Senator Thomas Abbott Cheshire View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 12/22/1931
Birth Place: Blue Point, IA
Birth County: Poweshiek
Birth Country: USA
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 25 (1894) - 28 (1900)
Home County: Polk
Thomas Abbott Cheshire
Polk County

THOMAS A. CHESHIRE was born in Pleasant Township, Poweshiek County, Iowa, three or four miles northwest of Montezuma on April 2, 1854, and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Clifford Paul, at Anamosa, on December 22, 1931. Funeral services were held at the residence on his farm ten miles east of Grinnell, and burial was at Malcom. His parents were John Wesley and Grace Melinda (Vestal) Cheshire. He attended school in the log schoolhouse near their home, but when he was ten years old the family having removed to Montezuma he completed the course in the graded schools there, after which he attended Iowa (now Grinnell) College, and later the State University of Iowa, but owing to ill health he did not complete a liberal arts course. When seventeen years old he entered the office of the Montezuma Republican and served an apprenticeship of three years. He then entered the Law School of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and in two years, or in 1876, was graduated with the degree of LL. B. and began practice in Montezuma, but in 1877, owing to the death of his father, who was owner of the Republican, he became part owner and the editor. In 1880 he relinquished that and resuming the practice of law became the junior member of the firm of Clark & Cheshire. In 1886 he removed to Des Moines, practiced law alone about four years, then became a member of the firm of Cole, McVey & Cheshire, which some three years later became McVey & Cheshire, but after 1896 he was alone in the practice. From 1890 to January 1, 1895, he was an assistant attorney general under John Y. Stone. The fall of 1893 he was elected senator and was re-elected in 1897, and served in the Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-sixth Extra (Code Revision), Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth general assemblies. Mr. Cheshire was a man of outstanding ability as a lawyer, as a legislator, and as a political speaker. Both in Poweshiek County in his early life and later in Des Moines he was in demand during campaigns. He was allied with the Progressive wing of the Republican party and did valiant service in the Cummins campaigns. The very extensive private library he left, over 3,000 volumes of law books, and a large number of scientific and miscellaneous books, give further evidence of the erudition and culture of the man.