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Tom Todd Books

Interesting stories and photographs of historical characters from the Old West and the Civil War.
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Tom Todd was born in Arkadelphia, Clark County, Arkansas, on December 6, 1939. Because of his love for Old West history, he has often said he was born 100 years too late. While in the seventh grade his family moved him to Milwaukee. He also says you can move the boy out of the south, but you can't move the south out of the boy. Three of his great grandfathers fought for the Southern cause and he is an active member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. After graduating from South Division High School in Milwaukee, he joined the Navy with his closest friend who was about to be drafted into the Army. His friend returned to civilian life after his first enlistment, and Tom served in Naval Aviation for twenty years. He married Nanci Jean Flier while in the Navy and they had four children, all born in San Diego. Tami, a nurse, still lives in San Diego with her daughter Katarina. Dena was born next, and Volume One of his book is dedicated to her memory. Greg and Jeff followed the girls and continued a family tradition of military service. They both joined the Army and Jeff made it a career. Greg lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife Lisa. Greg has four children, Brandon, Graydon, Carli, and Emily. Jeff lives in Northeast, Maryland, with his wife Christine, who is also a retired Army Veteran. They have one son, Jeff, Jr. After his retirement, Tom used his GI Bill and earned a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. In his retirement, Tom married Judith J. (Meek) Spade. Judy is the mother of three sons. Bryan Spade and his wife, Cathy, live in Scottsdale, Arizona. Andy Spade and his wife Kate live in New York City with their daughter, Beatrix. David Spade lives in California and has one daughter, Harper. After his retirement from the Navy, Tom worked for three different helicopter companies. He never changed desks, but the name of the company kept changing. Hughes Helicopter Company became McDonnell Douglas, which became Boeing, and Tom continued supplying foreign militaries with the world's finest attack helicopter, the AH-64 Apache. After more than 20 years, he again retired. One of the highlights of his retirement was attending George W. Bush's second inauguration. Tom and Judy moved to Show Low in the White Mountains of Arizona and there Tom combined his fascination with old cemeteries with his love of travel and love of the old west. He has traveled extensively throughout the west in his efforts to visit the places that he has read about and then finding and photographing the graves of the people that made Old West history so fascinating. He has also traveled much of the east and walked many of the Civil War battlefields. These travels turned into “Trip Reports” sent to family and friends. The trip reports turned into the magazine articles and people began to ask for a book.

What others say about us

"Tom Todd's "Tombstone Travels" are wonderful accounts of numerous frontier characters, some famous and some infamous. Putting their stories into brief articles is very helpful in learning the basics of their lives. Additionally, the photos greatly enhance the stories by giving us visual representations of the characters and, in many cases, their final resting places. I can't recommend this effort too highly; I anticipate the arrival of each of the stories and have never been disappointed."

Roy B. Young, Editor Wild West History Association Journal

“…the stories seem to be quite accurate and the author explains in some instances where historians have disagreed on certain details such as the circumstances surrounding the death of Johnny Ringo. The author points out there were the good, the bad and the ugly. He takes no sides when reporting the tragic events nor does he pass judgment on choices made.”

Phyllis Morreale-deLa Garza, Book reviewer for Chronicles of the Old West

Tom’s interest in searching for a grave, then researching the life of these men and women who moved westward into numerous unknown perils, with many paying the ultimate price with their life gives the reader a glimpse of their daily life. A blend of many nationalities from worldwide brought their unique cultures with them and made a new home leaving their distinct mark on the wild untamed frontier. The cemeteries frequently show the burial customs from many diverse cultures. The threads from these many cultures were woven together to create unique towns, villages and cities in our great country, leaving behind tidbits of a rich and rewarding heritage. Tom takes these fragmented clues and weaves them into fantastic stories of the life and death of the individuals, providing many great pictures of each person and their final tribute from the simplest to the most majestic tombstones depicting their life.

Ann Oldham, noted Old West author of three successful books

“After being privy to a few of Toms ‘trip reports’ that he sent to friends and family, I all but begged him to share some of these stories as a monthly column for our magazine’s history section. Nearly three years later, Tom’s Tombstone Travels continues to be one of our most popular features… Although Tom is probably one of the few people who can probably tell you off the top of his head where any Old West icon is buried, I have always enjoyed Tom’s attention to what one might call ordinary folks. I know I am looking forward to Volume Two.”

Amie Rodgers, Publisher/Editor-The Maverick Magazine

I always look forward to reading Tom Todd’s “Tombstone Travels.” The stories and photos of these characters, some well-known others not-so-well-known but interesting just the same are well-researched and well-written. And, I always keep them for future reference.

Marshall Trimble, Official Arizona Historian and “Answer Man” for True West Magazine.