Gary, A.L. and E.B. Thomas, Centennial History of Rush County, Indiana. Indianapolis: Historical Publishing Co., 1921, vol. 2, pp. 11-12.
Submitted by Eugene F. Gray
ERNEST B. THOMAS, secretary of the Peoples Loan and Trust Company of
Rushville and former recorder of Rush county, is a native son of Rush county and has lived here all his life save for a brief period spent in the West, during the days of his young manhood. Mr. Thomas was born at Milroy on November 25, 1867, and is a son of the late Dr. Samuel C. and Emily (Clements) Thomas, the latter of whom was born in Franklin county, Indiana, daughter of Isaac and Nancy (Birt) Clements, natives of Maryland. Dr. Samuel C. Thomas, who was for many years engaged in the practice of medicine at Milroy, was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, March 5, 1832, first born of the eleven children born to John and Abigail (Carter) Thomas, the latter of whom was born in New Jersey in 1814, her parents afterward becoming residents of Darke county, Ohio. John Thomas was born in Bourbon county, Kentucky, in 1806, a son of Daniel Thomas, a member of one of the real pioneer families of the old Blue Grass state.
John Thomas moved with his family from Hamilton county to Darke county (Ohio) and for more than twenty-five years served as a justice of the peace in and for his home township in the latter county. He died there in 1879, and his widow's last days were spent in Rush county, her death occurring at Milroy in 1887. Doctor Thomas's boyhood was spent at Carthage, Ohio, and he was eleven years of age when he went to live with the family of his Grandfather Carter in Darke county, where he remained until 1850, when, he then being eighteen years of age, he came over into Indiana and became engaged as a schoolteacher at Milroy. He continued thus engaged for three years, in the meantime taking preparatory studies in medicine, and in 1853 entered old Asbury (DePauw) University at Greencastle. After two years at the university he matriculated at the Eclectic College of Medicine, Cincinnati, and in 1858 was graduated from
that institution. Thus qualified for the practice of the profession to which he had devoted his life, Doctor Thomas returned to Milroy and there entered upon his long and useful career as a physician. In the fall of that same year he married and established his home at Milroy, where he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring there on April 7, 1914. His wife had preceded him to the grave nearly fifteen years, her death having occurred on April 12, l899. It was on October 14, 1858, that Dr. Samuel C. Thomas was united in marriage to Emily Clements, who had been engaged as a teacher in the schools of this county, and to that union were born six children, Abigail F., Kate A, Ernest B. and Perlee W. (twins), Clifford C. and Claude B. Perlee W. Thomas died on May 20, 1885, and Clifford C. died in April of the same year Doctor Thomas was a Republican and a Freemason. He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church and their children were reared in that faith. Ernest B. Thomas was reared at Milroy, where he received his early schooling. He supplemented this by a course in Moores Hill College and then in the winter of 1886-87 was engaged as a teacher
in the schools of this county, in the following spring going to Cimarron, Kan., where he became engaged as a bookkeeper in the local offices of the St. John & Marsh Lumber Co. A year later he returned to Indiana and entered DePauw University, but before completing the course there his health declined and he returned west, resuming his connection with the lumber company with which he formerly had been connected, this time in that company's Topeka offices. In 1891 Mr. Thomas returned to Milroy and was for four years thereafter engaged in the hardware business at that place, in association with W. L. McKee. In 1894 he received the Republican nomination for recorder of Rush county and in the November election of that year was elected. He was re-elected in 1898 and thus served for more than eight years, his term of service beginning on August 25, 1895 and terminating on January 1, 1904. Upon the completion of his term of public service Mr. Thomas engaged in the abstract business at Rushville, and has since maintained that line. When the Peoples Loan and Trust Company was organized at Rushville in 1909 he was
made assistant secretary and was presently advanced to the position of secretary of the trust company, which position he now occupies. During the time of America's participation in the World war Mr. Thomas served as chairman of the Rush county chapter of the American Red Cross and is still serving on the executive board of this chapter. In June, 1921, he was called on by the Federal Loan Board to make a trip to Porto Rico and investigate the advisability of establishing a Federal farm loan bank there, on which mission he sailed on June 29. Mr. Thomas is a Freemason, also a member of the local lodges of the Knights of Pythias and the Improved Order of Red Men and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. On March 4, 1891, Ernest B. Thomas was united in marriage to Glen Wheeler, of Dearborn county, this state, and to this union two children have been born, Ruth and Dorothy, the former of whom died in infancy. Dorothy Thomas was married on November 10, 1918, to Glen R. Tucker, of Greencastle, Ind., and has a son, William
Thomas, born on January 26, 1920.
Gary, A.L. and E.B. Thomas, Centennial History of Rush County, Indiana. Indianapolis: Historical Publishing Co., 1921, pp. 432-34.
Submitted by Eugene F. Gray
HON. WILLIAM THOMAS, the pioneer whose name introduces this sketch, is a native of Bourbon County, Ky., born April 20, 1804, son of Daniel and Sarah Thomas, whose maiden name was Amos and who was a native of Bourbon County, Ky., and emigrated to Rush County in the primitive days of this State, and, here died. The father of Mr. Thomas was a native of Delaware, but in early life emigrated to Kentucky, where he was married and in 1822, came to Rush County. He was among the first to make settlement here and his death occurred here. The subject of this biography came to Rush County in 1827, and
in 1835 settled where he resides. At that early date, the country was one unending wilderness. Then neighbor helped neighbor, and in 1830, Mr. Thomas spent twenty-eight days assisting his neighbors, either raising log cabins or rolling logs. Politically, Mr. Thomas was formerly a Whig, but since the birth of the Republican party he has always been an ardent supporter of its principles. In 1846, he was elected to represent Rush County in the General Assembly of Indiana, and served in that body during the session of 1846 and
1847, and discharged the duties with a discreetness and judgment satisfactory to his constituents. Prior to his election to the legislature, he was elected as one of the Associate Judges of Rush County, but on account of the law being repealed he only served a short time. The marriage of Mr. Thomas occurred in 1825, to Miss Margaret Hannah, of Kentucky. By that union are these children,
viz.: Wesley, Daniel, Sarah A., Martha and William. Mrs. Thomas died in 1849, and in 1850, the subject of this memoir was united in marriage to Mrs. Sarah Green, whose maiden name was Houston, and whose death occurred in 1875. By occupation Mr. Thomas is a farmer, though in early life he worked at the carpenter trade for some time. He has 250 acres of good land, and for fifty-two years has been a resident of this township. Mr. Thomas is a member of the Methodist Church, and his life has always been above reproach, and the
respect for him is co-ex-tensive with his acquaintance.
History of Rush County, Indiana. Chicago: Brant & Fuller, 1888, pp. 364-67.
Submitted by Eugene F. Gray