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Jacob Thomas

Jacob Thomas' birth is listed as 30 April 1788 with his baptism on 5 Oct 1788. Father James Thomas, mother Elizabeth. Other records say Maria Elizabeth. Sponsors were Philip and Catharine Brand. The source is Records of Falckner Swamp Reformed Congregation, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1748-1854.  There are also records available providing details of the birthdates of many of Jacob and Maria’s children as well as their sponsors in the church. This source is available on CD Rom format (FTM CD# 130) and at the website. If the information below is correct, it is possible that this Phillip and Catherine Brand were related to Elizabeth "Brandt". Grandparents would frequently sponsor the baptisms of their grandchildren. There is precedent and the facts fit, but we have identified the grandparents of Philip Brand as Philip and Elizabeth Brandt, and they were deceased by this time. However, These people had a son Michael, who had a son Philip who married a Catherine, and seem to be the individuals we find. We also learn that Philip (Jr?) had a sister Elizabeth. And it is this Elizabeth that we believe married James Thomas. It would seem Jacob Thomas was the younger Philip and Catherine's nephew. Henry Dotterer's The Perkiomen Region, Past and Present has quite a bit of data on this family. Add to this the information from FTM CD # 130 that an Elizabeth Brandt was born 25 September, and Baptized Oct 27, 1760, daughter of Michael and Johanetta Brandt, in Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church and, although we do not yet have the proof of the relationship, it would offer strong evidence for the connection between Jacob's mother and the Brandt line outlined in these sources. The fact that Elizabeth Brandt, widow of the immigrant Philip Brandt, offered her granddaughter Elizabeth (daughter of Michael) effects in her 1767 will "as a token of her grandmother" would seem to solidify pretty well that an Elizabeth Brandt was born at the right time, was in the right area, was related to the man who sponsored Jacob's birth, and that Philip and Catherine sponsored a probable nephew John's child Samuel (below) in 1799. More information on the Brand/Brandt line here. Elizabeth's father Michael's will was probated 16 Aug 1794, her brother Philip was executor, according to FTM CD# 209, which has a slight amount of other data on immigrant Philip Brandt and his wife Elizabeth's wills as well. It would appear Philip (Jacob's maternal uncle) was quite busy with executor and Baptismal Sponsorship duties! Philip and Catherine are buried in the Falckner Swamp church yard and their tombstones are recounted in Dotterer's work.

Efforts to locate James and Maria Elizabeth in 1790 federal census in Montgomery county Pa. have failed to date. It is probable that they resided in another county adjoining, but there were several James Thomas families so more work will be needed.

There is some incorrect information available on Jacob Thomas, and one must be careful, as with any genealogy resources.  Family Tree Maker has had genealogical biographies submitted regarding our Jacob and his wife’s family.  Some of this biography is probably very valuable, but some has been discounted as probably incorrect.

We have found records of some of Jacob's siblings thus: Maria Catherine, born 29 March, 1774, baptized 7 June 1774, John Thomas, born 7 October 1777, baptized 23 Oct 1777 (who married Maria Catharine Delliker on September 16, 1798 and had son Samuel on 14 January 1799, which Mr. and Mrs. Philip Brand were also witness to), and Elizabeth born 2 September 1781, baptized 12 May 1782. We don't know whether there were more, but it is quite probable. If Elizabeth Brand is wife of James Thomas (as postulated above),date of birth for daughter Maria Catherine - 1774 - is a problem, Elizabeth would have been 14 years old! Either there was a previous wife, of this Elizabeth Brand connection is not correct. There is a record of an "Elizabeth Brand, daughter of Michael" marriage in 1790, but this would make Elizabeth 30 years old (quite a long time to be single in those times). So, the mystery continues.

One of the first things we learn about Jacob, himself,  is his marriage to Maria Royer. She married Jacob Thomas 23 Feb. 1806, at the Lutheran Church, New Hanover, Montgomery Co., PA.  Her name was listed as Ryer, but oral tradition recalls it as Royer, and later on, as Rogers.  The church records of some family birth records show the name as Reyer.  Some Royer info and proof of marriageThanx Deb for some of this info!!

a Jacob Thomas in New Hanover Township, Montgomery county Pa in 1800 - ours would only be 12 years old, so who are these men?

Jacob Thomas in New Hanover Township, Montgomery county Pa in 1810 - The John and Elizabeth Thomas entries may very well be Jacob's kin and provide a clue to his father's death date. The 1800 image also shows a John and Elizabeth seperately. But where is Jacob in 1800 if not above?

There is a listing of the confirmation at in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1748-1854: Falckner Swamp Reformed Congregation of Jacob and Maria's children thus: Jacob - 23 May 1812, Samuel - 1 June 1816, Henrietta - 1822, Elizabeth - 1822, Margaret 1824, George on the same day as his brother William - 20 May 1826, John 1828 and again (a different John?) on 30 May 1830.

Jacob Thomas in Potts Grove Township, Montgomery county Pa in 1820

Jacob Thomas in Potts Grove Township, Montgomery county Pa in 1830

Jacob Thomas in Potts Grove Township, Montgomery county Pa in 1840

Jacob Thomas in Potts Grove Township, Montgomery county Pa in 1850

Jacob Thomas in Potts Grove Township, Montgomery county Pa in 1860

Jacob seems (from the many census records available to us above), to have been a manufacturer of some sort, possibly in addition to some farming.  There is a tradition in some families that Jacob was the inventor of a soap product called "Grandpa's Tar Soap".  This picture is reputed to be Jacob Thomas, but a little research into the origins of the Tar soap named indicates that our Jacob was probably dead before it had started to be formed.  The possibility that something he worked on morphed into Grandpa’s Tar Soap, or that his son Jacob had a large roll in it is possible, and so the information is presented below.  There were a couple of Jacob Thomas’ in Montgomery County Pa during the early 1800’s, but the ages of the children made determination of our Jacob easier.

Jacob was stated to have died in March 1862.  This agrees with the census returns, which do not show him in 1870.

The Thomas submission to Broderbund had the following:

Jacob migrated to America and settled in Potterstown, Pennsylvania where he met and married Mary Rogers. They were a very religious family - of Quaker faith and very industrious. Jacob perfected a soap product called "Grandpa's Tar Soap". His picture was on the wrappers and could be bought in most any grocery store where soap was sold. There are many yet who remember that soap. A Max Sproul said he remembered that soap well as his mother always bought it and used it to wash all the children's hair. The business was very successful and in later years was sold to Proctor and Gamble - maker of Ivory Soap, Tide, Comet and other related products.

We are uncertain of how many children they had but one who did research on the history said there were 10, but only five of them reaching maturity. George II, Aaron, and William decided to seek new lands to conquer and they traveled to Ohio where they stayed for a while and eventually married.

The Thomas’ were Quakers. But those who eventually settled in Missouri became Methodists.

Jacob was of Welsh descent and Mary (Rogers) family was German. It is thought to be around 1833, three of the sons (George, Aaron, and William) decided to explore new land in Missouri.

The submission indicated that Jacob’s father was named George Washington, but we have above shown otherwise.  Also, it must be remembered, that the name George Washington became famous during Jacob’s life, not before.  It is possible that our George Thomas had a middle name of Washington, but no evidence of this has ever been found.  Interestingly, the biography does not mention a second wife, Elizabeth.  This marriage seems to have taken place between 1840 and 1850 based upon the census records.  Maria (Royer) Thomas died in the early 1830’s it appears.  It took Jacob a while to find another woman, but he eventually did.  It doesn’t appear as if they had any children together, however.  We have also proved it incorrect that Jacob migrated to the United States, he was born here.  Whether or not his father emigrated, we cannot, yet, say.  An email contact I received said that James Thomas, born @ 1747 married Elizabeth Brandt.  James’ father was reputed to be a David Thomas.  I have not proven this last.

Children of Jacob Thomas and Mary Royer Thomas are:

1)        Elizabeth Thomas b. 12th of July 1806

2)        Margaret Thomas b. April 17th, 1808

3)        George Thomas, b. November 10, 1809, Pennsylvania; d. December 1861, Killed near Marais des Cygnes River (Dickey Lake), Bates Co., Missouri.  This birth is not recorded in the church records!  Unknown why.

4)        John Thomas b September 19, 1812 – it is possible that this is the “Henry” who acquired land in Bates County in 1848 & 1851.

5)        Jacob Thomas II, b. 3rd of November 1813

6)        Aaron Thomas, b. February 04, 1816, Pennsylvania; d. WFT Est. 1842-1907.

