Des Moines – Thackston, Gay, Holtman

Some tidbits about the family of William D. Thackston of Des Moines, Iowa (son of John T. Thackston and Martha Dabbs, grandson of Benjamin Thackston and Elizabeth Ann Chambers):

Marriages Polk County, Iowa, 1870-1945, comp. Pioneer Sons and Daughters Genealogical Society, Des Moines, Iowa, pub. 1984-1991 (multiple volumes)

Thackston, Jennie – Holtman, Henry, 06 Jul 1887, Bk 3:110.

Thackston, Nora – Gay, Charles L, 01 Oct 1890, Bk 3:102

Lillian E Holtman – Edward T Peterson, 22 Sep 1915, Bk 17:289 [may not be our Lillian]

Susette Gay – Lester R. Abbott, 31 Dec 1920, Bk 20:1

Dorothy V Gay (no age reported) – Russell M Wright, age 25, 6-5-29, Bk 29:341


Polk County, Iowa Births 1887-1921, comp. Pioneer Sons and Daughters genealogical Society, Des Moines, pub. 1988-1991 (multiple volumes)

Holtman, J F H, male, 2nd child, 10-7-88, place of birth E D M Ia, mother Jennie thaxton, born Virginia, age 21, father Henry, born Germany, age 23.

Holtman, M J F, male, 2nd child, 10-7-89, born 316 Ct, mother Jennie Thornton, born Virginia, age 21, father Henry, born Germany, age 23.

Holtman, Lillian, female, 3rd child, 9-5-90, place of birth D M IA, mother Jennie Thaxton, born Iowa, age 23, father Henry, born Germany, age 25.

Gay, —-, female, 2nd child, 12-12-96, place of birth D M IA, mother Elnora Thackston, born Wheeling, Va, age 26, father Charles L, born Scott Co., Ia, age 27.

Holtman, Willard Emmett, male, 6-7-20, place of birth D M IA, mother Margaret G. Creek, father Henry William Holtman.


Polk County, Iowa Deaths, 1880-1907, comp. Beverly Nelson, Ankeny Genealogical Society, pub. 1988:

No Thackston or Gay.  Only Holtman is Lillian W. Holtman, female, age 6y, 11m, 23d, schoolgirl, born and died Des Moines, d. 8-28-07.  [This does not appear to be our Lillian.]


In 1908, Charles Gay of Des Moines, 24th and Ingersoll, was the corresponding officer for the Esperanta Grupo, a club for the Esperanto language.  (Amerika Esperantisto, Dec. 1908.)


The American federationist, Oficial Magazine of the American Federation of Labor, Jan. 1902

Des Moines.—Arthur E. Holder:

Everything is booming. A Teamster Mayor, with a card in good standing, was elected in Des Moines on a plank declaring unqualifiedly for union labor. He has already appointed as chief detective a union man. Union Printer was elected mayor of Sioux City. Organized labor defeated an unfair police judge and alderman in that city.


A brief resume of our work up to date is necessary in order to give credit to those who have worked so arduously and enthusiastically for unionism in Iowa. First, it is due to President Gompers to thank him for the assistance so generously given by inducing the National organizations to give our state the attention we deserve, and several organizers have been through here. Brother Kenefick, of the Cigarmakers, organized the Cigarmakers and Bartenders at Marshalltown and the Cigarmakers at Waterloo, and did excellent work in other localities. Brother Gustaveson, of the Tailors, organized the Tailors of Britt, Eagle Grove and Marshalltown, and sowed good seed in other conservative localities. Brother D. W. Roderick, of the Machinists, instructed the machinists along his route and organized a district. Carl Evans, of Muscatine, organized the Electrical Workers, Painters and other crafts there.

T. P. Menton, of Boone, is always active and has organized the Brickmakers there and is now at Fort Dodge for the State Federation in the interest of the Gypsum Miners. J. R. Blenis, H. R. Miller and Brother Rosgen, of Waterloo, have the Painters, Millmen, Railroad Shop Helpers and Carpenters into unions of their crafts.

J. C. Crellin and Jos. Mohr, of Marshalltown, organized the Blacksmiths, Carriage Workers, Painters, Printers, Musicians and Carmen, also a large Federal Union and a Central Body, all within the last five months.

The work in Des Moines is under the tutelage of many earnest men, among them N. R. Hale, J. Fitzgerald, Charles Gay, S. K. Minton. Many new- organizations have been started this year, all of which are active and doing well. Larger hall- room is now required and a contract has been let to double these accommodations.

Inquiries from all parts of the state are coming in all the time to such an extent that a paid organizer and lecturer could be steadily employed if we had the means to pay him and which the next convention of the State Federation may make allowance for.

Very few strikes have taken place and in those that have the settlements have been favorable to the men.

Our state legislature has had many opportunities extended to it to give us a few salutary laws such as factory inspection, child labor regulation, free text books, anti-injunction resolutions and compulsory education. The last is so far the only one which has been successful; most of the others have slept in pigeon holes. The Barbers had their bill killed in the senate after passing the house.


On 31 Mar 1924, eighteen men met at the Elks Club and formed the Iowa Gladiolus Society, of which Charles Gay was elected president.  (Proceedings of the Iowa State Horticultural Society, 1927)

1936, Charles Gay in Iowa ran for Congress on the Farmer-Labor Party.  (Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1936, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.)

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