September 16, 2017

Thomas Thomas

Edward Rapier's illustration of what it was like for cow towns, such as Abilene, Dodge City and Ellsworth, when the herds arrived from Texas. "Longhorns in Dodge City, Kansas" a drawing of his was published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper on the 27th of July, 1878

Three years before Thomas Thomas moved to Ellsworth, Kansas Peter Robidoux describes a night he spent in the town. It probably had not changed to when Thomas arrived.......

" So I went to Chicago, to the C. B. & Q. station. I told the agent I wanted a ticket. He asked "Where to?" I said, "Out West." "We have no station by that name on our schedule," replied the agent. I then told him I wanted to go as far west as my money would take me. The agent said, "We have two lines of railroad west of the Missouri river, one out of Omaha and the other out of Kansas City." Never having heard of Omaha, I chose the route west from Kansas City. Peter put $70 dollars on the counter and it bought him a trip as far as Ellsworth, Kansas, which was the limit of the train service in 1868. He had $3.35 left over, most of which he spent on "bologna and crackers." The trip to Ellsworth was slow, requiring an entire day, and arrived there at 7 o'clock in the evening. Not knowing where to go or what to do, he sat for two hours at the Depot, with only 75 cents to his name. So I ventured across the street to a big saloon with a big sign over the door, "U.S. Saloon." It was a big one, about 125 feet deep. I took a chair in a corner near the front where I could watch everything. It was getting interesting. Soldiers from Old Fort Harker were coming and going. The dames and gamblers were there. Yes, and there were Indian scouts, teamsters, bull whackers, and citizens of all sorts promenading the streets, as well as the dance hall. The orchestra was playing melodious tunes, and the ball was on. Drinking, gambling and dancing were in full blast, all of which was a new picture to me, and there I sat looking on." Every now and then groups of long-haired men wearing high-heeled boots, and spurs, red underwear, cartridge belts full of cartridges, scabbard at side with pair of six shooters, and bowie knife would come; call for drinks, and as they went out, bang, bang, bang would ring out from their guns. Poor Pete, sitting there in the corner, would jump every time a gun was fired, and, say, believe me it was some new experience for Peter. (286) Peter sat there until 3 o'clock in the morning, having fallen asleep, when the bar-tender woke him and told him they were closing. Peter asked him for a bed, and showed him his seventy-five cents, which bought him a night on a cot in "drunkard's heaven" where "there were about fifty single cots containing that many drunk men. I lay there with fear and trembling until daylight, then got out quickly by the outside stairway, thanking God I was spared once more." (286) He hopped on board a construction train at 7 A. M. in the morning of August 20th, 1868, leaving him as far as Hays at noon, which was sixty-five miles from Ellsworth. In Hays he went to the Commercial Hotel, and asked the proprietor, an Irishman named Mister Keeler, what he could do, saying he was broke and hungry. Keeler got him a meal, and afterwards, put him to work washing dishes in the kitchen.”

More on Peter Robidoux

According to the 1870 census, Thomas Thomas was living in Adele Township, Dallas, Iowa. He is 49, his wife Louisa is 32, and sons Joseph (17 and born in Virginia), and John 13 born in Ohio. Lorenzo, Rebecca , Thomas's daughter and granddaughter Mary also lived nearby in Dallas, Iowa. By December 1872 both the Thomas Thomas and Lorenzo and Rebecca Pratt families had moved and were living in Ellsworth, Kansas. Lorenzo and Rebecca's second daughter Josie was born here in December 1872. In August 1873 Wyatt Earp a famous lawman made his first arrest in Ellsworth. Thomas Thomas was probably the contractor building the Ellsworth school building at the time and may have witnessed the arrest. Other famous lawmen would frequent Ellsworth like Bill Tilghman, Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody and Bat Masterson.

This movie closely follows eyewitness accounts of the first arrest made by Wyatt Earp in Ellsworth, Kansas in 1873. HTTP://

Kansas during the 1860s was in turmoil as many from the south wanted Kansas to be a slave state and for this reason many looking to migrate west went to Iowa. But after the Civil War Kansas became much more attractive to many settlers. Also the western route of the railroads were beneficial to the cattle trade. Large numbers of cattle were driven up from Texas to Kansas to meet the railroad shipping yards and then shipped to the eastern states. As the towns in eastern Kansas began to be populated the farmers did not want the cattle drives taking place there as the Texas cattle would compete for the grass on the open range. However the business men of the towns did want the cattle trade so naturally there were conflicts.

From the Kansas Historical Archive:

'Election day(November 1872) a month later held a surprise. Senatorial candidate Edwards, anathema to both farmers and insurgents, lost overwhelmingly in Ellsworth county, carrying only one precinct. But not one member of the insurgent rural Republican ticket gained office. The reason is clear. Urban voters failed to support rural members of the slate and the country dwellers refused to vote for the urban insurgent candidates. For example, ruralist Paul Curlett, Republican candidate for state representative, carried nearly every rural precinct but captured a mere seven votes in Ellsworth. On the other hand, insurgent Thomas Thomas, G. O. P. candidate for clerk of the district court, carried Ellsworth but lost every single rural precinct. Opposed by a badly split Republican vote, a slate of Greeley Republicans carried the day. The parties to this experiment in rural-urban co-operation had distrusted one another in the showdown. The fundamental, apparently unreconcilable rural-urban split was soon to achieve a profound expression in the politics of the cattle-trade controversy. Although the newspaper supplies no details, two apparently conflicting farmers' organizations were now operating, evidently representing this dichotomy of opinion regarding protection. One was the old "Farmers Protective Association of Empire Township/' in which D. B. Long was active, which met as late as May 31 "to ar range for better protection from the ravages of Texas cattle." The other, the "Ellsworth Farmers' Independent Association," was active near Ellsworth and met June 14 and October 17 at the home of Thomas Thomas. This Republican insurgent of the previous year owned an 80-acre farm, but he was primarily a contractor. In 1873 Thomas was building the new Ellsworth schoolhouse, and it is unlikely he would have antagonized the city's residents by frightening the cattle trade away with talk of a cattle herd law.'