7)        William R Thomas, b. September 12, 1818, Pennsylvania; d. July 06, 1895, Bates Co., Butler, Missouri.  Interestingly, the church records show the birth as August 12th, 1818.

8)        Jane Thomas – perhaps the “Sarauna” mentioned in church records with a birthdate of  June 16th, 1820.  Spelling unclear.

9)        Sophia Maria Thomas b. February 11th, 1822

10)    Stephen Thomas – this is not confirmed, but in 1856, on the same day and adjacent to William R Thomas, a Stephen Thomas purchased land in Bates County Missouri.  This Stephen cannot be accounted for as children of the above.  He appears in no census returns.

Notes for Aaron Thomas:

Aaron was born and raised in Potterstown, Pennsylvania and later on went to Ohio and met wife and married. He and his two brothers who moved to Ohio along with him, decided to conquer new lands in Missouri that had just become a state. After finding the land they wished to settle on, they went back to Ohio to get families and move to Missouri.

In 1849, Aaron and his family left for California in a covered wagon and were never heard of again. They think he had the gold rush fever. This last seems one of the obligatory “Gold Rush stories” every family seems to need.  Land records in 1851, 1854, and 1856 conflict with the statement that he was never heard from again.  In addition, Aaron is recorded in the 1850 Bates County Mo. Federal Census returns, although he does not seem to appear in the 1860 returns.

Children of Aaron Thomas and Frances are:

Jacob Thomas, b. @ 1848; d. WFT Est. 1846-1947.

Mary Thomas, b. WFT Est. 1839-1867; d. WFT Est. 1846-1950.

1 Feb 1851 Aaron Thomas land

15 Nov 1854 Aaron Thomas land

15 Jan 1856 Aaron Thomas land

15 Jan 1856 Aaron Thomas land part B

Elder Aaron and Wm Thomas in 1850 Bates Co Mo. Federal census

Notes for William R Thomas:

It is probable that William was named for an uncle Wilhelm (brother of his mother Maria), because it was probably this uncle who sponsored his baptism on August 16, 1818 from church records linked to at top of page.

William came to Missouri (Bates County) before Missouri was divided into counties, as we know it today. He first came with his brothers and choose the land they wanted and then they went back to get their families. William went back to Pennsylvania to marry his sweetheart, Sophia.

He returned to Bates County in 1844 with his wife and two small children (Lone Oak Township).

Someone said to him one time, "Why did you build in that little valley? - Why?" He said there was about 20 acres in it and he thought that would be all he ever needed, as 10 acres was a good sized farm where he came from in Pennsylvania"

 In addition to farming he erected an old style treadmill, operated by oxen treading on an endless wheel. He improved this with a windmill, quite primitive, with which he sawed a great part of the lumber used to build the first Butler. He had need of a wagon so he cut wheels from a cross section of a large log - dishing out the sides and boring holes for the axel. With this rude contraption he managed to do a great amount of hauling. His whole life was one of untiring and remitting toil but he secured for himself a good home with 300 acres of land and one of the best houses in the country.

William selected 20 acres close to his brothers who had found a good spring where the Indians in the early days of stagecoach used to come for water. In later years William was asked why he didn't try and get more land. He said, "in Pennsylvania where I come from, 10 acres was considered a large farm and I thought 20 was all I could take care of." By the time he died, he was the owner of 900 acres.

William and his brother Aaron had a gristmill to grind grain for the farmers and neighbors. It was run for power by treadmill with oxen. George bought a carding machine in 1849, at West Point, Mo, the area known today as northeast of Amsterday, Mo.

William and Sophia were the parents of 11 children, five of who died in infancy. Mail service was slow and rare but the family all knew how to read and write and there is a copy of a letter written to William by a brother in Pennsylvania, soon after the death of their father in 1862.

The brothers’ land joined together and they always worked together as long as they lived. Sophia was a devout Presbyterian joining the church in her youth. William is remembered as a loyal member and attending church every Sunday regardless of the weather. His obituary states he was a Christian man and invited the ministry into their home. He was beloved and was called Uncle Billy Thomas by all the community.

He was a Presbyterian and faithful to his Lord and church.

The story is told in the Padley family as follows: One day some men rode on horseback into Williams yard. They looked around and asked him if the herd of cattle was his that were grazing in the pasture. He said they did. He was then told by the riders to go to the barn and select his best saddle horse and saddle. He was to help them drive the cattle into Kansas. He went to the barn but selected his second best saddle and horse and brought it into the yard. One of the men said, "We told you to get your BEST horse."

These men were Bushwhackers or lawless men from Kansas. So the cattle was rounded up by the men and William and they drove his cattle away. Days passed and one day he returned home. The Bushwhackers had taken his good horse and saddle, gave him some old horse and sent him home. Then came Ewing's Order No. 11. Before they could leave, the house was ransacked by Bushwhackers. They even took the quilt off a sick child's bed with her mother begging them not to. The sad thing about it is that one of the men was a neighbor she recognized. The house was then burned. William took an oxcart and put what they could get before the fire consumed their home into it.

Their house was set afire and the family saved what they could, put it on an ox cart and made their way to Linn County, Kansas.

Years later Mabel Padley and her mother were peeling apples when they saw a funeral procession of this man who took the quilt from the sick child, going towards Double Branch Cemetery. All of that family is gone now.

The family stayed in Linn County and that fall the mother and some of the daughters came by wagon back to Bates County to see and try to harvest some of the apples in Missouri that year. They found the log corncrib unburned so they stayed in it for shelter. One night some men rode into the yard. The women were very frightened. They still had some hot water on the stove after working with the apples all day. It was in October with a full bright moon. The mother looked out and recognized one of the men and calling him by name said Lem Blankenship, what are you doing here? The men turned and rode away. The girls had run and climbed up in some apple trees. The mother was frightened also. They were never molested or bothered and in a few days they returned to Kansas.

Life was not easy there. They lost two little daughters who were buried there.

They continued living in Kansas until 1869, after the war, they returned to their farmland in Bates County. All the land was in desolation. Bates was the worst affected by the war. William rebuilt the buildings and built a large square house, which still exists today (1980 or 1983). It has been remodeled inside, but the outside looks the same. Wesley Silvers family own and live in it today.

William and Sophia both died in their home and were both buried in Fairview Cemetery (six miles SE of Butler, Missouri).

Children of William Thomas and Sophia Gilhinger:

1)        Henry Gilhinger Thomas, b. May 02, 1840, Pennsylvania; d. 1915, Bates Co., Butler, Missouri.

2)        Mary Elizabeth (Molly) Thomas, b. October 03, 1844, Montgomery Co. Pennsylvania; d. December 05, 1915, Bates Co., Butler, Missouri.

3)        Catherine E Thomas, b. November 11, 1848, Bates Co., Butler, Missouri; d. November 27, 1848, Bates Co., Butler, Missouri.

4)        Allen E Thomas, b. January 26, 1849, Bates Co., Butler, Missouri; d. May 05, 1899.

5)        Martha Ann Thomas, b. December 23, 1851; d. April 25, 1928.

6)        Sara (Saddie) E Thomas, b. July 10, 1854; d. June 16, 1914.

7)        Emily R Thomas, b. August 29, 1856; d. WFT Est. 1871-1950; m. Charles Morilla, WFT Est. 1870-1871.

8)        Alice Sophia Thomas, b. March 23, 1857; d. January 01, 1916; m. Walter Hallock Benedict, April 21, 1875.

9)        Lucy Thomas, b. May 19, 1859,  d. April 04, 1864, Buried in Linn Co Kansas.

10)    Flora Thomas, b. July 03, 1861; d. April 11, 1862, Buried in Linn Co Kansas.


15 Jan 1858 William B Thomas land

1 Sept 1856 William R Thomas land

15 Feb 1854 William R Thomas land

15 Jan 1856 William R Thomas land

John H and Wm R Thomas in 1860 Bates Co Mo. Federal census

John H and Wm Thomas in Bates co Mo 1870 federal census

My transcription of John H and Wm Thomas in 1870

Henry Gilhinger and Mary Thomas family in 1900

Henry and Mary Thomas in 1910

Notes for some of William R Thomas’ children:

Henry Gilhinger Thomas:

Henry Gilhinger Thomas was born May 02, 1840 in Pennsylvania, and died 1915 in Bates Co., Butler, Missouri. He married (1) Jenny Louise Boch. He married (2) Mary Ann Stack.

