Photos from Sandra Winkler Simon

Excerpt from a book on Ochiltree County:

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

According to Sandra Lynn Winkler Simon (via Kimmel Durbin):  Russ' name may have been Horace Russell Thomas. M.G. [son of 1st marriage, Esquire Pierre, before Sarah Talbot] went by Gay Thomas. They think that Russ' second wife's name was Sara Talbot." So far this is my only source for the Talbot name -SJT.
Sandra Lynn Winkler Simon writes: Grandmother [and grandfather] lived in Stroud, Oklahoma before moving to Perryton, TX.
My grandmother was Fairee Thomas, born 2/17/11. Her father was Russell Thomas, the brother of Kimmel Kay Thomas. I believe Russell's name is Horace Russell. She had 4 brothers, M.G. Thomas, Russell's son by his marriage to Esque Pierre, and Guy, born 1900, Ray and Jay, twins born in 1907 and herself all born to Sara (Talbot?). Fairee Thomas married Jerry John Ritch, children are Jerri Laurel Ritch (my mother) born 12/28/38, died 2/17/93, and my aunt Sandra Ann Ritch, born 10/22/43. I am Sandra Lynn Winkler (Simon now) I was born 12/7/56, I have two brothers, Derek Anthony Graves, born 4/8/61 and John Santonio Morales, born 7/14/71.
My grandmother [Fairee] never knew her mother Sara as she died soon after my grandmother's birth. My grandmother [Fairee] died 5/31/81.

Sandra Lynn Winkler Simon writes:
I wish I had the addresses for Russ Thomas and Kim Thomas. These two are the sons of Ray Thomas, one of my grandmother's twin brothers. Kim still lives in Perryton and Russ is in Hawaii. I will give you my aunt Sandra's address and phone number, so if you'd like, you can contact her for their addresses. All three of them may be a better source of info regarding my great grandfather Russell. I am very much in the dark about the Thomas family, especially Sarah. I never saw my great grandfather. Aunt Sandra remembers him. Thanks to both of you, we have solved some mysteries. I just wish my grandmother knew about some of the things you have uncovered. She would be tickled to know that the Thomas' go back to the American Revolution. You don't know how many years her in-laws went on and on about the Davidson side (my grandfather's mother's line). There were senators, sherriffs, and veterans of the Civil War and the American Revolution. She used to get so frustrated and just say, "well I guess our folks were just pirates and gamblers." She really thought her grandparents were born in Wales. Her father was kind of distant with her I believe. I think he took Sarah's death pretty hard. They didn't stay in Stroud very long. We don't even know where she was buried.

Have either of you found M.G. Thomas or any of his family? He went by the name Gay. The story I hear is that he had a falling out with his father and never spoke to him again. When Russell died, the family tried contacting him and he didn't even want to go to the funeral. The lady in Stroud that gave me the info that I emailed you, she said there is a Maxine Thomas in town. Any relation?

I am coming up against a brick wall regarding Sarah Talbot. My grandmother [Fairee] thought she was French. She said she used to visit relatives in Louisiana and a woman who was supposedly her grandmother, spoke French. Kim and Russ's mother said she was Irish. Aunt Sandra said there is a picture of her and she did have red hair. We are real curious about her. My grandmother and her 3 brothers from Sarah all had a very olive complexion. My grandmother had dark auburn hair and green eyes.
What is even more strange to us in these modern days is that my grandmother did not get officially named until she was three years old. She always told me her name was Fairee Fate Thomas. When she died, there were a lot of documents - ie. the oil mineral rights - that had her name as Fairee Isabelle Thomas.

Sandra Lynn Winkler Simon writes: I received a copy of the Stroud American newspaper the other day that has my email printed in it. It's on page 2 and came out on April 22, 1999. Here is what is in the article. According to Book 3, page 47 of Lincoln County marriages, Horace R Thomas married Sarah Talbot on 10/13/1897. There is no burial record for Sarah Thomas in the Stroud Cemetery in 1911.  I explained this to my aunt, Sandra Ritch Calkins. Now she is wondering what exactly happened to Sarah... She was even speculating that she might have run off and the children were told she died. Would really be interesting to know what really happened.



Born December 29, 1900, died August 22, 1919.


Born September 23, 1907, died December 8, 1958. Married Patricia Downing, had two children Russ and Kim.


Born September 23, 1907, died December 4, 1940.


Born February 17, 1911, died 5/31/81. Married Jerry John Ritch and has two children:
1) Jerri Laurel Ritch Graves (born 12/28/38, died 2/17/93, three children:
 1a) Sandra Lynn Winkler Simon (b 12/7/56) (is looking for genealogy info on Fairee);
 1b) Derek Anthony Graves (b 4/8/61);
 1c) John Santonio Morales (b 7/14/71));
2) Sandra Ann Ritch Calkins (b 10/22/43). Has two children,
 2a) Shelly Lynn Calkins Hill born 2/19/71;
 2b) Jerry William Calkins born 9/22/73.