Submitteed by Vivian Gudgell
WASHINGTON THOMAS - DEAD
August 6, 1908
Washington Thomas, pioneer settler and founder of Thomas, Illinois and one of the best known and highly respected citizens south of Tampico passed away at his home in New Bedford last week, Thurs. afternoon about 2:30 o'clock. Death was due to an attack of pneumonia, which resulted from a severe cold contracted a week previous. His constitution, on account of his advanced age, was not able to combat the disease.
The funeral services were held Saturday afternoon at one o'clock in the Swedish Lutheran Church West of New Bedford. Internment was in the Yorktown Cemetery. Rev. Mason of the Yorktown Christian Church officiated at the service.
There were a number of pretty floral designs, among them a pillow with the Masonic emblem, sent by the brethern of the Tampico Masonic Lodge.
Washington Thomas, like many of the early settlers of Yorktown and vicinity, came from New York State, where he was born Nov 3, 1825 in Steuben County. His early manhood was spent in the Old Empire State where he was married to Miss Sarah Bennett, July 2 1848, The young couple came west shortly after their marriage and settled, at first, near Millford, Illinois, where they resided a couple of years, and then moved to Yorkville where they lived until 1872, when they moved to the farm South of what is now the hamlet of Thomas. Several years ago, they moved to New Bedford which has since been their home.
Mr Thomas was the first postmaster of Thomas and when a name was being selected for the newly established office, it was called Thomas in his honor. Assisted by his son William, the elder Thomas held the post office until he moved away from the place.
Mr. thomas was supervisor of his township for years, was treasurer of the drainage district, and held other important offices always giving satisfaction.
He was a liberal giver to all good purposes and was a kind, considerate father to his children. Mr and Mrs. Thomas were a nice old couple and as the years rolled by their affection for each other seemed to deepen, so that the blow and hurt for the widow who, bent with the weight of years, had scarcely recovered from the shock of a bad fall, when misfortune came again.
The wife and three children - Will Thomas, a merchant of Thomas, Illinois - John Thomas, who conducts a hotel at New Bedford - and Mrs. Annie Hodgeboom of Kewanee, survive, and have the sympathy of many friends in Tampico on the death of their husband and father`.