Thomas Andrew Shroyer was born June 8, 1844 in Guernsey County, Ohio. He was the youngest of seven children born to David and Susan (Foreacre) Shroyer. Around 1840, the David Shroyer family moved from Pennsylvania (where I have read that David was a glass blower) to east-central Ohio. They farmed in Richland Township, most likely south of Senecaville. Later, they farmed in Wayne Township in Noble County.
Note: In 1851, the southern part of Guernsey county was made part of Noble county. They could have moved, but I believe the family farm could have been on the Noble side of the new county boundary. In 1860 they were farming in Wayne Township, Noble County (just south of Richland Township). Both David and Susan Shroyer are buried in Senecaville.
On January 19, 1864, Thomas Shroyer married Mary Ellen Anderson, daughter of John W. and Sarah (Hartup) Anderson. Mary’s mother died in 1849 when Mary was not yet two years old. I think it is likely that Mary was raised by her paternal grandparents, John W. and Hannah (White) Anderson in Guernsey County, Ohio – as she is living with them in 1860 (well after her father had remarried to Hannah Riggs).
Sidebar Genealogy Rant: Mary’s grandparents are John W. and Hannah Anderson, and her father and step-mother are John W. and Hannah Anderson. Confusing!
Like the Shroyers, the Andersons farmed in Richland Township, but on the Guernsey side of the county line near Lore City. And like the Shroyers, many of the Andersons are buried in the Senecaville Cemetery.
After marriage, Thomas and Mary farmed in Guernsey and Noble counties, Ohio. Eight of the couple’s 13 children were born in Ohio. Around 1880, the family moved to Guthrie County, Iowa. They settled in Baker Township, where they farmed 80 acres that was purchased from the railroad company. The farm eventually grew to 120 acres. Thomas and Mary remained on the farm for more than 25 years, moving to Guthrie Center in 1908 to enjoy their golden years.
Thomas (or Tommy as he was known) was politically active in Guthrie County. He was member of the Board of Trustees of Baker township, and sometimes acted as Assessor, Clerk of Elections, and Justice of the Peace. He was remembered as an “ardent republican, but tolerant of those of different political faith.”
When the children were older, Thomas and Marty often returned to Lore City, Ohio to visit family and old friends during the summer months. Thomas often provided reports to the local newspaper, The Guthrian, upon his return:
Lightning struck a barn in which was store 3000 pounds of dynamite, near Senecaville, Ohio, on last Saturday, causing an explosion that killed six men and injured a score of others. Among the killed was Hayes Hutchinson, a nephew of E.Y. and J.G. Thomas of this place. Mr. Hutchinson had spent a few years of his life here with his uncles, and made many friends who were shocked at his untimely death. Others killed were the two Hartup brothers, Samuel and Russell, who also have relatives in Guthrie Center. This accident is of interest to many people in this section, for the reason that many of our people are natives of Senecaville and Geurnsey county. T.A. Shroyer and family, living in Baker township, are now there on a visit to their old home.
T.A. Shroyer and wife arrived home Friday from a summer’s visit at their childhood home at Lore City, Ohio. Tom says that Ohio is the busiest place on the footstool. Everybody at work and prosperity is in full blast. He says the season there was too dry for a good crop.
T.A. Shroyer returned Friday from Lore City, Ohio. Where he was called a month ago by the illness of his brother. He informed the Guthrian that his brother had died while he was there from cancer of the liver. The deceased was a veteran of the Civil war, and spent a part of the past summer here, where he made many acquaintances.
Note: The brother in reference was John Shroyer.
Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Shroyer, who have been spending the summer at their old home in Ohio, arrived here at their home the latter part of last week. Tom looks as if Ohio was still sustaining its reputation for good grub and plenty of it, altho he said it had not yet made and appreciable difference in Ed Thomas, who he met at Senecaville. He brought to this office some apples that he gathered from a tree that was planted eighty years ago by Mrs. Shroyer’s grandfather, John Anderson, who opened up a farm in Guernsey county. The tree is forty feet in height and seven feet and over in circumference, and it is estimated that it will yield over thirty bushels of apples this year. The apples are not large, but are delicious to eat, and would make cider that would touch the right spot in your anatomy.
This apple tree must have been something special, even at a time when home orchards were more common. This tree is also mentioned in the History of Guernsey County, Ohio (published in 1911). More to come on that later………
In January 1914, Thomas and Mary celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. All of their children and grandchildren returned home to celebrate the occasion. You can read more about that here.
Thomas passed away on May 21, 1922 – just shy of his 78th birthday. As he requested, a simple service was held at this home in Guthrie Center. The songs which he loved were sung in his remembrance. He was survived by wife, Mary, 9 children, 28 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren.
Mary passed away at home on October 13, 1933 – just one day before her 86th birthday. Funeral services were held at home. She was survived by 9 children, 25 grandchildren, and 53 great-grandchildren.
Children of Thomas and Mary Shroyer:
- John Sheridan Shroyer
- David William Shroyer
- Susan May Shroyer
- James Hartup Shroyer
- Rebecca Joesephine “Josie” Shroyer
- Thomas Shannon Shroyer
- Charles Kingsley “King” Shroyer
- Mary Birdella Shroyer
- Sarah Lacreet “Creet” Shroyer
- Arthur Clyde Shroyer
- Anna Grace Shroyer
- Twins (a boy and a girl) died shortly after birth in 1884