Thomas Thomas was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania on Feb 1, 1821. There is no known records that state who his parents were but reseachers have narrowed down the possible canidates. It appears that his grandparents were Thomas Thomas and Mary A. Grimes of Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. In the will of Thomas Thomas dated 7 May 1838 , he left his sons Ephraim and Joel Thomas land in Ohio, and he left a farm in Washington County, Pennsylvania, to his daughter. The will does not specify exactly where in Ohio the land was located. However, his sons Ephraim and Joel both can be traced as having moved there during the 1820s. Ephraim Thomas’s descendants went to Belmont County, Ohio, while Joel Thomas’s family could be found in both Belmont and Muskingum Counties in Ohio. Joel Thomas seems to be the most likely one to be Thomas Thomas father due to several factors. Ephraim is also possibly his father but the facts lean in favor of Joel.

Our Thomas Thomas (the grandson) married Mary Ann Clark and in 1850 US Federal Census, Franklin Twp, Monroe Co, Ohio, p 487A, hh #225-225, Thomas Thomas is 28 and wife Mary is 25, children Elizabeth, 7, and Rebecca, 0. They had a son born in Virginia and then before 1855 Mary Ann dies and Thomas Thomas remarries to Louisa A. ____. Thomas and Louisa have a son John who is born in Ohio. Thomas Thomas is in the 1860 US Federal Census, Beaver Twp, Noble Co, Ohio, p 254, hh #1940-1858, Thomas Thomas is 40, farmer, $100 personal estate. his wife Louisa is 29 and children Rebecca, 17, Joseph, 7, John, 3.

Civil War draft registration for the 16th district in Wayne county Ohio lists as Thomas Thomas, 42 as of July 1, 1863 and occupation is carpenter.

In 1866 Thomas Thomas signed the certificate for Rebecca Jane to marry at age 16 to Lorenzo D Pratt in Ottawa, LaSalle county Illinois. Lorenzo was just home from serving in the Civil War. His home was Long Point, Livingston county, Illinois.

According to the 1870 census, Thomas Thomas had moved to and was living in Adele Township, Dallas, Iowa. He is listed as 49, Louisa as 32, Joseph as 17 and born in Virginia, and John 13 born in Ohio. Living also in Dallas Iowa is his daughter Rebecca's Pratts family and before 1872 both families move to Ellsworth, Kansas. In the twenty years that he lived in Ellsworth in was farmer, carpenter, Probate Judge, Justice of Peace, Undersheriff and Superintendent of Poor Farm

Bat Masterson was a sheriff in Fort Dodge in 1879. Thomas Thomas was a policeman in the 1880 census in Ellsworth which is another famous cow town along the railroad. Therefore the chances are good that they did know each other. Perhaps someday a newspaper article will come to light that has both of them mentioned. Kansas governor St. John on December 12, 1882 appointed Thomas Thomas Justice of the Peace for Ellsworth, Kansas. The last document that I have found that has Thomas Thomas signature is on April 23,1891 on a Writ of Habeas Corpus which he no doubt had to sign for his policeman duties.

Louisa A. Thomas and Maria Fox her daughter (Mrs. James Fox ) visited Rebeccca for the birth of Thomas Victor Pratt (Louisa's grandson and Maria's nephew) in 1875. Thomas Victor Pratt would have been Edith Louella Pratts' brother. In about 1891 Thomas and Louisa moved to Marion, Kansas. And opened a feed store. Louisa after Thomas death lived with her son Joseph Clark Thomas. (1910 census records) Also living in Marion was her daughter Rebecca and grandchildren which included Edith Louella who married Ed Ketterman.

Thomas Thomas, the grandfather was born January 30, 1761 in Wellington, Burlington county New Jersey, and his father was a native born Welshman. David Thomas (father) crossed the Atlantic about 1750, in company with two brothers, landing in New Jersey. David married Margaret Lucus in 1746 in Burlington, New Jersey and stayed in New Jersey while his brothers moved farther south. One settled in Virginia, and the other in South Carolina.

Thomas Thomas enlisted in the Revoltionary Army under direct command of General Washington, at the age of fifteen years, and for a time was employed in cutting out sheets of Continental currency. Later, greatly to his delight he was mustered into a light horse company, in which he served valiantly until the end of the war. He later married Miss Mary N Grimes in 1783 in New Jersey, who was of American birth but Irish descent and moved to Westmoreland county Pennsylvania.

Thomas Thomas was KP Ketterman's GGrandfather.

September 3, 2017

Thomas Thomas (1895) in buggy on left looking down sitting next to Victor Pratt . Sitting from left to right Louisa Thomas, Bertha Pratt, Luella Shahan Thomas (mother) holding Pauline Thomas, Luella Pratt, Ida Pratt Davis, Mary Pratt Standing Rebecca Pratt, Cornelia Pratt, unknown boy, Josie Pratt, Victor Pratt, Joseph Clark Thomas,and Joseph Thomas in front of Thomas Thomas house in Marion Kansas.