Children of Henry Thomas and Jenny Boch are:

1)        Cora Thomas, b. WFT Est. 1861-1890; d. WFT Est. 1866-1972; m. Charles Rogers.

2)        Effie Thomas, b. WFT Est. 1861-1890; d. WFT Est. 1883-1972; m. Herb Blood.

Mary Elizabeth (Molly) Thomas:

Mary Elizabeth (Molly) Thomas was born October 03, 1844 in Montgomery Co. Pennsylvania, and died December 05, 1915 in Bates Co., Butler, Missouri. She married William H. Padley June 30, 1864 in Near Twin Springs, Kansas.

Notes for Mary Elizabeth (Molly) Thomas:

Mary was born near Potterstown, Pa. She moved with her parents to Missouri when one year of age. She united with the Presbyterian Church in young womanhood and lived a faithful, consistent life until death.

She suffered 4 years before she died with paralysis.

Child of Mary Thomas and William Padley is:

1)        Ida S Padley, b. 1 Mar 1871, d. September 04, 1892.  Ida was stricken with typhoid fever for six weeks and all that medical skill and loving hands could do was done but without avail. She was 21 one years of age.

2)        Hattie A Padley b. 9 February 1873, d 11 Sept 1876

Allen E  Thomas:

Allen E Thomas was born January 26, 1849 in Bates Co., Butler, Missouri, and died May 05, 1899. He married Louise.

Children of Allen Thomas and LOUISE are:

1)        Ellen Thomas, b. WFT Est. 1869-1894; d. WFT Est. 1874-1977; m. Pixley.

2)        Mattie H. Thomas, b. WFT Est. 1869-1894; d. WFT Est. 1874-1977; m. Sanky.


Martha Ann Thomas:

Martha Ann Thomas was born December 23, 1851, and died April 25, 1928. She married (1) Morgan Early WFT Est. 1865-1868. She married (2) Harvey H Hart July 07, 1869.

Child of Martha Thomas and Harvey Hart is:

1)        Ira W Hart, b. February 1895; d. WFT Est. 1896-1989.


Sara (Saddie) E Thomas:

Sara (Saddie) E Thomas was born July 10, 1854, and died June 16, 1914. She married George N. Requa WFT Est. 1867-1895.

Children of Sara Thomas and George Requa are:

1)        Katie Requa, b. September 18, 1876; d. January 12, 1948; m. J. M. Zumwalt, WFT Est. 1890-1920.

2)        Edna Requa, b. December 22, 1880; d. August 12, 1953; m. George Dewitt, WFT Est. 1894-1924.

3)        Vera Requa, b. August 14, 1895; d. April 09, 1976.

4)        Oren F. Requa, b. February 1878; d. WFT Est. 1879-1968.

George Requa 1 Nov 1848 land

George Requa 15 Apr 1853 land

George Thomas


From the Thomas submission to Broderbund:

George Thomas was born November 10, 1809 in Pennsylvania, and died December 1861 in Killed near Marais des Cygnes River (Dickey Lake), Bates Co., Missouri. He married Mary Beaver November 14, 1833 in Licking County, Ohio.

He was born in Potterstown, Pa, but later in life decided to conquer new lands and moved to Ohio where he met and married Mary Beaver.

By stage coach the family moved to Missouri and settled in Bates Co. Missouri and it was more than a wilderness.

In 1833 George, Aaron, and William decided to move further south and seek their fortunes. They traveled by horseback to Missouri and came back for their families and came back to Missouri by stage coach and settled near a spring about two miles from the Marais des Cygnes River and six miles southeast of Butler, in what later became Lone Oak Township.

Missouri had become a state in 1821 and the treaty with the Osage Indians had moved the Osages to Oklahoma and the government was selling the land for $1.25 to $2.00 per acre to settlers who came rushing to buy.

They purchased the land from a Mr. Mayfield. The three brothers were so pleased with the land they went back to Ohio for their wives and children, which they brought back by covered wagon. They were close to the woods and timber for their cabins and firewood was handy. There was plenty of prairie grass for their cows and horses and being the industrious type they pitched in to make good homes in the area, which they had chosen, for their families. They united with the Peru Methodist Church when it was first organized.

George was the first white man to build his home on the wide-open prairie. Everyone kept saying. "You can't build a house strong enough to stand against the prairie winds." Most of the settlers built in the woods along the various rivers and streams. But George located the never-failing spring and felt he could and wished to build his log cabin nearby. The timbers of the house were all hand hewn, the sills were 10 x 11 inches and the plates x 10 inches, studding faced six-in, braces 6 x 6 inches. George had a large chimney kiln. There, he and his wife Mary Beaver of Licking County, Ohio, reared their family.

The first storm that came after father moved into his new home, one of the prairie neighbors came to see if they had been blown away, but the house still stands about one-half mile from where it was first built, being moved by John H. Thomas in 1859 to live in.

They were farmers at first, but they soon set up a gristmill, brought in a carding machine and built two brick kilns. Many old settlers came there with their wool. They had learned brick making in Pennsylvania where most of the buildings were made of brick. Eventually they replaced their log cabins with brick homes and built the first church in Peru of brick.

The plows they used for farming were the Cary plow, which had a wooden mole board, a single shovel plow to "plow corn" instead of "cultivating" as we say. They went three times in a row.

Mr. George Requa came over to George Thomas where he was plowing, and said "Mr. Thomas, come over to my house, and get plows that will scour and turn the trash all under." He said a man came along with a load of plows and stayed all night with him, then left the load of plows for him to sell. They were the White Hurst plow. They did the best work he ever saw and he bought four; two large ones and two small ones.

In a few years people began to build little houses out on the high prairies. This seemed to the early settlers to be a very dangerous undertaking, but these hardy pioneers could brave all dangers for the sake of getting a home for their families and more noble, generous people never lived.

They were all in sympathy with each other and always ready to lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need, and they were happy and contented. Most of them were God-fearing men. They did not try and see which could get the most wealth, but were willing that their neighbor should share with them.

Jane, the sister of George, Aaron and William, came to visit them by way of stagecoach. Jane and Jacob Thomas still continued to make Potterstown their home.

While the Thomas family had been Quakers, in Missouri George became a Methodist and William became a Presbyterian. The little trading center of Peru became the focal point of the neighborhood. There was soon a general store, a church, school and a house on the other corner where the storekeeper lived.

The Thomas’ held church services in their homes until they could get the church built. I understand the foundations of the kilns are still to be found (1983).

When the state of unrest in civil war time was getting worse along the Missouri and Kansas border, the Bushwhackers from Kansas were raiding the Bates County settlers and the Quantrell gang was retaliating vehemently.

The Confederate forces had a post near Butler and reported they ordered George's sons Aaron and John to join the Confederate Army in August 1861. They refused to serve and fled. Soon after learning of their decision, they drug George some two miles from the home place, killed him and presumably tossed his body into the Marais des Cygnes River or Dickey Lake and was never heard from again. Of his murderers, Mary was heard to say "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." A grandson who was a witness fled as the murderers tried to kill him by setting the field he was in on fire. He ran to a nearby pond and grabbed a hollow dry reed and buried himself under water and used the reed to breathe as the fire burnt over the small pond. That same grandson was the one who the sisters and mother had hid in a chest (one of the girls sat on lid) when they came to search the house. That same chest is now with Helen (Herron) Walker of Twin Falls, ID (1996).

All who knew Mary and knew of the many hardships through which she passed, saw a real and true Christian and admired her patience with which she bore it all. On Friday evening when we knew she must die, the minister called. She said, tell him I am very sick. When he asked if she had any choice of scripture, she said, "No, it is all good".

As death was coming, she spoke of an absent grandson, (Willie Thomas) whom she had taken from his dead mothers arms. She pleaded with earnestness that we should admonish Willie to keep good company and urged us each to duties neglected and to train up our children in the way they should go. She "wrapped the drapery of her couch about her and lay down to pleasant dreams.

She was a Christian mother who practiced what she preached. She tried always to keep before her children their accountability to God.

There is, in the same work, of which at least some seems to be from a letter written by one of George’s children later on, the tale that Mary Beaver was descended

“from one of the soldiers that came over with General La Fayette in 1778 to help fight in the American Revolution. This man was a Frenchman and his name was spelled Bevour. (Same as Jackie Kennedy spells her name.) He stayed in America and married here and after they were married, he changed the spelling of the name to Beaver. He was either her father or grandfather (most likely her grandfather).” – This story is probably not true.  We have Mary’s father as David Beaver, and David’s father was Conrad Beaver.

