Jackson County

Biography - Thomas B. Thomas

THOMAS B. THOMAS, dealer in dry goods, cloaks, boots and shoes, is one of the leading merchants of Murphysboro, and an enterprising and public-spirited citizen. A native of Wales, he was born August 15, 1857, and is a son of D. B. Thomas, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. At the age of seven, he accompanied his father on his emigration to America, and in April, 1870, he reached Murphysboro, His home has since been in Jackson County, and those who have known him from boyhood are numbered among his stanchest friends, a fact which indicates a well spent life. He was educated in the public schools of Mt. Carbon, and in 1874 began clerking for E. B. Pellet, a general merchant of Murphysboro, with whom he continued until 1878. He was then in the employ of Samuel Desberger for six months, and afterward was with A. C. Bryden & Co., dealers in general merchandise, until 1883. In that year Mr. Bryden failed.

Soon afterward Mr. Thomas, in connection with Messrs. Chapman and Kent, purchased Mr. Bryden's stock and carried on the business under the firm name of W. C. Kent & Co., until the spring of 1886, when Mr. Thomas retired and entered into partnership with W. P. Hubble. They purchased a new stock of dry goods and boots and shoes and opened a store in the Kennedy Block, where they continued until 1887, when they removed to the present location. The following year our subject bought out his partner and has since been alone in business. He enjoys a most excellent trade, and his enterprise and industry have made him one of the leading merchants of Murphysboro.

In 1882, Mr. Thomas was united in marriage with Miss Mariah Kane, a native of Missouri, and a sister of John R. Kane, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Their union was blessed with eight children, of whom five are living: Leonard, Aritus, Willis, Thomas B. and May.

In 1881, Mr. Thomas and Mr. Chapman purchased one hundred and forty acres of land at Vergennes Station, and from it secured enough timber to pay for the property. Then prospecting, they found upon it a four and a-half foot vein of coal, and sold the place for $25 per acre, thus realizing considerable profit. In 1892, our subject built the Thomas Block, 45x75 feet, on Broad Street. His store at the northwest corner of the square is 44x50 feet. He was also one of the organizers of the City National Bank, and a member of the first Board of Directors. He has since resigned that position, however, but is yet a stockholder. He was an organizer of the Southern Illinois Building and Loan Association, and has been its Treasurer from the beginning. He is connected with the Cripple Revenge Threshing Company, and is its Treasurer and Director. Whatever he undertakes he carries forward to a successful completion, and hence his business career has been a prosperous one. He is now the possessor of a handsome competence, and in his various enterprises he has aided materially in the advancement of the city's interest. He belongs to the Odd Fellows' society of Mt. Carbon, and exercises his right of franchise in support of the Democracy.

Extracted 01 Aug 2020 by Norma Hass from 1894 Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry, and Monroe Counties, Illinois, pages 664-665.

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