Thomas, Hiram S.

Born: 1814-XX-XX Pennsylvania

Died: 1887-09-28 Fulton County, Illinois

Born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, Hiram S. Thomas was a tailor, postmaster, and fervent advocate of temperance. The son of a poor farmer, he moved with his family to Ohio in 1824, and did not attend school after he was fourteen years old. He moved to the township of Vermont in Fulton County, Illinois in 1843. That same year, he married Mary Witchell, with whom he eventually had at least two children. Although a tailor by trade, he became interested in the temperance movement and began delivering lectures on the topic. In 1848, he stumped throughout Illinois for the temperance cause, and was even nominated by temperance interests for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly. He ran in the election of 1848 as a Free Soil Party candidate, but lost to his Whig opponent, William Kellogg. In January 1855, he was elected as door-keeper of the Illinois House of Representatives, serving the Nineteenth General Assembly. In the spring of 1861, Abraham Lincoln appointed Thomas postmaster for Vermont, which by then had grown into a commercial hub for Illinois. He remained in the position well beyond the Civil War.

History of Fulton County Illinois (Peoria, IL: Chas. C. Chapman, 1879), 905, 931, 978; Illinois House Journal. 1855. 19th G. A., 6; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1861 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1862), *377; Gravestone, Vermont Cemetery, Vermont, IL.