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Phineas Thomas
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Birth: Mar. 17, 1799
Loudoun County
Virginia, USA
Death: Nov., 1880
Fort Scott
Bourbon County
Kansas, USA

The son of Griffith Thomas and Elizabeth Groves of Loudoun Co., Virginia.

His father, a blacksmith and tinsmith, died when he was only a baby and left instructions in his will that both of his sons were to be educated and eventually bound out as apprentices to some trade. Aware that his young wife would probably remarry and not trusting his sons' future to an unknown stepfather, he appointed his brothers as guardians of the boys to manage their money and education.

Phineas married 6 Dec 1819, in neighboring Frederick Co., VA, to Frances Keen, daughter of Rev. James Keen and Mary Littleton. Rev. Keen was apparently already deceased by this time and Phineas's uncle Jacob Thomas gave bond for the marriage.

The young couple was listed on the Loudoun Co., VA census in 1820. Phineas was listed as Phineas Jr. to distinguish him from Phineas Sr., his uncle:

1820 census, Loudon Co., VA, p. 140
Phineas Thomas, Jr.
Two males age 18-25 - Phineas & an unknown boy, age 18-18
One female age 16-25 - Frances

About 1830, Phineas, Frances, and Frances' mother Mary Keen moved west to the new frontier town of Washington, Franklin Co., Missouri on the Missouri River.

1888 Goodspeed History - pg 297
"First business men and buildings of Union - After Wilson McCuen, who commenced blacksmithing in 1827 or 1828, came Phineas Thomas in 1833 or 1834. Jackson L. Farrar also had a shop from about 1845 to 1860."

According to the 1888 Goodspeed history of Franklin County, Phineas established his blacksmith shop in Washington, Franklin Co., MO, by 1835 at the latest. The next year, he and Frances began building their house, the first brick building in town, near where the post office stood in 1888. They sold it, still unfinished, to a lawyer named Daniel Q. Gale, in 1839. "A History of Washington, Missouri" by Ralph Gregory, 1939, has a slightly different story. It says that Phineas sold the house to Charles Eberius, a prosperous German merchant, in 1835, and that upon Mr. Eberius' death the following year (1836) the house was sold to Daniel Q. Gale, who used it as his law office. This same history has a picture of the building taken in 1915, when it was being used as a storehouse for the water department. It was located on the south side of Front Street between Lafayette and Jefferson streets, facing the river.

In 1836, Phineas was named on a list of slaveholders in St. Johns Township (the area in and around Washington), Franklin County in 1836 with two slaves worth together $900.

Owner's Name St. Johns Township Number Value
Thomas, Phineas 44.1W 2 $900

They bought land in Franklin Co., MO by 1837:
Franklin County, Missouri:  Recorder's Books: Land Records: Vol. A: 1816-1830; Reference: Missouri State Archives: Roll # C9403: Franklin County: Vol. A-B:1815-1837  
No. 821 Thomas, Phineas bill of sale

They were in Washington in 1840, as they lived only four doors away from Dr. Elijah McLean:

In 1840, two members of the household are engaged in agriculture, and three in manufacture (blacksmithing). There are three slaves in the house.

1840 census, Franklin Co., St. Johns Township, MO, census, p. 211 (83?)
Phineas Thomas
one male aged 40-49 [Phineas]
one female aged 60-69 [Mary (Littleton) Keen]
one female aged 30-39 [Frances]
one male aged 15-19 [Griffith]
one female aged 15-19 [Elizabeth]
one male aged 10-14 [James]
one female aged 10-14 [Frances Caroline]]
one male aged 5-9 [John Littleton & Joseph
one male aged under 5 [????]
one female aged under 5 [(Martha) Virginia]
one male aged 36-54
one female aged 36-54
one male aged 19-23

On 1 Oct 1840, Phineas bought 40 acres of land:
SWSW 14/ 43-N 1-W North 5th PM MO Franklin County

On 10 Dec 1841, they bought another 40 acres:
SENW 23/ 43-N 1-W North 5th PM MO Franklin County

Genealogical Gems from Early Missouri Deeds, 1815-1850: Family and Locality ...
By Marsha Hoffman Rising
Franklin Co., MO; Book D, p. 450
25 Feb 1842 - Phineas Thomas and wife Frances sold to Elizabeth Eberius, relict and widow of Charles Eberius, deceased, and to Matilda, Sophia, and Dortha Elvira Eberius, heirs at law of Charles Eberius, deceased, all right, title...

