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Below is a family biography included in The History of Miami County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1880.  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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WALTER S. THOMAS, attorney at law, Troy. Walter Scott Thomas was born at Troy, Ohio, April 8, 1838; he is the son of William and Lucinda M. Thomas, being the sixth child in a family of eleven children; in 1852, he entered the Troy High School, and graduated in 1856, as the valedictorian of his class in 1857, he entered the Sophomore class at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1860; while at college, Mr. Thomas was distinguished for his clear perception and untiring industry, qualities that have since gained him a great measure of his success in his chosen profession. Although a good student in mathematics and the sciences, yet classical studies were his delight, and so proficient did he become in Latin and Greek that at his graduation he was crowned with the classical honor of his class; after receiving his degree, he began at once the study of law, under the instruction of his father, and during the years 1861-62 he attended the Harvard Law School; in the latter year he was admitted to the Miami County bar, and began the practice of law in Troy. But the country was then in the midst of the great struggle for national life, and laying aside his law books and dreams of professional distinction, Mr. Thomas enlisted in the navy of the United States, where he served his country honorably, till the close of the war as a Master’s Mate, in the Mississippi Squadron, under Admiral Porter. In the fall of 1865, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Miami Co., and at the expiration of his first term, he was re-nominated by acclamation, and re-elected by an increased majority. His administration of the Prosecutor’s office was characterized by great vigor and efficiency. It was impossible to pick a flaw in any of Mr. T.’s indictments, and perhaps there has never been a larger proportion of convictions under the criminal code in Miami Co. than during his incumbency of the Prosecutor’s office. Upon retiring from his official duties, he continued the practice of law, and by faithful attention to business, has built up a large and lucrative practice. As an attorney, Mr. T. is not of the bombastic sort, dealing in “sound and fury, signifying nothing,” but he seizes the salient points in a case, and presents them with a clearness and force that produces conviction—and a favorable decision. Mr. Thomas stands high in the esteem of his fellow-citizens. He has enemies, as all-positive and independent men have, but to name them where they are known is to pay Mr. Thomas a high compliment. Mr. T. is a conspicuous instance of a boy’s growing right up in his own town into positions of trust and honor. In 1877, he was elected member of the Troy Board of Education, for which position he is well fitted by taste and education, and so ably did he discharge his trust that he was re-elected to the same position with only a feeble opposition, in 1880. Mr. T. is yet a young man, and what he has accomplished in the past is only an indication of what may be expected of him in the future. His ripe experience, sterling integrity and indefatigable industry commend him to the confidence and esteem of all to whom his genuine worth is known.

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This family biography is one of 964 biographies included in The History of Miami County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Miami County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Miami County, Ohio family biographies here: Miami County, Ohio Biographies

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