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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jasper County, Missouri published by Mills & Company in 1883.  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.

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DAVID THOMAS was born in Franklin county, Vt., Feb. 22, 1820, removing at five years of age to Luzerne county, Penn., and Bradford county of the same state until twenty-two years of age. In 1844 he migrated to Stark county, Illinois, when that county was wild and new. He settled in Peoria when there were only 500 inhabitants, residing there some fourteen years. On May 14th, 1840, he was married to Mary Ann Kemp, of Ulster, Bradford county, Penn., where she was born Sept. 14, 1823. Mrs. David Thomas’s mother was a daughter of Capt. Benjamin Clark, a revolutionary hero, who served seven years in the war for independence, he settling in Ulster soon after its close, having married Keziah Gore, whose first husband was killed in the celebrated Wyoming massacre. Mrs. Thomas’s father was an Englishman by birth who came to America in 1818 and took up his home in Ulster, where he married Lucinda Hovey, whose first husband died at Sackett’s Harbor during the War of 1812, while an officer. The names of the children are John, Fannie, Edward, and Lucinda, who is now Mrs. Lucinda Holcomb, who was born in Peoria. Ill., the only child living. The eldest son, John, enlisted in the Ninth Iowa Infantry for three years, known as the “Bloody Ninth.” He was one of nine volunteers who undertook of their free will the perilous and almost fatal task of putting a “pontoon” across the Chicasaw Bayou, opposite Vicksburg, their boat being literally shot to splinters. He was the bravest of the brave and though coming out of the war without a scratch, it is sad to think of him being accidentally kicked to death by a pet horse which he approached unawares. In 1857 Mr. David Thomas came to Linn county, Iowa, later to Boone county, and finally to Jasper county, Mo., in 1867; being the second settler of Oronogo. He camped in a tent under a tree near where John Joker now lives and where Mr. Thomas built the first board house in Oronogo, hauling the lumber from Shoal Creek. Goods were hauled from Sedalia, salt being worth twenty-five cents per pound. His father was one of the first cast-steel workers in the United States, making all kinds of edged tools. Mr. Thomas learned the same trade; was engineer for the Granby Company of Oronogo. Besides working at blacksmithing, was a machinist and engineer. His uncle, General Thomas, was in the War of 1812. Mr. Thomas has a nice home of twenty acres in the edge of town, where he and his wife live in comparative comfort and enjoy the fruits of their labors.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in The History of Jasper County, Missouri published in 1883.  For the complete description, click here: Jasper County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Jasper County, Missouri family biographies here: Jasper County, Missouri Biographies

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