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Biography of Frank W. Thomas

Frank W. Thomas, who had had an active connection with the Atchison, Topeka & Sapta Fe Railway Company since 1902 and is superintendent of apprentices, with headquarters at Topeka, is the only member of his family, a very brilliant and prominent Virginia household, to leave the state. Mr. Thomas was born in Martinsville, Henry County, Virginia, nine miles from the historic town of Roanoke. His father, C. Y. Thomas, was a man of more than ordinary distinction in Virginia in the last half of the nineteenth century. From an early age he was almost constantly in public life and held many offices of trust. He was an attorney of ability, served in the Virginia senate before the Civil war, and was an adviser of his distinguished brother-in-law, Paton Gravely, who represented Henry County in a very critical period of the state’s history. As a member of the Virginia State Senate C. Y. Thomas struggled to prevent that state from seceding from the Union. Although most of his neighbors and friends were secessionists, he openly but quietly avowed his sympathies for the Union. In spite of this, he held the office of commonwealth attorney through the period of the Civil war. During the war the Confederate Government also appointed him to distribute supplies to the needy families of the Confederate soldiers. After the war President Grant appointed him military governor for the State of Virginia. That was not only a distinction but a great opportunity for serving his beloved commonwealth, and though apparently no other man seemed so well fitted for the position, he refused it because be believed he...

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