Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.

Richard Orlando Thomas

RICHARD ORLANDO THOMAS, a well known farmer living near Baxter Springs, in Spring Valley township, was born in Morrow County, Ohio, September 12, 1857. His farm is located in section 15, township 35, range 24, in Cherokee County. He belongs to an old and honored family of Ohio, who originally came from Wales. The first family bearing that name, upon coming to America, settled in Harmony township, Morrow County, Ohio. At the organization of the township, it contained only one family that was not related to the Thomases. The earlier settlers bearing this name followed the occupation of farming, though the grandfather of our subject became a minister of the Gospel and for many years was a preacher in the "old-time" Baptist Church.

David Thomas, the father of our subject, was born in Wales in 1809, and moved with his parents to this country. He grew to manhood in Ohio, receiving his education in the schools of Morrow County. Following the example of his ancestors, he became interested in farming and followed that occupation all his life. He married Mary Jane George, a daughter of Enoch George, both of whom were natives of Wales. Their family consisted of the following children: Enoch G., who died in Cherokee County in 1902; Mary Jane, widow of James Ogden, now the wife of Rev. Mr. Shumacker, a Baptist minister of Morrow County, Ohio; Annie, wife of Joseph Denman, a farmer of Morrow County, Ohio; Richard Orlando, subject of this review; and a child that died at the age of two years. David Thomas and his wife lived their lives in Morrow County, dying within a few weeks of each other, in 1862.

Richard Orlando Thomas received his early education in Morrow County, Ohio, and later completed it in the schools of Mercer County, of the same State, at the age of 21 . After leaving school he learned the trade of carpenter, and followed that occupation for several years, part of that period being spent in Noble County, Indiana. In 1883 he concluded that the West held greater opportunities for the trades as well as the farmer, and moving to Kansas, located in Cherokee County. Here he engaged in farming and stock-raising and later became interested in the putting up of hay in the Indian Territory, and but recently acquired valuable mining lands there.

On June 14, 1882, just one year previous to his removal to Kansas, Mr. Thomas was united in marriage to Jennie Cordell, daughter of George Cordell, a farmer of Marysville, Missouri. To this marriage seven children were born, all of whom are living, as follows: Annie Myrtle, Mary Bernice, Bessie, Grace, Lee, Charles and Howard. These children are all at home attending school.

Fraternally, Mr. Thomas is a member of the A. O. U. W. He is a lifelong Democrat. As members of the Baptist Church, all of this family are interested workers. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are well known and are held in the highest regard by all who know them.

[TOC] [Biog. Index] [1904 Index] [Cherokee Co.] [Archives]