Theodore Thomas is a native of Union county, Pennsylvania, his birth having occurred near Lewisburg on the 9th of September, 1841. His father, Archibald Thomas, was born in Pennsylvania and the paternal grandfather, Captain John Thomas, was a native of England, serving in the war of 1812. Reared in the Keystone state Archibald Thomas there married Miss Elizabeth Benner, who was born in Union county, Pennsylvania, and was a representative of one of the old families of that state. Nine children graced this marriage, four sons and five daughters, as follows: Caroline and Charles, who are now deceased; Mrs. Jane Magee, who is living in Highland, Kansas; Elizabeth, deceased: Allen, who served as a soldier in the Civil war and is now living in Troy, Kansas; John, a resident of Highland, Kansas; Theodore; Mrs. Addie Close, and Scott, who, at the age of eighteen years, enlisted in the Union army during the Civil war and is now living at Highland, Kansas. The father of this family was a farmer by occupation and followed that pursuit in order to provide for the maintenance of himself and children. He voted with the Republican party, of which he was a very zealous advocate, and served as county sheriff, treasurer, register and recorder, discharging his duties with faithfulness and fairness. His sons have all followed in his political footsteps and are advocates of Republican principles. He died in Sandusky county, Ohio, at the age of sixty-two years, and his wife's death occurred in Iowa township, Doniphan county, Kansas. Both were members of the Reformed church.
Theodore Thomas, whose name introduces this review, was reared in Union county, Pennsylvania, and pursued his education in the public schools.
Deeply interested in the questions of slavery and of secession, he resolved that if the south attempted to overthrow the Union he would strike a blow for its defense. Accordingly, in 1861, be joined the boys in blue of Company B, Fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, under command of Captain Chamberlain.
During his service he contracted black diphtheria and was very in for some time, in fact his throat was permanently injured, and so greatly was his health affected that he was discharged after eighteen months' service. When he had somewhat recovered he re-enlisted as a member of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Ohio Infantry, with which he served for one hundred days. He belonged to Company B, and with his command was stationed at Fort Ethan Allen in the Shenandoah valley, Virginia. On the expiration of that period he received an honorable discharge at Cleveland, Ohio, in October, 1864, and returned to his home in Sandusky county, Ohio.
Mr. Thomas was a painter by trade and followed that occupation for fifteen years, during which time, through his industry and economy, he acquired capital sufficient to enable him to purchase a farm of one hundred and sixty acres four miles east of Hiawatha, Kansas. He became the owner of that property in 1888, but sold it in 1894, and purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Mission township, Brown county. This property, known as the old Wright farm, is well located and is all capable of cultivation. There is a substantial residence upon the place, which stands on a fine natural building site.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were born six children, of whom three are yet living: Lydia, wife of William Neibling, of Mission township, Brown county; Lillie May and Harland Theodore. They also host three children, Charles, Addie and Gertrude. Charles was five years of age at the time of his death. The greatest loss of Mr. Thomas' life was occasioned by the demise of his beloved wife on January 28. 1892. She was devoted to the interests of the home and family, was an earnest and trusted friend and a consistent member of the Christian church. Mr. Thomas gave his political support to the Republican party and is a valued and earnest member of Robinson Post. G. A. R. He also has membership relations with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is true and faithful to the benevolent and charitable teachings of that fraternity. Throughout his life he has been ever true to the trusts reposed in him and at all times has commanded the respect and confidence of his fellow men.
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