More on David Beaver’s life

Mary Beaver was buried in Fairview Cemetery. "Let me die in righteousness and in the likeness of Jesus."

Children of George Thomas and Mary Beaver are:

1)        Ephriam Thomas, b. WFT Est. 1831-1857; Died in infancy in Ohio.

2)        Margaret Thomas, b. January 13, 1837, Spartenburg, Ohio; d. September 06, 1928, Buried: Idaho.

3)        John Henry Thomas, b. November 14, 1839, Lone Oak Township, Missouri; d. December 05, 1907, Buried: Fairview Cemetery, Lone Oak Twp, Mo.  Some notes of John’s children here

4)        Aaron M. Thomas, b. February 11, 1842; d. December 11, 1908, Lone Oak Township, Missouri.

5)        David Beaver Thomas, b. April 24, 1848; d. September 16, 1923.

6)        Cyrus M. Thomas, b. September 05, 1851; d. August 06, 1914.

7)        Steven Thomas, b. 1852; d. 1862. : Had tonsils removed and too much chloroform...he never regained consciousness.

8)        Mary Elizabeth Thomas, b. February 23, 1853; d. 1936, Trenton, Kentucky.


George Thomas land deal in Bates county 1 – 1 November 1848

George Thomas land deal in Bates county 2 – 15 April 1853

George Thomas land deal in Bates county 3 – 15 April 1853

George Thomas land deal in Bates county 4 – 15 January 1858

George Thomas family in Van Buren county Missouri 1840 federal census – in Bates county before there WAS a Bates county!

George Thomas family in 1850 Bates Co Mo federal census

George Thomas in 1860 Bates Co Mo federal census

George Thomas probate bond

George Thomas probate letter

Another Probate document


Notes for Margaret Thomas:

Margaret Thomas was born January 13, 1837 in Spartenburg, Ohio, and died September 06, 1928 in Buried: Idaho. She married James Requa May 12, 1859, and remained in Kansas when the family returned to Bates County in 1868 - 1869.

Children of Margaret Thomas and James Requa are:

Arthur Requa, b. WFT Est. 1856-1884; d. WFT Est. 1881-1963; m. Maude.

Hattie Requa, b. WFT Est. 1856-1884; d. WFT Est. 1861-1966; m. Tiffany.

Mattie Requa, b. WFT Est. 1856-1884; d. WFT Est. 1861-1966; m. Vickers.

Notes for Aaron Thomas:

Aaron M Thomas was born February 11, 1842, and died December 11, 1908 in Lone Oak Township, Missouri. He married Ella Canfield WFT Est. 1870-1897.  She was born 20 Sept 1856.

Children of AARON THOMAS and Ella Canfield are:

1)        Robert Thomas, b. 1891; d. 1931; m. Mae Daniels

2)        Ella Jean Thomas, b. February 13, 1893; d. January 20, 1976.

The 9th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry Regiment


Notes for Cyrus M. Thomas:

Cyrus M. Thomas was born September 05, 1851, and died August 06, 1914. He married Margaret Stamper September 28, 1871

Cyrus built a clapboard home very near the old homestead and after a few years his son Marion moved into the two-story clapboard home, where Sue was born and where she still lives (1983).

Children of Cyrus Thomas and Margaret Stamper are:

1)        Lucy Ida Thomas, b. August 12, 1887; d. September 16, 1924; m. Fred Wishard, WFT Est. 1901-1904.

2)        (Mary) Ida Thomas, b. July 25, 1872; d. March 13, 1959; m. George Chaney, November 22, 1890.

3)        Lute G. Thomas, b. January 12, 1875; d. May 15, 1934; m. Myrtle Daniels, (27 July 1878 – 7 Aug 1964).

4)        Jennie Thomas, b. 1880; d. 1943; m. Thomas Booth, November 18, 1903.

5)        Archie Thomas, b. WFT Est. 1872-1898; d. WFT Est. 1878-1978; m. Grace Moreland.

6)        Florence Thomas, b. April 15, 1886; d. July 07, 1896.

7)        Bertha Thomas, b. February 05, 1889; d. January 01, 1970; m. Ross B. Williams, November 26, 1908.

8)        Charlie Thomas, b. October 20, 1892; d. May 18, 1956; m. Velva Brannock, WFT Est. 1907-1917 She was born 6 Sept 1891.

Cyrus Thomas and Gerkin (Mary was daughter of George Thomas) family in 1880 Bates co Mo federal census

Cyrus Thomas and Mary Gerkin families in 1900

Charles Thomas family in 1920

Williams family with Margaret Thomas in 1920


Notes for Mary Elizabeth Thomas:

Mary Elizabeth Thomas was born February 23, 1853, and died 1936 in Trenton, Kentucky. She married William (Billie) Herman Gerkin in 1874.

Children of Mary Thomas and William Gerkin are:

1)        Mary Louise (Mae) Gerkin, b. November 21, 1877, Bates Co., Missouri; d. 1937, Trenton, Kentucky; m. Howard Gay Smith, 1895.

2)        Grace Nell Gerkin, b. March 31, 1892; d. 1918; m. (1) Clarence Knott, WFT Est. 1906-1917; m. (2) Harry Latham, October 18, 1911; m. (3) Otto Kalie,


Notes for John Henry Thomas:

John Henry Thomas was born November 14, 1839 in Lone Oak Township, Missouri, and died December 05, 1907 in Buried: Fairview Cemetery, Lone Oak Twp, Mo. He married (1) Hannah Mayfield May 11, 1859. He married (2) Ruth Rogers December 02, 1903 in Butler, Missouri.

John was born within one mile of his old home two years before Bates County was created and his education was very sketchy - such as could be obtained in the crude schools of those pioneering days. He married Hannah when he was 20 years old in 1859. He lived in Lone Oak Township until compelled to leave by the war in 1861.

The state of unrest was getting worse along the Missouri and Kansas border. The Bushwhackers from Kansas were raiding the Bates County settlers and the Quantrell gang was retaliating vehemently. The Confederate forces had a post near Butler and reported they ordered John and Aaron to join the Confederate Army on August 9, 1861. The sons refused to serve with them and fled to Mound City, Kansas. John then joined the 15th Kansas Cavalry Volunteers and served throughout the balance of the war. After learning their decision the Confederates drug father George II some miles from the home place, killed him and presumably tossed body into the Marais des Cygnes River or the Dickey Lake and he was never heard from again.

John returned to Bates Co. in 1869 and saw the country grow from infancy to wealth and power.

After Hannah and John Henry were married, he purchased the land from his father and uncle in 1863.

During the war Hannah would be in bed with one of the babies when the men would travel back home at night to see the family. But they had to sleep in the haystacks so they could run for safety if the Rebels came. The Rebels would come to the houses to steel and to kill. They came one time and Hannah hid one of the men in a cedar chest. One of the daughters sat on it and the Rebels never thought to make her get up.

When fleeing from Missouri, so as to not have to serve in the Confederate Army, John took his family to Miami County, Kansas where he enlisted in the 15th Kansas Cavalry in 1863. He served during the war and was discharged at Lawrence in November 1865 when hostilities had ceased.

The 15th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry

They returned to the devastation of Order No. 11 when the country had been burned and everything destroyed. John's son, George W. III took over the old homestead in 1869. This letter was written by John when he still lived there:

...I remember the plows we plowed with. The Cary plow had a wooden mole board, a single shovel plow to "plow corn" instead of "cultivating" as we now say. We went three times in a row. I remember well when Mr. George Requa came to father's where we were plowing - well, I say 'gophering' and said, "Mr. Thomas come over to my house and get plows that will scour, and turn the trash all under." He said a man came along with a load of plows and stayed all night with him, then left the load for him to sell. They were the White Hurst plow. They did the best work I ever saw. Father bought four, two large ones and two small ones.

My father owned and operated a carding machine on the farm now owned by A.M. Thomas and while a small boy I knew many of the old settlers who came there with their wool. Among others I remember, Mark West, Gent's father, John Woodfin, the father of A.H., and Jason Woddfin, Melvin Dickey, who lived near the "Dicky Ford" and many others. I never knew any of their sons until since the war.

We lived and worked in peace, and were fairly prosperous until the war broke out in 1861. On August 9, 1861 myself and my brother Aaron were ordered to report at the Confederate camp somewhere near Mound City, Kansas and in August of 1863 I entered the 15th Cavalry Volunteers and served throughout the balance of the war.

