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Biography of Edward E. Thomas

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EDWARD E. THOMAS. A native son of Madison County and a representative of a family whose name has been closely identified with the development and progress of this section of the state is Mr. Thomas, and that he has accounted well for himself and gained secure place in popular esteem needs no further voucher than that afforded in his incumbency of the responsible office of superintendent of the County poor farm, in the general management of which his administration has been in every respect faithful and efficient.

Mr. Thomas was born in Boone Township, this County, on the 22nd of February, 1858, and is a scion of the third generation of the family in Madison County, where his paternal grandfather settled in the early pioneer days, Mr. Thomas is a son of Evan R. and Lorema (McMahon) Thomas, the former of whom was born in Monroe Township, this County, Evan R. Thomas was long numbered among the most energetic and progressive agriculturists of his native County and he now resides on an attractive homestead in Van Buren Township, where he is living virtually retired, after many years of earnest toil and endeavor. Of the eight children the subject of this review was the second in order of birth, the others being Sarah, Mrs. Allen; Ethel, Mrs. Vinson; James; Ida, Mrs. Jones; Minnie, Mrs. Fisher; Cora, Mrs. Nelson; and Bertha, Mrs. Kauffman.

The present superintendent of the poor *farm of Madison County gained his early experiences in connection with the work of the home farm and his educational advantages were those afforded in the Tomlinson school, in Boone Township, an institution locally designated as the Dead Dog school, In the meanwhile he contributed his quota to the work of the home farm and he was but fourteen years of age at the time of his mother’s death, As the next eldest of the children, Mr. Thomas early assumed heayy responsibilities and aided in the support of the younger members of the family, as his father earnestly maintained the home after the death of the loved wife and mother. Edward E. Thomas initiated his independent career at the age of twenty-five years, He rented a farm of one hundred and forty acres and brought his energies and specific knowledge into effective play, with the result that he made the enterprise successful, Finally he purchased a small tract of land, and in connection with its cultivation he also operated a slaughter house, the products of which he sold to the retail meat markets in the town of Summitville. Finally he established his residence in that village, where he engaged in the handing of farm implements and machinery, This venture likewise proved successful under his aggressive and careful management, and his reputation as a salesman and circumspect man of business led to his being retained as a traveling representative of the International Harvester Company, with which great corporation he thus continued for a period of ten years, In September, 1910, the board of County commissioners of Madison County conferred upon him the appointment to his present responsible office, and it is a matter of record that the affairs of the County poor farm have been most carefully and ably managed under his effective regime, his continued retention of office constituting the best voucher for the efficiency of his administration.

Mr. Thomas accords unwavering allegiance to the Democratic party and he has ever taken a deep interest in all that touches the welfare of his home County, He served two years as Township assessor and he has ever held inviolable place in the confidence and esteem of the community which has always represented his home, He is in charge of the County farm of two hundred and twelve acres and also has the general supervision of the County infirmary, the unfortunate wards of which hold him in high esteem, The County farm is situated in Union Township and is equipped with excellent improvements of a permanent order, Mr. Thomas and his family hold membership in the Christian church and are distinctively popular in connection with the social activities of the community.

On the 28th of September, 1882, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Thomas to Miss Anna Beeson, who is a daughter of William G. and Elizabeth (Williams) Beeson, who now reside in Summitville and who are well known and highly honored citizens of the County, where Mrs. Beeson is one of the few representatives of the Williams family, the name of which has been closely concerned with the history of this part of the state, William G. Beeson was born in Wayne County, Indiana, and is a scion of one of the staunch pioneer families of the Hoosier commonwealth, Of the children Mrs. Thomas was the first born; Joseph is a resident of Summitville; and Frank is deceased; he is survived by his widow, whose maiden name was Stella Block, and by their two children, Austin and Lou, who remain with their widowed mother at Summitville. Mrs. Thomas has proved a most able coadjutor of her husband in directing the affairs of the County asylum for the poor, as she is matron of the institution and is unceasing in her attention to its affairs, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas became the parents of six children, concerning whom brief record is made in conclusion of this review: Arlie wedded Miss Edna Seever and they have two children, Robert add Ruth; Idelle, who completed the curriculum of the public schools of Summitville, remains at the parental home; Clyde wedded Miss Leta Morris, and they have three children, Lena, Ernestine and Maurice E.; Chester is deceased; Rena is at the parental home; and Elizabeth is attending the high school at Anderson, the County seat.

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