As a general farmer and stock raiser, Thomas Henry Roach, of Polk township, Nodaway county, has been unusually successful, and he bears an unsullied reputation wherever he is known, he and his family being sincerely respected for their many personal good qualities.
Mr. Roach was born in Dubuque county, Iowa, November 16, 1853. His father was Richard Roach and his mother was known in her maidenhood as Julia Malone: the father was a native of Ireland and the mother of New York state, of Irish parentage. They married in Dubuque county, Iowa, and began their married life on a farm there, remaining in that county until 1865 when they came to Missouri, locating in Gentry county, where Mrs. Roach died.
Richard Roach was one of the famous band of “forty-niners” who made the long, hazardous trip across the plains to California during the gold excitement of that time. After remaining in the far West for about five years, he returned to Missouri and spent his last days in Maryville, dying at the residence of his son, Thomas Henry, in July, 1897. He was a man of sterling qualities, and he and his wife were the parents of eight children, named as follows: Thomas Henry, of this review: Frank, William, David, Richard and Mary Ann, all deceased; Frances is the wife of Charles Terhuven, of St. Louis; Elizabeth Jane is living in Polk township.
Thomas H. Roach lived with his father in Gentry county. Missouri, until he was nineteen years of age. and then came to Nodaway county and since 1872 he has been a resident of the county. He received his education in the common schools of his day, but early in life turned his attention to farming and stock raising, which he has continued till the present time. He has been a good manager and a hard worker and has succeeded, now owning one of the choice farms of the township, consisting of three hundred acres, which is kept well improved and well tilled and on which stands a beautifully located and substantial residence and good outbuildings. Some good stock of various kinds is always to be found about his place.
Mr. Roach was married in this township on January 1, 1877, to Martha Neal, who was born in Polk township, this county, the daughter of J. M. Neal, and here she grew to maturity and was educated. To Mr. and Mrs. Roach five children have been born, named as follows: Charles H. is farming in Polk township; Julia; Nellie is the wife of Rev. Lester M. Jones, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church; Maud and Golda. Julia, Maud and Golda are all teachers and have life certificates; they are well educated and are very successful in their chosen work. Mrs. Nellie Jones was also a teacher before her marriage.
Mr. Roach always took a great interest in the education of his children, in fact, in all educational affairs. He and Mrs. Roach are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Although Mr. Roach has never found either the time or the inclination to mingle a great deal in politics, he has very ably served his township as road overseer and as a member of the local school board.
Source: B. F. Bowen & Company. Past and present of Nodaway County, Missouri. Indianapolis, Indiana: B. F. Bowen & Company. 1910.