Thursday, November 10, 2011


Nicholas and Susanna Anne Zirbes Thomas
(Source:  Photo courtesy of Edwin "Red" and Marcella Thomas Mueller)

The Nicholas Thomas Barn
The road in front of the barn is an unpaved Wood Road.  The view is looking toward the west.  The barn was built without a nail and when the decision was made to take the barn down, it was so structurally sound that the barn could not be demolished; it had to be burned.
The small addition to the left of the barn was a milk house that had a well in it that provided water in the barn for the cattle.  When the barn was taken down, lots were created for three homes.  The well inside the old milk house served all three homes when they were built.  Today, the well cap is inside the wishing well on the front front lawn and can be seem today.
(Source:  Original photo courtesy of the Robert Thomas Family.  Copyright 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)
Nicholas Thomas
Nicholas Thomas is a self-made man whose business record is most creditable, being characterized by marked devotion to duty, by indefatigable industry and unfaltering perseverance.  Whatever success he has achieved is attributable entirely to his own efforts.  He now lives on Section 1, Somers Township, where he has a well developed farm property from which he is deriving a substantial annual income.
He was born in Kenosha County, March 9, 1855, a son of Peter Thomas, who was one of the early settlers in Paris, Grant, Wisconsin.  At the usual age he entered the common schools and therein pursued his studies until he reached the age of fifteen years, after which he concentrated his efforts upon agricultural pursuits on his father’s old homestead until the death of the father.  He has since purchased two hundred and forty acres of land which is rich and productive and upon this farm, which is situated on Section 1, Somers, Township, he still makes his home.  His labors have wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place, for he has added many improvements and has brought his fields under a high state of cultivation.
In 1878 Mr. Thomas was united in marriage to Miss Susanna Anne Zirbes, who passed away August 17, 1900 in Somers, Wisconsin.  They became the parents of six children, as follows:  Frank, who wedded Miss Sadie Blondy, by whom he has three children; George, who married Magdalene (Lena) Feest and has four children: Joseph, who wedded Miss Bertha Schuster; Will, who married Theresa Weyers; Bert, who married Miss Gretchen Seftig and has one child; and Paul, at home.  There are also eleven grandchildren.  For his second wife Nicholas Thomas chose Bertha Blondy, who he wedded in 1902.  The family are communicants of St. George’s Catholic Church.
While in his political views Mr. Thomas is a Democrat, he does not hold strictly to party lines at local elections where no issue is involved.  He has filled the office of Town of Somers Supervisor and for eleven years was School Treasurer.  He neglects no duty of a public character and at the same time finds ample opportunity for his private business interests.  In addition to his agricultural pursuits he has for fifteen years been a Director of the Town Insurance Company.  He certainly deserves great credit for what he has accomplished.  When twenty-one years of age he was working for his mother at a salary of two hundred dollars per year.  Since then his steady progress has brought him to a position among the prosperous and representative agriculturists of Somers Township.
(Source:  City and County of Kenosha, Wisconsin, A Record of Settlement, Vol. II, pages 544-545, Frank H. Lyman, Chicago, The S.J. Clark Publishing Co, 1916)

Roy, Burt, Frank, Bob, and Saddie Thomas
(Source:  Photo courtesy of the Robert Thomas Family)

Copy of Original Land Cert #18534 where Nicholas Thomas purchased 120 acres from the U.S. Government on 4/24/1820
(Source:  U.S. Bueau of Land Management)
Click on document for larger view.

Copy of Original Land Cert #19048  where Nicholas Thomas purchased 40 acres from the U.S. Government on 4/24/1820
(Source: U.S. Bueau of Land Management)
Click on document for larger view.

Partial 1877 Somers Township map
See two of the Nicholas Thomas parcels.

Susan Thomas
"Susan Thomas, the beloved wife of Nicholas Thomas, died yesterday at her home in the Town of Somers, Kenosha County, of tuberculosis, aged 45 years.  Six sons and one daughter survive her, besides three brothers, Michael, William and Joseph Zirbes, and two daughters, Mrs. M. Wagner and Miss Lizzie Zirbes, all residents of Racine.  The funeral will be held from the St. Mary's Church, Racine, Monday morning at 10 o'clock."
(Source:  Racine Daily August 18, 1900)

In The News
"More than 100 friends and relatives gathered at the home of Mrs. George P. Thomas on the Wood Road, Sunday to meet two of her sons home on furlough.  They are Pfc. Joseph Thomas, hospitalized at the New Brooke hospital, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, and Pvt. Jerome Thomas, from Camp Hood, Texas.  Pvt. Jerome Thomas left Thursday night to report to Camp O' Dare, Oregon.
(Source:  Racine Journal Sept. 27, 1945)

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