Biography of Joseph Hubbard Thomas
Cass County, MI Biographies



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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

The early life of Joseph H. Thomas was such as to prepare him for pioneering in the far West, for it *as largely occupied in hard labor in the Green Mountain State, where his parents were pioneering with a large family, and they possessed of limited means. For a number of years, Joseph H. assisted by one of his brothers, labored hard to raise the incumbrance on his father's property, which was an act of filial duty one would expect of the man.

He was born in Salisbury, Vt., September 8, 1807, and is of Welsh extraction, as one would judge from his physique, for he is a man of large stature and possessed of more than ordinary strength. While a resident of Vermont, he became very expert in the use of the ax, and-recounts the feat of cutting 400 cords of three-foot wood in fifty days, and one day of performing the; almost miraculous feat of cutting eleven cords. His father, Isaac Thomas, was born in Packersfield, New Hampshire, in October, 1775. His mother, Arthusa M. Hubbard, born in Springfield, Vt., in 1784, was the daughter of Col. Joseph Hubbard, of that place, who was born in Old Hadley, Mass. Mr. Thomas' parentswere married in 1806, and settled on a farm in the-town of Salisbury, Vt., where they resided until the death of Mr. Thomas, which occurred in 1848, aged sixty three years. The subject of this sketch is the eldest of eight children- Horace, born August 1809; Eliza, born September, 1811; Harry, born October, 1814; Robert B., born September 30, 1816; Thankful, August, 1820; G. Adoiphus, January, 1823; Jefferson, January, 1825. His ancestors came from Wales during the reign of George I. They were among the early printers of Boston. Isaiah Thomas printed the Boston Spy, and in 1772 it was suppressed by George III for disloyal sentiments. He then removed to Worcester, Mass., where he issued the Worcester Spy, and his printing press was on exhibition in Machinery Hall, at the Centenniti of 1876, and was the one on which was printed the first copy of the Declaration of Independence in this country.

When twenty-eight years of age, J. Hubbard Thomas removed to Licking County, Ohio, where he remained until coming to Cass County, in May, 1839, at which time he purchased 160 acres of wild land in Section 18, at $5 per acre, which has been added to until he now possesses 230. By girdling timber, he raised 500 bushels of wheat the first year on his new farm.

Mr. Thomas has been eminently, successful in his chosen avocation. Owing to early experiences, he has always been quite conservative and self-sustained, relying entirely on his own exertions and judgment to further his financial interests, and they have proved more than ordinarily reliable.

Not a member of any Christian denomination, he believes in the brotherhood of all, mankind, and in living according to the golden rule.

He was married, May 11, 1836, to Eunice, daughter of John Townsend, who was born in Charleston, Mass., October 30, 1767, and Eunice (Howe) Townsend, widow of Joseph Cloycs, who was born in Shrewsbury, Mass., November 15, 1774.

By her first marriage she became the mother of two children - Elijah and D. H. Cloyes. By her second marriage she became the mother of nine children, viz.: Relief, born July 2, 1805, died August 25, 1824; John, born February 20, 1801, now in Vermont; Nancie, born March 23, 1808, now in Vermont; Joseph C., born August 11, 1809, died January 11, 1810; Lorancy, born January 5, 1811, now in Wisconsin; Eunice, born April 24, 1812; Sarah, born January 18, 1814, now in Wisconsin; Gideon H., born June 8, 1816, now in New York State; William L., born August 9, 1820, died July 22, 1828. John Townsend died. March 21, 1841, and his wife, Eunice, June 6, 1847.

Mrs. Thomas has shared the privations and labor of pioneer life with her husband, and is now with him enjoying the fruits of their industry. She has long been a member of the Baptist Church.

They have been the parents of four children - Helen M., born September 8, 1837, now Mrs. G. A. Meacham, in Mason; Edwin, born May 31, 1841, died May 31, 1864; Arabella M., born July 27, 1846, now a widow lady, Mrs. M. E. Pills, and Ida L., born December 5, 1853, died September 9, 1855.

History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.

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