Thomas Newsom Jordan

June 28, 1936 –June 7, 1997 (60)

In the profile photo of Grandpa Jordan in the earlier part of this book, I noted in the caption how much the younger Lon looked like Newsom. It is an amazing resemblance—and fitting. Newsom had tremendous regard for his dad as you can tell from his writings.

 

When I would stay at Grandpa Jordan’s in the summer, Newsom was the lynchpin around which everything happened. He did the heavy chores, organized the farm work and was ever present in the house as well. I remember when Grandpa was dredging out the pond to make it deeper, he sent Newsom wading into it to get a feel for its depth. He later reported to Uncle Gib (who lived up the road) that it was now “titty deep on Newsom.” That seemed to be a good thing.

 

When Newsom was born, Dr. Newsom was the doctor of choice for delivery of Jordan babies. He knew Tincie was due and had left word in his office that he was to be contacted should a request come in from Lon Jordan while he attended an auction. When Lon went to Jefferson in search of him, he did not make contact so instead retrieved a Dr. Thomas as a substitute. Meanwhile, Dr. Newsom got the message and hurried to the homeplace. So both doctors were there for the birth—and hence, Thomas Newsom became the name of the new arrival.

 

Newsom was tutored by his teacher/mom, Tincie, and was a good student, graduating as salutatorian of his senior class at Ruby High School and winning a National Championship award in FFA and traveling to Kansas City, Kansas to make a presentation. He went on to complete a 2 year business program at Mt. Berry College in Georgia in 1953. He later worked as a banker with First Union for a while, but his roots were always in farming. When Lon died, he returned to the homeplace to live with Grandma Tincie until she left the farm. She wasn’t comfortable being there alone. (The siblings helped financially to support Newsom in this move.)

 

He had met Delores while he was working at First Union and she worked for INA. Her sister arranged a meeting and they dated for 6 years and married August 26, 1962. With Delores working in Charlotte and him back on the farm, they bought a place in Union County, splitting the distance. He (like Bo and his dad had done) sold produce at stands in Jefferson and Pageland, SC. In 1987, he had bladder cancer, from which he recovered and he had also had a number of skin cancers removed—some by cousin Mendall Jordan. Suspicious spots showed up on chest X rays in 1994 but his doctor played them down for nearly 2 more years, thinking the spots were the result of pneumonia. He had his first lung cancer surgery in May, 1996 (missing the reunion) and continued to struggle with cancer until his death. He had begun working at the Post Office in Chesterfield in 1992 where he was a substitute carrier until he was no longer able to work.

 

Newsom was very concerned about the loss of the homeplace and made an attempt to purchase it before and  after it had been taken over by the timber company. He knew the emotional significance it held for his brothers and sisters and him. But that effort did not succeed. On my recent visit, you could not even tell where the homeplace had been—a chain separates you from the road which disappears into trees.

Newsom also is the author of the only known document about this branch of the Jordan clan and it is presented elsewhere on this site. It served as a valuable guide during the research of this book in many ways.