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Thomas Andrew Pallister [p.]

Our thanks go to Norm Willis of Canada for much helpful information on this page

Thomas Andrew Pallister was the second child of John (Augustus) Pallister & Sarah Vachon born June 30th, 1858 in New Liverpool, Quebec, Canada & was christened August 1st, 1858 in Quebec.

In 1861 Thomas & his parents were living in Levis, Quebec & Thomas had 2 brothers – John & Henry.

The family left Canada in 1867 to live in Iowa, USA.

In the 1885 census of Iowa Thomas was living at West Maine St, Ottumwa, Wapello.  He was still living with his parents & brothers John A (28) & William H (24).  All 3 boys were described as ‘candy makers’ & are known to have set up a confectionery business in Ottumwa.  In the early 80s the Pallister Bros had the largest confectionery & ice cream business in Ottumwa.  Their store was the first in Ottumwas to install electric light.  Five sisters were also living at home – the oldest 3 (Alice, 21, Victoria, 18 & Mary, 16) had all been born in Canada like their older brothers.  The 2 youngest sisters, Matilda (13) & Anna (Joanna) (10) were born in Iowa.

In 1888 Thomas founded a cigar & cigar box manufacturing business in Ottumwa.  This again was a family concern trading under the name of Pallister Bros.  Their cigar factory became one of the largest in the state & was located on Market Street.  The business traded for 40 years, closing in 1928.  Thomas, like his brother John, was a keen cyclist.

In 1895 Thomas & his brothers John & William were living with their widowed mother Sarah in Ottumwa. The 3 brothers were now all described as cigar manufacturers.   With the growth of their cigar business the brothers disposed of their confectionery store.   Sisters Alice, Mary, Matilda & Annie were also still at home & were confectioners.  Also living with them at the time of the census was sister Victoria Johnson with her 3 year old daughter Susie.

On August 19th, 1895 Thomas married Estella M Moffitt at Des Moines, Polk, Iowa.  Estella was born c1875 in Iowa, the daughter of Annie & George Moffitt, a labourer.

Thomas & Estella were living in Centre Township Ottumwa city Ward 7 in 1900 & Thomas was a cigar manufacturer. Thomas was a charter member of the Ottumwa Elks Club & a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church. 

The 1910 census shows Thomas & wife Estella living at Wapello, Iowa with their 9 year old son Thomas jnr.

Estella could not be found at the time of the 1920 census, but Thomas was resident at the Ottumwa Hotel.  Son Thomas however, was living with his uncle John & aunt Mary Pallister in Englewood, Arapahoe City, Colorado at that time. 

Thomas was recorded as living at Ballingall Hotel, Ottumwa through at least the next 10 years.

Son Thomas married Pauline F ? & in 1930 they were living at Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.  Thomas was an assistant manager in a retail mens hat shop & Pauline was an operator in a beauty parlour.  Living with them was 13 year old Lorraine E. Olsen listed as ‘daughter’.

By 1930 Estella & Thomas were divorced & Estella was working as a servant for Morrison Mckenna & his wife in Beverley Hills, Los Angeles, California.  Thomas was lodging in Miami, Dade, Florida at this time & the census records him as ‘widowed’.

Thomas went to California for the winter in December 1939 and after becoming ill in January, he underwent an operation.

Thomas died on February 7th, 1940 at Mercy Hospital, San Diego, California. His home was given as 125 Vogel Avenue. Thomas was buried in Ottumwa Cemetery, Iowa.

The children of Thomas Andrew Pallister & Estella Moffitt were:

p.  Thomas Pallister born April 11th, 1901 in Ottumwa, Iowa; died July 18th, 1935 & ashes scattered in Ottumwa Cemetery, Iowa



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