Albion Interactive History / People / Ada Thomason

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People

Thomason, Ada Iddings Gale, 1855
    Died February 25, 1915

Albion College Graduate
Class of 1874

Ada Iddings was born February 21, 1855, to the Rev. and Mrs. Joseph Iddings in Dayton, Ohio. After serving churches in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, the Iddingses retired in Albion on Irwin Avenue. Ada graduated from Albion College in 1874 and married Alpheus Smith Gale. The Gales had three children.

As a child, Ada began to write short stories and poems, the first at age eleven. She also gave “parlour talks” and taught dramatic art. Her writing was published in Chicago papers and in The Chautauquan. She spent the summer of 1897 in England and published a book of poems, A Little English Portfolio, about her summer there. She was a vice president of the Michigan Women’s Press Association and was also a founder of E.L.T. Club.

As a teacher of dramatic art, her most promising pupil was her oldest daughter, Winifred, who became a talented reader of rare power at a young age. Winifred toured with the Mozart Quartette.

The Gales were divorced and in 1898 Ada married Dr. H.D. Thomason, a practicing physician, who was known for performing the first appendectomy in Albion. While he served as an army surgeon during the Spanish-American War, she lived at the Irwin Avenue home. Later, the Thomasons lived in Cuba and in the Philippines as Dr. Thomason served two tours of duty in each. After his retirement, he worked as a surgeon on steamships.

Ada died on February 25, 1915, at Fort Sam Houston, just as taps were being sounded. Her body was transported back to Albion for burial in her family’s plot.

Source: Albion Recorder, March 3, 1915

From: Albion AAUW. Some Notable Women of the Albion Area. Albion, Michigan: American Association of University Women. 1998.