J. B. THOMAS. There is no enterprise of equal importance in Howell County, Missouri, than that of insurance. Among those engaged in this business is our subject, J. B. Thomas, one of the representative men of Willow Springs and abstracter and notary public of that city. Mr. Thomas came from southern Iowa and has made his home in Willow Springs for the past five years. He is a native Kentuckian, born in Mason County August 27, 1859, and his father, James C. Thomas, is farming in that county at the present time. The latter is also a native of that State, and a son of one of the early pioneers.
J. B. Thomas passed his school days in Kentucky and Ohio, where he attended college at Yellow Springs. In 1886 he went to Iowa and embarked in merchandising, which he continued until he came to this city. After locating in Willow Springs he followed merchandising about a year, and in 1890 engaged in the insurance business. The same year he was elected notary public. Subsequently he was elected to the office of alderman of Willow Springs and police judge, and he is also coal oil inspector of the city, appointed by Gov. Francis. Mr. Thomas is engaged in loaning money and is agent for the Missouri Guarantee Savings and Building Association. He is one of the directors in the Citizens’ Bank at Willow Springs, and an energetic, enterprising and public-spirited citizen. Mr. Thomas has shown his appreciation of secret organizations by becoming an Odd Fellow and a Knight of Pythias. Of the former he is a charter member of Willow Springs Lodge No. 136, and a charter member of the latter organization, Willow Springs Lodge No. 156. He is grand outer guard in the Grand Lodge and has represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge of the State two times. In politics he is a Democrat and has ever been active in politics. In a business way he has been unusually successful and no man stands higher in the estimation of the people than he. Mr. Thomas is the owner of considerable property in Willow Springs, having forty acres within the city limits. He was married in Trenton, Missouri, to Miss Lizzie Power, of that city, and he and wife are leaders in the society of the city. Mr. Thomas’ office is over the dry goods store of Mr. Wilkinson.