By 1850, they're living near the town of Miller's Landing, which would change its name to New Haven in 1856. Phineas is running a blacksmith shop, while his sons still at home farm. Their neighbors are all farmers:

1850 census, Franklin Co., MO, Being District 31, p. 071
Phineas Thomas, 52, blacksmith, VA
Frances, 50, VA
James, 24, farmer, VA
John, 19, farmer, VA
Joseph, 17, farmer, MO
Virginia, 14, MO
Mary Keen, 72, VA
[no slaves]

1856, with the coming of the railroad, Phineas and Frances moved the family into the town of New Haven:

1856 or 1857, Phineas set up a blacksmith shop in New Haven:

1888 - Goodspeed's History of Franklin County, Missouri:
"New Haven is situated on the Missouri Pacific Railway, thirteen miles above Washington. In the early annals of the county it was known as Miller's Landing. The name New Haven was applied to it when it was laid out as a town, in 1856. The original town was between the railroad and the Missouri River. It contained six blocks and the lots were usually 100-75 feet. Main Street was parallel with the river, and Cotton wood and Sycamore Streets at right angles to Main… Among those prominently identified with the early history of this place, besides Philip Miller, were William T. North, William O. Ming, John W. Miller and S.C.W. Miller, sons of Philip Miller, E. B. Hammack, Dr. John S. Leewright, Phineas Thomas, William T. Thurmond, William H. Thurmond, John Porter, John Whittaker, and C.C. Boley. The New Haven Hotel was kept by C.C. Boley. It stands on the northeast corner of the same block as that upon which the Commercial Hotel is located. A brick house was built by Dr. John S. Leewright on the bluff immediately south of the depot. S.C.W. Miller's house was built in 1856… Phineas Thomas started a blacksmith shop in 1856 or 1857, and John Chapman started the carpenter's trade.

Phineas seems to have done work for the new railroad, as he and his sons and sons-in-law seem to have traveled frequently between New Haven and the town of Pacific, thirty miles to the east on the railroad.

1854 son-in-law George King became a charter member of the Pacific Freemasons. In 1856, he was a voter in Pacific.

1858, Phineas and Frances' sons John L. and Joseph joined the Pacific Freemason Lodge and Phineas joined in 1860.

The 1860 census found Phineas and Frances living with their unmarried son Joseph in the town of New Haven. Their neighbors were not farmers, but townspeople, carpenters, merchants, clerks, laborers, etc. Their married daughters Virginia Thurmond and Mary Ellis lived nearby. Frances mother Mary was no longer living:

1860 census, New Haven, Franklin Co., MO, p. 83
Joseph Thomas, 24, blacksmith, $1,000, $400, born MO
Phineas Thomas, 60, blacksmith, VA
Frances, 59, VA

1870 census, Franklin Co., MO, Boeuff Township, New Haven Post Office, pg 13
Phineas Thomas, 70, blacksmith, $100 pers prop., born VA
Frances, 69, b. VA
Joseph, 36, blacksmith, MO

Frances died sometime before 1880.

Phineas's son Joseph, with whom he had been living, died in Sep 1878 and it was probably after this that he moved to Kansas to live with his daughter Elizabeth King. She was widowed in Apr 1879. In 1880, Phineas was listed on the census in her household in Fort Scott:

1880 census, 2nd Ward, Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., KS, pg 210D
Elizabeth King, 56, widowed, keeping house, born VA
Ann Eliza, 30, b. MO
Mary, 28, b. MO
Maggie P., 26, MO
William C., 23, retail grocer, MO
Samuel P., 21, MO,
Phineas Thomas, 81, widowed, VA

Phineas died in Nov of 1880, Fort Scott.


1. Mary Ann Thomas, b. 6 Sep 1820, Leesburg, Loudoun Co., VA; m. 7 May 1839, to James H. Ellis [b. 1816 MO; d. 1860-1870, Franklin Co., MO]; she d. 1 Jan 1885, New Haven; buried Nortmann cemetery.

2. Griffith Thomas, b.c. 1822, Leesburg, Loudoun Co., VA; m. 23 Apr 1845, Union, Franklin Co., MO, to Caroline Strickland [daughter of Ephraim & Serena (Caldwell) Strickland]; he d. 1860-1880; Robertsville, Franklin Co., MO; buried Johnson-Drake cemetery.

