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Thomas, Richard S.

Born: 1817-XX-XX Maine

Died: 1869-XX-XX Chicago, Illinois

Flourished: Virginia, Illinois

Richard S. Thomas became a lawyer and moved to Illinois in 1839, settling in Virginia, Illinois. In 1843, Thomas married Helen M. Naylor in Cass County. Thomas won election to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1848, serving one term. In addition, he served as a local school commissioner. A Whig, Thomas was also active as a newspaper editor - managing the Cass County Times from its first issue on September 9, 1856. His paper was officially neutral but generally leaned Whig until the election of 1860, when it became overtly Republican, and Thomas relinquished his editing duties. In September 1857, he was elected president of the Illinois River Railroad, which he helped establish. By 1860, Thomas had amassed $45,000 in real estate, with $7,000 in personal property.

U. S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Cass County, IL, 81; William Henry Perrin, ed., History of Cass County, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1882), 56, 85, 93; Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Cass County, ed. by Charles Æ. Martin (Chicago: Munsell, 1915), 2:745, 775-76; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Cass County, 5 March 1843, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Franklin William Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois 1814-1879, vol. 6 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1910), 345.