Ohio Biographies

Perry C. Thomas

Perry C. Thomas is one of the native-born sons of Pickaway County, born in Monroe Township, March 12, 1838, coming of one of the early families of this region, and he is numbered among its farmers and stockmen who form such an important part of the population and are so essential to the continued progress and prosperity of the county. He is a resident of Muhlenberg Township, where he has a large and finely improved farm.

William Thomas, the father of our subject, was born at Harper's Ferry, Va., January 22, 1801. His father brought him and other members of his family to Ohio in 1810, making the journey with a team, and at first settled near Chillicothe. A year later he removed to this county and took up his abode near Clarkston. The following year he located in Monroe Township, and there his earthly pilgrimage was brought to a close by his death.

Our subject's father was bred to the life of a farmer amid pioneer surroundings. He was married March 12, 1822, to Miss Elizabeth Norris, who was born near Harper's Ferry, May 22, 1802. She came here with her parents in 1810. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas began their wedded life in the most primitive manner, as was the custom in those days for young couples. All the furniture that he bought cost him but $3 in money. Poles were placed with one end in the wall of the log house and the other supported by posts so as to form a bedstead, and Mrs. Thomas cooked before an open fire in a rude fireplace. Notwithstanding this humble beginning, prosperity smiled upon them, as they were diligent, persevering and prudent, and at the time of his death, Mr. Thomas owned thirteen hundred acres of land, of which he developed a large tract into a good farm. He was widely known and universally respected and liked, and when he died, at scarcely fifty years of age, his death was greatly lamented and considered a public loss. He was a leader among the Methodists, being a man of earnest Christian spirit, and he was one of the organizers of the old Hebron Church in Monroe Township. His good wife was also a zealous working member of that church, and at her death, April 21, 1873, a true Christian passed to her reward. Uncle Billy and Aunt Betsy, as they were alfectionately called, held a warm place in the hearts of their many friends and their memory is still cherished by all who knew and loved them.

The following is the record of their children: Elizabeth, born January 23, 1823, died in infancy; George W., born May 20, 1824, died at the age of twenty-two years; Milton M., born October 25, 1825, died in 1879; Benjamin, born May 26, 1827, died young; Thornton, born February 22, 1829, died young; Jane, born August 12, 1830, died young; Jackson, born December 8, 1831, lives on a farm in Monroe Township; Mary A., born December 19, 1833, married Mr. King, a farmer of Monroe Township; William H., born May 15, 1835, is a farmer in Monroe Township; Perry C, our subject, is the next in order of birth; Margaret, born September 18, 1839, married Mr. Henderson, and lives in Missouri; Sarah W., now Mrs. Maddox, of Waterloo, Fayette County, was born July 10, 1841; Elizabeth J. H. (second) now Mrs. Henderson, was born February 7, 1845.

Our subject was reared on a farm in Monroe Township. He laid the foundation of a solid education in the district schools which was supplemented by a course of study at Dublin Hill, and by a year's study in school at Mt. Sterling. The first school that he attended was a typical pioneer institution of learning, the house being made of logs, heated by an open fireplace with a mud and stick chimney, and the seats were slab benches with pin legs. The school was conducted under the rate-bill system.

At the age of twenty-one, Mr. Thomas began life on his own account. His father had died when he was nine years old, and he continued to live with his mother, managing the home farm until her death in 1873. He at one time owned three hundred acres of land in Monroe Township, but he sold it, and coming to this township, farmed his brother's farm until 1879. In that year he bought his present farm of three hundred and thirty-eight acres, all highly cultivated, and carries on a good business as a general farmer, raising wheat, corn, clover and timothy grass, besides fattening cattle, and having his farm well stocked with a good grade of Durhams, and some draft horses of his own breeding.

Our subject was united in marriage with Miss Lizzie Donesife, February 13, 1879. She was born in 1844, and came to this township with her parents, who settled in Darbyville in 1845. She understands well how to make a cheerful and comfortable home, and cordially unites with her husband in making theirs one of the most hospitable abodes known to their hosts of friends. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church and a great helper in whatsoever of good it accomplishes.

Mr. Thomas is a man of fine parts, has a clear, active, well-trained intellect, a firm character, and his reputation as a practical farmer is of the highest. He is a loyal Democrat in politics, and his popularity is attested by the fact that he was elected Justice of the Peace for a term of three years, cariying the township, which is largely Republican, by fourteen votes. He has also served as a member of the School Board.