Father was taken from his home in December 1861 and killed somewhere near Dickey Lake or the river near as we could learn, and his body was never found, or do any of us know to this day his place of burial - if buried at all.

I do not wish to say anything more about the war matters. They are matters as well known to many of our citizens as myself. I returned to Bates County in 1869 and have seen the county grow from infancy to wealth and power. The past is past; and the bitterness of the war, and the separation and estrangement of the neighbors is ended.

The thing we all dread and battle against now is the encroachment of the money powers upon the homes of our people.

May we be spared the disaster of another war.”

Ruth Rogers tried to kill John by putting poison in his food.

Children of John Thomas and Hannah Mayfield are:

1)        James William Thomas, b. March 28, 1860; d. June 21, 1957, Buried: Fairview Cemetery, Lone Oak Twp, Mo.; m. Luella Wood, September 16, 1886.

2)        George Washington Thomas III, b. November 17, 1861, Kansas; d. July 25, 1949, Buried: Fairview Cemetery near Peru, Mo.; m. Branch Warren, September 19, 1886.

3)        Mary (Visa) Lavisa Thomas, b. December 01, 1863, New Lancaster, Kansas; d. November 12, 1929, Gooding, Idaho; m. (1) Charles Francis Gough, October 16, 1889, Peru, Missouri; m. (2) Vincent Bolte

4)        John Wesley Thomas, b. December 23, 1866; d. September 08, 1867, Buried: Fairview Cemetery, Lone Oak Twp, Mo.

5)        Effie Elizabeth Thomas, b. April 26, 1869; d. January 02, 1871, Buried: Fairview Cemetery, Lone Oak Twp, Mo.

6)        Lizzie Lee Thomas, b. July 01, 1873, Missouri; d. December 27, 1936, Twin Falls, Idaho Memorial Cemetery; m. William Clayton Mcginnis, March 10, 1896, Missouri.

7)        Laura Thomas, b. July 01, 1873; d. July 01, 1873, Buried: Fairview Cemetery, Lone Oak Twp, Mo.

8)        Marion Benefield Thomas, b. June 10, 1875; d. February 02, 1879.

9)        Margaret (Maggie) Elmira Thomas, b. October 23, 1876; d. May 26, 1956, Bronson, Kansas (buried); m. (1) Rufas Longstreth, WFT Est. 1890-1893; m. (2) Oscar Rogers, February 12, 1895.

10)    Emma (Frankie) Francis Thomas, b. August 19, 1880; d. April 21, 1968, Gooding, Idaho; m. Henry Evilsizer, May 20, 1903.

11)    Lorena (Kate) Catherine Thomas, b. February 29, 1884; d. October 25, 1976, Gooding, Idaho; m. George Daniels, November 02, 1904.

John H Thomas and Aaron M Thomas (civil war veterans) in 1890 special census Bates county Missouri

John, James, George Thomas families and George Requa family in 1900

John Thomas’ Civil War pension application (69 pages) mentions Rheumatism and a Dr testified to an 1889 accident in which he had dislocated his left thumb when his horse team rolled a wagon onto him.  He is listed in his day as having blue eyes and grey hair.  Enlisted either 10th, 14th, and 16th of Aug 1863 until 19 Oct 1865.

52 years old - 23 mar 1892 - pulse 81, respiration 19, temp 100 F 5’ 7” 154#

53 years – 28 June 1893 -  81, 19, 98.5 F, 5’ 6.5”, 143#

58 years – 25 May 1898 – 84, 21, 99.25 F, 5’ 6”, 137#

60 years – 19 Sept 1890 – 76, 84, 104 (pulse per minute sitting – standing – after exercise), 24, 26, 28 (resp – same?), 98.5 F, 5’ 6”, 135#

62 years – 15 Jan 1902 (?) 74, 78, 112,  19, 21, 24, 98.5 F, 5’ 6”, 120# (age and date don’t match)

63 years – 21 Jan 1903 (?) 90, 96, 104, 24, 28, 30, 98.5 F, 5’ 6”, 140# (age and date don’t match)

Notes for some of John Henry Thomas’ children:

George Washington Thomas III:

George W. III came to Missouri with his parents when he was one year old and located in Lone Oak Township, Peru, Missouri on a farm near the Peru church. He spent the remainder years of his life.

He was converted early in life and united with the Methodist Church of Peru. He was an active member for over 75 years. He was a teacher and member of the Official Board and was always concerned about his family and his church.

Branch came with her parents to Missouri about 50 years ago by covered wagon. The family settled in the Star neighborhood. Here she met George Washington III and they were married.

George W. III lived with his parents until he married. Then he and his wife moved to a place a little over one half mile south of there until he purchased his parents home from John H. Thomas in 1909. He lived there until his death

She was converted early in life and united with the Methodist Church at Peru. She has always lived and worked for the Christian welfare of the community. She was a faithful member of the W.C.T.U. for 20 years. She was also a member of the Peru Ladies Aid. – preceding from FTM submission

George and Blanche Thomas in 1920


Lizzie Lee Thomas:

Lizzie came down with cancer and lived about six months. One time she went into a coma, and when she came back out she told her family that she was she didn't get to go home...she'd have to suffer a little longer.

Before she did die, she called each of her loved ones in to say goodbye and give them a blessing.

Lizzie Thomas and William Mcginnis met each other in the neighborhood out in the country. They lived on the Requa farm in Bates County, near Butler, Missouri. Their transportation of getting around was by horse and 2-wheel cart.

In December 1917, they decided to move out west to Idaho and settle there. They arrived on Christmas Day. They sold most everything. In an immigrant train car, they put 4 horses, John's little dog, chickens, plow and harrow, household things, horse, cart and a wagon. William rode on the train with the things. Sometimes he was in the caboose or in the immigrant car. The rest of the family came on the regular train. The family arrived in Kimberly, Idaho on Christmas day, 1917. The immigrant car and William arrived in Kimberly, Idaho a week later, January 1, 1918.

There was a vacant stone house with 20 acres available, so they lived there awhile. This place was near George and Kate Daniel's home, just south of Twin Falls, near Rock Creek Canyon.

In the spring of 1919, William farmed 120 acres of the Taddiken Brothers place, 5 1/2 miles south of Twin Falls, Idaho, until his death.

In 1918 they bought their first car, a Model T Ford.

In 1936 William bought a blue Ford car. – preceding from FTM submission


David Beaver Thomas


David Beaver Thomas was born April 24, 1848, and died September 16, 1923. He married (1) Melinda Jane Koch 18 September 1873.  She died in childbirth or later on, from complications with their second son Freddie, on 7 January, 1876.  David remarried to Trestitus (Tressie) Millender, daughter of Eleanor.  She lived from 29 April 1859 – 11 November 1922.

Koch Genealogy

Children of David Thomas and Melinda are:

1)        William Henry Thomas

2)        Freddie Thomas

Freddie must have been the boy that Mary Mayfield Thomas was talking about. She took him out of his dead mother's arms to take care of him.  The FTM submission believed “Willie” was the son, but he was born 10 SEP 1874.  Freddie was the second son.

Freddie Thomas, Died as an infant. Tombstone said he lived 7 months and 8 days. July 5, 1876 was a date on that tombstone. – from FTM submission.

Children of David Thomas and Trestitus (Tressie) are:

1)        Mary Thomas, b. Feb 1880 d. after Nov 1922

2)        Charlie (Chad?)Thomas, b. Jan 1882 d. before Nov 1922

3)        Arthur Thomas, b. Dec 1883, d. After Nov 1922

4)        Orenia Thomas, b. Oct 1885 d. After Nov 1922

5)        James Thomas, b. Jan 1888 d. Before Nov 1922

6)        Leola Thomas, b. Mar 1890 d. After Nov 1922

7)        Robert Thomas, b. 1893; d. 1893. – unverified by census, as year not covered d. before Nov 1922

8)        Herman Earl Thomas, b. 1902 d. After Nov 1922.

 Death dates after Nov 1922 from obituary of "Trestitius Thomas"in Bates County Democrat of 30 Nov 1922.

Undoubtedly named for his maternal grandfather, the name “David Beaver Thomas” appears in no record or written history yet found.  The name came down from oral tradition and later was “confirmed” by discovering the link to Mary Beaver Thomas’ father David Beaver.

