Thomas and Harriet Tostevin – Early Citizens of Council Bluffs

Thomas Tostevin was born in 1830 on the island of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands. In 1834 the Tostevin family emigrated to the United States and settled in New York City. By 1849 the family was in Henry County, Iowa. Thomas married Harriet Gibbs in 1852 and in 1854 they settled in Council Bluffs. Harriet Gibbs was born in New York State in 1832.

Thomas Tostevin was very active in local government, over the years he served as County Surveyor, County Treasurer & Recorder, Mayor and Alderman. His major accomplishment during his early days in Council Bluffs was surveying the original plat of Council Bluffs.

In 1867 Thomas opened a furniture factory, but the business proved unsuccessful and it closed in 1870. He then went to Utah to try his hand at mining gold and silver. While there he was appointed U.S. Deputy Mineral Surveyor.

Thomas Tostevin returned to Council Bluffs for good in 1874 where he continued to play an important part in city and county politics.

Harriet and Thomas had 5 children that lived to adulthood, Alice, Walter J., Lula (“Lou”), Albert and Ida.
Thomas Tostevin passed away August 30, 1905 a the age of 74. Harriet passed away a year later on June 16, 1906. She was 74 years old. They are both buried in Fairview Cemetery.