|JACOB AND CATHERINE THOMAS||ANDREW AND ANNE UMBEL||Grandfathers Family||Grandmothers Family|
Photos from Sandra Winkler Simon
Russ Thomas was born in Maryland and his parents, Elias and Barbra
Thomas, were both born in Wales. After comming to this country, Elias taught
languages. They had twelve children.
Russ worked in the coal mines until he was twenty-eight and said he never saw sunlight until he left Pittsburgh, Pennsyvania. He and Esquire Pierre were married and moved to Oklahoma where he homesteaded. His grant deed was given to him by President McKinley. Mr and Mrs. Thomas had a son, M. G. Thomas born in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Some time later Mr. Thomas moved to Guthrie after marrying Sarah. He had a hardware and drug store for thirty-five years. There were four children born to this union: Guy, born December 29, 1900; twins, Ray and Jay, born September 23, 1907; Fairee, born February 17, 1911. Mrs Thomas died at the time Fairee was born.
In 1919, Russ Thomas and his family moved to Ochiltree County, where Mr. Thomas was going to retire, but he was active until his death. He bought a place east of Perryton, from Milt Goodnight. It was known as the Checkerboard Ranch. Kim lives on this place now. The house was made of stone blocks, with every other bloc painted green to resemble a checkerboard. In one bedroom was a hidden door in the closet that led to a huge room where bunckbeds were built. The only light and ventilation were little round holes in the roof. The legend was that the holes were to stick guns through. All kinds of names were carved on the bunks, including Jesse James. The Thomas children played hide and seek, and cops and robbers in this room. Mr Thomas tore this house down and built a new house in the same place.
Soon after moving, Mr Thomas built a barb wire fence around his land and began to prepare the land for crops. The prarie dogs were a menace.
At the first celebration, August 22, 1919, Guy Thomas was killed in an airplane accident.
Fariee married Jerry Ritch and has two children, Jerri Laurel Ritch Graves and Sandra Ann Ritch Calkins.
Jay Thomas died December 4, 1940. Ray Thomas and Patricia Downing were married in Phoenix, Arizona January 23, 1935. They had two sons, Russ and Kim. Ray died December 8, 1958.
Submitted by: Fairee Thomas Ritch
The information on Elias and Barbra Thomas is significantly different from their obituaries. In the obituaries, Barbra is Susanah and they both were born & married in Fayette Co, PA. See the Elias and Susanah link for the obituary text. - Scott Thomas
Daughter named Berniece.