3. Elizabeth A. Thomas, b. Aug 1824, Leesburg, Loudoun Co., VA; m. 19 Nov 1845, Union, Franklin Co., MO, to George King of St. Louis Co., MO [b. 1823 MO; d. 23 Apr 1879, Ft. Scott, Bourbon Co., KS; buried Fort Scott National Cemetery; son of Phoebe _____]; she d. 1906, Denison, Grayson Co., TX; buried Fairview cemetery, Denison.

4. James Thomas, b. 1825, Leesburg, Loudoun Co., VA; m. 26 Jan 1853, Union, Franklin Co., MO, to Mary Ann Whitby (Wilkins?). Ceremony performed by Leo Bullock, JP. James hasn't been found on the 1860 or subsequent censuses.

5. Frances Caroline Thomas, b. 1829, Loudoun Co., VA; m. 24 Jun 1846, Union, Franklin Co., MO to Jackson Farrar [b.c. 1814 MO; d. 1880-1900, New Haven, Franklin Co., MO, son of John Sutton & Betty (Negiel) Farrar]; she d. 1880-1900, New Haven, Franklin Co., MO; buried Nortmann cemetery.

6. John Littleton Thomas, b. 1830, Leesburg, Loudoun Co., VA; he may have been the John Thomas who married 7 Mar 1852, Franklin Co., MO, to Sarah Thornhill; he is probably the Dr. John L. Thomas who married 31 May 1860 (Lincoln Co.? MO) to Louisa Margaret Custer [b. Jul 1837, Lincoln Co., MO; d. after 1900, St. Louis, MO; daughter of Joseph Custer and Margaret Chrisman]; he 15 Nov 1900, St. Louis, MO; burial place unknown.

1870 census, St. Charles Co., MO, Portage Township, St. Charles Post Office, p 383
John L. Thomas, 39, physician, born VA
Louise M., 30, MO
Henry C., 7, MO

18 Sep 1879 - Dr. J. L. Thomas, Physician and Surgeon, advertized in the Alton Telegraph

1880 census, Madison Co., IL, 1-WD Alton, p. 186
John L. Thomas, 47, physician, VA VA VA
Louise, 43, MO VA VA
Henry C., 17, at school, MO VA MO

1900 census, St. Louis, 12-WD St. Louis, p. 202
J. L. Thomas, b. Jun 1832, 67, married 40 yrs, b. VA; parents b. WV; doctor
Louisa, b. Jul 1837, 2 chdn; 1 living, MO VA VA
Henry C., b. Aug 1863, 36, clerk in hotel

Dr. John L. Thomas's children:
1) Henry C. Thomas, b. Aug 1863, MO; d. after 1900.
2) Mary Ross Thomas, d. by 1880.

7. Joseph Thomas, b. 7 Oct 1832, Washington, Franklin Co., MO; m. 12 April 1855, Franklin Co., MO to Susannah Stephens [d. by 1860]; ceremony performed by Wm. Kerr, JP; he d. 3 Sep 1878, New Haven, Franklin Co., MO; buried Nortmann cemetery.

8. Martha Virginia Thomas, b. 16 May 1836, Washington, Franklin Co., MO; m. 15 Nov 1857, New Haven, Franklin Co., MO, to William Thomas Thurmon [b. 6 Jun 1826, Somerset, Pulaski Co., KY; d. 18 Sep 1909, St. Louis, MO; son of John Tipton Thurman and Mary Ramsey]; she d. 9 Mar 1900, New Haven, Franklin Co., MO; buried Saint Peters cemetery.

Family links: 
  Griffith Thomas (1762 - 1800)
  Elizabeth Groves Gardner (1772 - 1847)
  Frances Keen Thomas (1802 - 1875)
  Mary Ann Thomas Ellis (1820 - 1885)*
  Griffith Thomas (1822 - 1870)*
  Elizabeth A. Thomas King (1824 - 1906)*
  Frances Caroline Thomas Farrar (1829 - 1890)*
  Joseph Thomas (1832 - 1878)*
  Martha Virginia Thomas Thurman (1836 - 1900)*
  Phineas Thomas (1799 - 1880)
  Nancy Doty (1804 - 1886)**
  Elizabeth Gardner King (1808 - 1883)**
  Mary Gardner (1811 - 1832)**
  Washington Gardner (1814 - 1903)**
  Frances Gardner Goodin (1818 - 1891)**
*Calculated relationship
Evergreen Cemetery
Fort Scott
Bourbon County
Kansas, USA
Created by: Bev Golden
Record added: Jun 23, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71876010
Phineas Thomas
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Mike Wren
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Click on image for full size.

- Eva Goeken
 Added: Aug. 21, 2013

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