My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

GEORGE C., WILLIAM I. and CHARLES E. THOMAS, who comprise the firm of G. C. Thomas & Brothers, are prominent business men of Waterloo, Seneca County. They are widely known throughout this section as agriculturists, dairymen, breeders of thorough-bred Guernsey cattle, and also as dealers in building stone, dimension stone, fertilizers, agricultural implements, etc.

Our subjects are the sons of Michael and Leah (Rhinehart) Thomas, the former of whom was born in Juniata Township, Perry County, Pa., in June, 1800. He left his native state some time in 1812, in company with his father, George Clinton Thomas, and came to this state. He received a good education, and continued to live with his parents until forty years of age, when he was united in marriage. Until their decease he cared for his aged father and mother. At one time he invested considerable money in oil, but this speculation proved a failure, and instead of making a fortune he lost most of his capital.

In addition to his own share in the homestead, Michael Thomas purchased the interest of his brother James, and by so doing had a farm of some three hundred acres. While devoting himself first of all to the improvement and cultivation of this estate, he was also a public-spirited and progressive citizen.

To Michael Thomas and wife there were born seven children, six of whom are living at the present time. In the order of their birth they are named, respectively, George, Maggie, William, Charles, Sarah and Frances C. The second daughter married W. Clinton Kline. Frances became the wife of William A. Smith, and makes her home at Newport, Perry County, Pa., where her husband is agent for pianos and organs. The husband and father departed this life January 1, 1880, and the year following his three sons entered into partnership and purchased the farm on which they now live. It comprises a quarter-section of excellent land, forty acres of which are within the corporate limits of Waterloo. Soon after locating on this place they invested considerable money in stock and began dairying, which business has rapidly grown until it has now assumed extensive proportions. Their first herd of cattle was common stock, but in 1891 they purchased a fine lot of Guernseys. They also have a number of Holsteins. They milk about forty cows, and altogether have some sixty animals.

The stone-quarry which the Thomas Brothers own was formerly in the possession of their uncle, Samuel Thomas, who opened it and put the machinery in operation. This yields an annual output of from twenty-five hundred to three thousand yards of stone per year. The stone, which is used chiefly for building purposes, is of a very fine quality, and is in great demand. The brothers own their own canal-boat, and are kept busy making shipments of stone to Geneva and other points where they receive orders. Their business is not confined, however, to the material they ship by water, for they also send the product of their quarry by rail to all parts of the state.

The senior member of the firm of Thomas Brothers is a shrewd business man and devotes his entire attention to the various enterprises in which the firm is engaged. The three brothers make their home together, and by their advanced ideas and progressive habits are doing much toward improving the business interests of their community. The sons, following in the footsteps of their honored father, are all Republicans, and George C. has held the position of Supervisor of his town for three years.

* * * *

This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

View additional Seneca County, New York family biographies here: Seneca County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Seneca County, New York here: Seneca County, New York Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.