owner of a valuable farm property. He is thoroughly temperate, never using intoxicants in any form and his sons have followed in his footsteps in this regard. Such a record is certainly one of which he has every reason to be proud. from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

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