David B Thomas was 5’ 5” tall, with light hair and blue eyes.  At 17 years old, his skin is considered light.  It is then that he is recorded, along with his brother Aaron, and his cousin Henry G Thomas, in the Bates county Mo. Militia lists. 

Front of the 1867 Missouri Militia list with David B, Aaron, and Henry G Thomas listed

My transcription of Thomas listings Source FHL film# 1021096

Aaron, David, and Cyrus Thomas in 1870 Bates co Mo federal census

David B Thomas in Bates co Mo.1880 federal census - also Mary and Aaron Thomas

Aaron and his mother Mary Thomas, Ellen Barlow, Wm and John_H Thomas in 1880 Bates co Mo federal census

NEW! Thomas clan and Ellen Barlow in 1895 Bates County land plat map

David B Thomas and wife Terestius and Aaron Thomas families in 1900

David and Cyrus Thomas families in 1910

David B Thomas 1914 picture – back says “uncle David Thomas taken 1914 Mary E Thomas’ brother” and it was taken at Fox studio in Butler, Mo.

David B Thomas and Steven Thomas families in 1920

David Beaver Thomas marriage certificate

David Beaver Thomas long obituary - Bates County Democrat, Butler, Mo. 27 Sept, 1923, p. 6, col. 4

David Beaver Thomas short obituary - The Butler Weekly Times and the Bates County Record Vol. XLVI Number 50, Thursday, Sept. 20, 1923.

David B Thomas will pt 1  Part  2

Probate papers: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

David B Thomas death certificate


William Henry Thomas

On Nov. 1909 – a baby girl Ruth Beatrice came into the home of Will and Melissa Thomas, but only tarried long enough to just seem to be among us and then God took her to himself.  She just lived fourteen hrs.  Our loss is heaven’s gain.  The little rose that budded on Earth has blossomed in heaven.  Funeral conducted by the writer, a sister of the mother of the child.  Lord help us all to meet her in the sky.

Blessed are the ones that die in the lord.  We shall all go on to our father’s house.  To our father’s house in the sky.  Where the hope of our souls shall have no flight.  Our love, no broken ties.  We shall roam on the banks of the river of peace.  And bathe in its blissful tide.  And out of the joys of that life shall be my dear sister Kate that died.  But I shall miss her when the flowers come in garden where we strayed.  But I shall miss her more by the fireside when the blossoms are all decayed.  Written by the loving sister Mrs M. E. Thomas in remembrance of Mrs Kate Mize.

 Newspaper Articles From Bates County Democrat and Bates County Republican Newspapers:

BCR Fri 30 Jan, 1920 Vol XXXVIIII #11  BCR FRi 23 Apr, 1920 Vol XXXVIIII #24  BCR Fri 13 Feb, 1920 Vol XXXVIIII #13  BCD Thu 16 Nov, 1922 Vol 53 #49  BCD Thu 23 Nov, 1922 Vol 53 # 50

History 200 Suffrage article centered on Thomas family women

NEW Trestus Thomas death certificate from 23 Dec 07

William Henry and Melissa (McFadden) Thomas with adopted son Jewell

William Henry Thomas and wife "Elizabeth" (actually Melissa E McFadden) in 1900

William H and Melissa Thomas in 1910 (census enumerator spelled her name right this time)    Right part of this

Another (Full) version of the 1910 census page

Threshing in Bates county c 1916 - possible William H Thomas in picture as magnified here

William Henry Thomas and Hamilton McFadden families in 1920

William Henry Thomas death certificate

William Henry Thomas obituary - Rich Hill Mining Review, Thu. Nov 13, 1924, Pg 3 col. 2. - Mentions Bates County Democrat reference, probably from Thu 13 Nov, since 6 November death probably past press time.

William Henry Thomas family group sheet

Bridge of Dark Shadows - words written by Melissa E (McFadden) Thomas after husband William H Thomas died in cave in - Musically Annotated Version Part 1 Part 2 - Wav audio file - from US Navy CDR TeddiAnn Smith's church choir in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. I'm sure I never thanked them enough for this.

Delbert and sister Thomas, Jewel's children

Mellissa Ellen (McFadden) Thomas obituary

Melissa E (McFadden) Thomas death certificate

Robert Thomas - child of William and Melissa

“Grandma’s Rocking Chair” – dedicated to Melissa E (McFadden) Thomas from granddaughter Pansy (Pam) Arfman

A simple tombstone for William H and Melissa (McFadden) Thomas


Katie Claraice Thomas

Kathy (as it was also sometimes spelled) had about a 5th grade education but a heart a sweet as gold.  She was the defining influence on her granddaughter Martha Jane Arfman’s first seven years of life.

They sometimes went to the Assembly of God church, but were never members, “officially” (as if such a word applies) considering themselves Presbyterians, a church of a bit better off folk, and a church whose methods did not scare the children quite as much as the “wagging tongues”.  Prior to her death, about 1971, Kathy was baptized into the Church of Christ.

Many physical ailments, including a torn retina, diabetes, and kidney failure.  She went into coma from insulin shock.

Thomas' in 1930 Bates county federal federal census part2

Katie in her younger days

Katie on Christmas – unknown year, picture cut

Katie Claraice with Fred and Mable Alkire – family on her mother’s side

Katie Claraice Thomas February 1962

Melissa Thomas and friend Will Dunlap

Melissa and Katie in summer of 1925

Kate Mize and neice Katie Claraice Thomas – Kate was sister of Melissa Ellen (McFadden) Thomas

Bob & Sadie Thomas with_Lee Albert Arfman created "Hooked Rug" – Bob was a sister to Katie

Bob & Ada Wright Ada was a sister of Melissa E (McFadden) Thomas

Bob and Ada Wright surprise picture on 18 Jan 1959

Bob Wright and Dove Alkire are circled – Dr Wright is the older gentleman to the left.

Esther Thielman - friend of the family

Esther Thielman’s family

Katie Clarice Thomas death certificate

East Dakota St Butler, Mo. – James and Pam (Groves) Arfman lived here


A few more histories of our family ties

Thomas cemetery listings in Bates County Missouri  other Thomas's  Aaron and Charles Thomas + wives  Cyrus and David B Thomas (and Terestius) - pg 47 in 1990  Henry Thomas and other Thomas's  Melinda J wife of David Thomas - pg 48 in 1990 - "Bates County Missouri Cemeteries 1980" Vol. I & Vol. II - E. Joyce Christiansen – copy from Los Angeles public Library - Discovered pagination in 1990 version VERY off from above images. Fairview cemetery starts on pg 187 above (first image) and on 46 in 1990 reprint. Numbers of graves appears to coincide, however...

Joan Kusek’s probate records of bates county have the following:  1 2 3 4 – copy in the Library of Congress

All of the below local history information received from Donna Timmons - Thank You Donna!

History of Cass and Bates Counties Missouri, 1883, reprinted edition of the 1883 book published by St Joseph Steam Printing Company, Printers, Binders, Etc.; St. Joseph, Mo.: National Historical Company, 1883
LONE OAK TOWNSHIP –pages 1310 and 1311


is probably the oldest resident of Lone Oak township who was born within its limits. His father George Thomas was a native of Pennsylvania, and his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Beaver, was born in Ohio. They were married in Licking County, Ohio, in or about 1833, and in 1837 came to Bates County and settled about two miles from the Marias des Cygnes. He was the first man to build away from the timber, and the house that he built about 1839 is now standing. Here he lived and reared a family of ten children, six of whom are now living: Margaret C. Requa, in Miami County, Kansas; Mary E. Gerkin on the old homestead. Aaron M, in Colorado, and David B., Cyrus M and our subject. Mr Thomas was taken from his home December 5, 1861, and is supposed to have been killed. no definite clew having ever been given of him, and the Family remain in ignorance as to the place of his burial or his execution. His wife is still living. John, the subject of this biography is the third of the family and was born November 14, 1839, within one mile of his present home. His early life was spent here, and he received only such an education as could be acquired in the rude schools of forty years ago. When twenty years old he was married, on May 11, 1859 to Miss Hannah Mayfield, daughter of Elisha and Louisa Mayfield, nee Mullen. She was born in Licking County, Ohio, August 7, 1839. Her parents came to Missouri in 1856, and in the following year settled on the farm on which Mr. Thomas now lives. In 1861 this latter gentleman removed his family to Miami County, Kansas, where he remained until 1868. In 1863 he enlisted in Company D, of the 15th Kansas Cavalry, and during the war served on the Missouri and Kansas border. He was discharged at Lawrence in November, 1865 They have had ten children, six of whom are living: James W. in Colorado, George W., Mary Louisa, Lizzie Lee, Margaret A. and Emma Frances .They lost a little girl in 1870 by death caused by lead poison. Mr. Thomas and wife are influential members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are also connected with the Order of patrons of Husbandry. He is not only an old resident, but an energetic, influential farmer and a thorough whole-souled gentleman.

