Edwin Thomas

By Curtis Dewees

In my research on the founding of Leitchfield for my book about David Leitch, I located a notebook of some 54 pages written by Edwin Thomas (Dec. 6, 1824-April 1, 1912). He was a son of Jack Thomas, first clerk of Grayson County. I found it at the library of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. The Grayson County Historical Society did not have a copy of this, so I donated a copy to their library.

He gave it the title, History of Jack Thomas, and Jane C. Thomas His Wife, and Their Children. It is written in a perfectly clear script, on lined paper, without any words crossed out. This means that he was a very diligent and careful writer. It has cardboard covers, with a hole punched through all of the pages, and secured by a ribbon. He does not provide the date it was written, but the latest date that appears in the notebook is 1903. Since this was nine years before his death, it is not known why he stopped at that point. He obviously meant to continue his writing, since there are four blank, but numbered pages, at the end of the notebook.

It contains a goldmine of genealogical information about the Thomas family, including full details about his mother and father, his two sisters and three brothers, as well as his aunts and uncles on both sides of his family.

In May of 1851, Edwin was elected as both clerk of the Grayson County Court, and as clerk of the Circuit Court. He was re-elected every four and six years (the courts’ different terms of office) until 1874 for the position of county clerk, and until 1880 for the Circuit Court.

He states that in the winter of 1865, he was elected as clerk to the Kentucky House of Representatives. He does not state how long he occupied that position. Nor does he explain whether he appointed another person pro tem, to serve in his stead in Grayson County.

Interestingly he states that, “Jack Thomas was not a member of any church, but his house was always a home for preachers of all denominations. He was charitable to the poor and lived and died a sober Moral Man.”

Edwin was a lifelong bachelor. According to U.S. census information, he lived in his parents’ house until his mother Jane passed away in 1872. He then moved into the household of Archibald C. McBeath, as a boarder. By 1900, he was living with his niece, Martha Jane (Thomas) Cubbage, and her husband, George A. Cubbage. He was still there as of the 1910 census. Also in the household was Allen P. Cubbage (1893-1966), Edwin’s great-nephew, who obviously held his great-uncle in high esteem. Undoubtedly, Edwin had an influence on Allen’s life, as Allen was later county attorney for Grayson County, and also took an interest in Grayson County history.

By Curtis Dewees

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