William R Thomas

One of the pioneer settlers of Bates County, was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, September 12, 1818.  His parents being Jacob and Mary (Roger) Thomas. The Thomas family are of Welsh ancestry and the Rogers are from Germany. William R is the sixth of thirteen children. Only one beside himself now living, a sister, Sophia, in Lackawana County, Pennsylvania. Mr T was married in Montgomery County, in 1839, to miss Sophia Gillenger, also a native of Pennsylvania. In 1844, he came to Missouri, and settled on the same tract of land on which he now lives. His recital of early experiences are highly interesting. In connection with his farm, he erected an old style treadmill, which was operated by oxen treading on an endless wheel. Soon afterward he made a great improvement upon this by putting up a wind mill, and with this mill, though in yet quite a primitive condition, he sawed a large part of the lumber of which Butler was first built. When first coming to Missouri he had no wagon, and to secure one he cut wheels from a cross section of a large log, and fashioned them by dishing out the sides and boring holes for the axles. With this rude contrivance he managed to do a large amount of hauling. His whole life has been one of untiring and unremitting toil, and by this he has secured for himself a good competency. His farm now consists of about nine hundred acres and he has erected one of the best country residences in the county. When the civil war rendered it necessary for him to leave Bates County, he went to Knasas where he remained until 1865. His loss during the war, including house, mill, etc., amounted to more than $5,000. He and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and in politics he is to be recorded as a Greenbacker. Ten children have been born to them: Henry and Mary were born in Pennsylvania; Mary is the wife of William Padley, Martha (wife of Harvey Hart , lives in Greenwood County, kansas); Catherine Ann died in infancy; Allen married Ellen Pixley, and lives in Linn County, Kansas, (his wife has since died); Sarah (wife of George Requa); Emma, (wife of Charles Morilla of Pleasant Gap); Alice (wife of Walter H. Benedict, and living in Vernon County). The youngest were Lucy and Flora, both of whom died about 1863.

Pioneer Life in Bates County
Old Settlers' History of Bates County, MO--From its first Settlement to the First Day of January, 1900, published by Tathwell & Maxey, Amsterdam, MO, copyright 1897 (pp. 139-142)

Written for The Old Settlers' History by C. C. Blankenbecker

I was born in Monroe County Missouri, October 14, 1840. My family left
there September 28, 1855 for Linn county Kansas, passing through Butler on
October 7. At that time it was a small village with grass growing in the
streets. We arrived at our destination October 9 and remained there until
the spring of 1859, moving to Lone Oak township on the 29th day of March.

While this township was sparsely settled, and what settlements there were
confined to the creeks and rivers, yet the people were kind and hospitable.
Churches and schools had been established in most communities. Church
services were generally held in school houses which were built of logs,
with one end out for a fire-place, and one log out the full length of one
side for a window and with slabs for seats. Such were the facilities for
what education I acquired and which was cut short by that little difficulty
between the states. The first frame church building erected in the county
that I remember, was within three-fourths of a mile from where the writer
now sits, built by the Presbyterians. The lumber was haulded [sic] from the
southern part of the state or northern Arkansas in the fall of 1859. At
this time the seat of government had been moved to Butler, which was
building up rapidly. This was our post office and trading point.

There are but few of the old settlers left that were here when we came. We
can call to mind only one head of a family that was here then, John
Daniels. There are a good many descendants of the early settlers remaining.

Nothing of an exciting nature took place from that time until 1861, when
the presidential election occurred. Our people were attending to their
legitimate affairs, quietly and good naturedly. Once in a while a raid of
freebooters from Kansas, or visa versa, which soon quieted down. Not until
1861, as the campaign progressed did the excitement reach fever heat. As I
was not a voter I took little interest in passing events. There was one
little incident after the election that I often call to mind. As I
remember, there were eleven votes cast in the county for Mr. Lincoln. The
names of these voters were printed on placards and stuck up at every
crossroads. I mention this to show what partisanism will lead men to.

Actual hostilities did not commence in this county until the latter part of
the summer of 1861.

My father being a slave holder and the circumstances surrounding us left us
to take sides with the south. The company of which I was a member, was made
up in this vicinity on the 27th day of June 1861. We took up our line of
march for the south, joining the main army at Papinsville, commanded by
General Price. We were uninterrupted until near Carthage, Missouri, when we
met General Siegel, and after a sharp engagement of several hours, with
slight loss on both sides, General Siegel was forced to retire. General
Price continued his march to Cowskin Prairie, where we remained three
weeks; then took up our line of march for Springfield. Ten miles south west
of this city on Wilson Creek we encountered General Lyon. I am unable to
give details of this fight, as our regiment was in advance, receiving the
first assault. I fell early in the engagement with a minnie ball in the
thigh, near where General Lyon fell. I was taken to the hospital in
Springfield. In the latter part of September I was able to return home
where I remained until 1863. From the time of my arrival at home until my
departure there were many incidents, a few of which I will relate without
being exact as to dates.

In the fall of 1861 James Hawkins accidentally shot and killed himself
while passing through a gate at the Andrew Brown place. In less than a year
Alexander Weddle and a Mr. McRupe were killed at and near the same place.

Some time in the fall of 1862 Joe Myers called at the residence of John
Lloyd, and angry words ensued. Myers shot the latter, killing him
instantly. In April or May, 1863, Judge Durand, a prominent citizen of
Prairie City, was killed by two bushwhackers, while going from his home to
Butler. It was not the design of these men to take his life, only his horse
and gun, but he refused to surrender. Just before or shortly after this
last occurrence M. D. Elledge and J. W. Jones were encamped in the brush
near where Pleasant Valley school house now stands. While each had gone to
his home for breakfast, being only a short distance away, a company of
militia surrounded their camp. Elledge returned first; his first intimation
of danger was a demand to surrender. He began to retreat, at the same time
shooting at those in front of him; that opened a way for him to escape.
Many shots were fired and the last one hit Elledge in the arm. He returned
home, called his wife out and told her where to find him when the militia
had gone. He was soon able to be in the saddle again.

On December 5, 1861, a band of outlaws came to the residence of George
Thomas, a respected citizen and a Union man, carried him off, and he was
never heard of. It is supposed he was murdered
. In the fall of 1863 a lot
of Southern men were in the brush in the southern part of the township when
a dispute arose between Jim Lloyd and Harry Humphreys, over the return of
some horses taken from Jack Wright. Humphreys demanding their return. Angry
words ensued and both reached for their guns and fired simultaneously.
Lloyd received a ball in his brain and Humphreys one in his breast, both
expiring immediately.

In May 1863, the order of General Ewing, depopulating the border counties,
was issued. Being unable for service I remained at home until this time. A
pass was furnished me to go into our lines. I did not reach the lines until
fall when I re-enlisted in the 10th Missouri Cavalry, CSA. Not able for
active service I was detailed in the Commissary department, where I
remained until the army reached the Missouri River on the Price raid, when
I re-joined my company and participated in all the engagements to the
close, except that of Mines Creek in Linn County Kansas. At Cane Hill,
Arkansas, we turned into the Nation, where for three weeks we had nothing
to eat but meal without salt; and our faithful animals, brush and prairie
grass, in the month of November. After reaching Red River we turned down
that stream until we reached Lee, where we spent the balance of the winter
and spring, surrendering at Shreveport June the 10th, 1865. After Uncle Sam
had licked us he was kind enough to furnish us transportation home and
plenty of grub to eat.

I found my parents in Henry County, Missouri on the 27th day of June 1865.
I did not return to this county until 1867. While there was a great deal of
animosity existing here I received very kind treatment at the hands of my
late enemies, and I am proud to say that now my warmest friends are those
who wore the Blue, some of whom I met on the battle-field.

Now in conclusion I wish to say that the foregoing are the facts as to my
best ability to chronicle them, without any coloring, for I see things
differently from what I did thirty years ago. When I laid down my musket I
considered the war at an end, and have adhered to that policy since. The
past is behind us, our duty is to the future and as patriotic Americans we
should turn our eyes in that direction


John H Thomas: The founders of Harmony Mission came from New York, in 1821, as missionaries to the Indians. There are none of them now living. The mission was abandoned in 1837, when the Indians moved west. The government paid $8000 for the property and the money went to the society which had sent out the missionaries. The first postoffice established in the county was at the Mission, but was called Batesville. It was afterwards moved to Papinsville. Harmony Mission was also the first county seat, so established in 1841, but moved to Papinsville in 1848. The first courthouse was at Papinsville, completed in 1855. When the county seat was removed, in 1857, the courthouse was sold to Phillip Zeal. It was burned in 1862. The first bridge across the river was built in Papinsville in 1853 or 4, and was burned in 1861 by General Price's men. A commission appointed by the general assembly located the county seat at Butler, in 1856, and a court house was built there in 1857. This was burned during the war, and a frame house was built in 1866. This was in turn replaced by the present courthouse in 1870. The first voting precinct was at Harmony Mission, and the first election held there was in 1841. The first gristmill I remember was the Charrett mill, in 1833. He also run a sawmill and was succeeded by John Parks. William and Aaron Thomas had a gristmill in 1848; the first one in the county run by a tread wheel. They worked oxen on the wheel. George Thomas had a carding machine, run by the same kind of power, and worked horses on it. It was erected in 1848. He also bought a threshing machine at West Point in 1859, which was the only one I knew of before the war. Coal was dug out of the ground in several places as far back as I can remember, for use mostly in blacksmithing, but was not mined to any extent before the war.


More General Info acquired “along the way”:

Henry and Stephen, below, are possibly sons of Jacob Thomas and Maria Royer Thomas, while Joseph Beaver is a probable brother of Mary Beaver Thomas.  An 1850 census record for this Henry has been located.  The relationship is uncertain.  Henry’s birth was sometime in the 1790’s, as his age is either 51 or 57 years old, born in Virginia.  Not conducive to Jacob and Maria being the parents.  Perhaps a coincidence in name.  A Benjamin from Ohio is next to this Henry.

1 Nov 1848 Henry Thomas land

1 Nov 1848 Henry Thomas land part B

1 Feb 1851 Henry Thomas land

15 Jan 1856 Stephen Thomas land

1 Nov 1848 Joseph Beaver land

1 Nov 1853 Joseph Beaver land


Roy Thomas family in 1920  - unidentified who this Roy descended from

Typical Sod House early settlers would have built upon arrival in Missouri – (although the histories say our Thomas’ built log houses)


Information about Bates county:

Butler city map

Missouri railroads in 1904

Butler and Rich Hill tourist information – short paragraph on each

Bates county township map – shows the townships in Bates county, Mo.

Bates County and Surrounding areas – a more modern day map of Bates county, Mo.

Civil War in Bates county:

Civil War in Missouri - some battles, but notice how there were no battles around Bates county due to Gen Ewing’s order #11.

Bates county civil war info

General order #11

General order # 19 – provided in 1862 for a militia.  Aaron, and John H Thomas were probably already in the Kansas Cavalry.  David Beaver Thomas, Aaron, and Henry G Thomas were all recorded in the 1867 Bates county Militia list.

Some information on George Thomas' Royer ancestors: 


1782 and 1783 New Hanover tax records for Phillip Royer   SOURCE - New! - 1781 numbers for Phillip Royer, joyner were valuation = 38, tax = 9.8 - Pg 4. It seems noteworthy that there is a 1781 entry for James Thomas, labourer valuation = 37, tax = 9.8 - pg3. No James Thomas entries for 1782, 1783, but there is an Isaac Thomas in both.

Phillip and his wives Christina and Margaret were the sponsors of many people (nearly a dozen recorded sponsorships have been found from the 1780's to 1808) during their baptisms into the New Hanover church. It is from the last recorded of these, the May 8, 1808 baptism of Jacob and Maria (Royer) Thomas' daughter Margaretha Thomas with Phillip and Margaretha Royer as sponsors that we know that Margaret (Major) Royer's death was after 1808. 

There are no Thomas, Royer/Reyer, or Beaver marriages in located Faulkner Swamp Reformed Church records to date - 22 Nov 07

Phillip Royer family in the 1790, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania federal census returns  top of this census indicates left column is males 16+, center is males under 16, and I believe right column is females.

Phillip Royer family in the 1800 New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania federal census returns.

Phillip Royer family in the 1810 New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania federal census returns. - one of several pages from Rick Royer's site this has the genealogy of Jacob Thomas' first wife Maria Royer. The data is not proven as of 3 Feb 2001, Rick never sent it, as he stated he would. Royer data from Henry Dotterer's  The Perkiomen Region vol I, II, and III, 1894 - 1901.

George Royer's death date of 1813 on this page is not borne out by the census records of 1820, where a George Royer appears in Marlboro township, Montgomery Cunty, Pa. It should be noted that the 1810 listing (as Phillip Royer) and previous listings were all in New Hanover Township.

No George Royer is found in the 1830 census. The head of the family in the 1820 census might be a son John George Royer born c 1783, however it also states that there are a couple born prior to 1775 living in this household, indicating a possible George Phillip Royer and wife:

First Last Y.O.B. County Township Page 0-10 10-16 16-18 18-26 26-45 45+ 0-10 10-16 16-26 26-45 45+ Agricul. Commerce Mfg. Slaves

George* Royer 1745 Montgomery Marlboro 140 1 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 -  - 1


Some information on Mary (Beaver) Thomas' Beaver ancestors:


Some Brumbach information – Thank you Harry Brumbaugh for this and following link!

Some more Brumbach information – 1813 letter references David Beaver (most likely is the father of Mary Beaver Thomas)

David Beaver tombstone pix from 1 from Licking Primitive Baptist Church cemetery, Licking County Ohio

The Licking County, Ohio Genealogical Society pre-1808 transcribed land record index, printed in 1988, has an entry for David Beaver purchasing lands from Abraham Stipp - 3rd qrtr, 1st township, 13th range. There is no date, but it is sandwiched between 1805 and 1806 entries.

Beaver tax records from LCGS (probably 1816 based on similarity to 1820 neighbors below)  1826?  1834A  1834B  1834C

Licking County Ohio Township maps 1847 1854 1866 1875

Amplifying info sent away for on 25 Aug 07!

David Beaver and brother Abraham on page 11 of Union township, Licking county Ohio 1820 federal census – difficult to read but David has 410101 – 4011002, Abraham has 100101 - 0030102 Map of Licking County Townships - Note that FTM CD Rom # 651 has copies of 1810 and 1816 tax lists for Union township, Licking County, Ohio which both mention David Beaver (no more information than this). Licking County history reference to David Beaver in 1805   Another   Cover of online source

Beaver email from Janice Patterson - which proves that Mary's mom remarried after David Beaver's death to Richard Wells and moved to Missouri also. - THANKS Janice!!

Abraham Strickler - Jacob Strickler - John Strickler - pages with data from Forerunners. More recent research into Abraham and Hans Strickler - pages from Wayback machine, not extant on internet in Jan 2011.

Fantastic news about the 1536 Strickler Bible! It has been purchased by a museum in Luray Virginia -  More pictures of Bible: 1 2 was the link to Harry Brumbaugh's incredible site with a dozen generations of Strickler, Brumbach, Kemper, and Kauffman ancestors! These were the ancestors of Mary Beaver's mother Anna Strickler!  Site is now gone but can be found via wayback machine.



1) The number one source for all of this was my grandmother Pansy (Pam) and her sister Charlotte (Shard). Without their endless patience and scores of documents, pictures, stories, and above all, love and respect for their own grandmother, none of the above could be shared.

2) The original source of much of the text above was a Brodurbund source but I've long since lost track of what EXACTLY that source was. I would be VERY grateful if any reader recognized this to help me find the original. And, of course, additions/corrections are always welcomed!

3) Forerunners: A History or Genealogy of the Strickler Families - pages with Strickler, Beaver, Kauffman ancestry

4) has a digital (downloadable) copy of an 1881 History of Licking County Ohio which mentions David Beaver. This used to be available in html format. In 2011 this appears to be available via pay site. Ugh. Have reposted what was freely available from years ago above since I didn't remember specific URL for wayback machine..

5) History and Genealogy of the Bieber, Beaver, Biever, Beeber Family book excerpts (Thank you Amy!!) pp. 528-532:  - Reverend Irvin M. Beaver (Reading, Pennsylvania; 1939)