THOMAS, James W.

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James W. Thomas was born at Jonesborough, Tennessee, December 4, 1872, and departed this life December 10, 1952 at the age of 80 years. On September 20, 1905 he was united in marriage to Fannie Mae Dunn at Grand, Day County, Oklahoma Territory. To this union seven children were born, one of whom, J.W., died in infancy. The others are Irene, (Mrs. Loyd Taylor)of Durham, Pauline, (Mrs. Fred Cordell) of Cheyenne, Katura, (Mrs. Raymond Powers) of Midwest City and three sons, Buford, Vince and Bruce, all of Durham. He leaves four sisters, Mrs. Bertie Tomlinson of Elk City, Edna Watson of Perryton, Texas, Latishie Hassell and Miss Josie Thomas of Pampa, Texas; two brothers, Dr. Elbert Thomas of Wichita Falls, Texas and Haynes Thomas of Hereford, Texas. He is also survived by thirteen grandchildren. Mr.Thomas received his education in the schools of Tennessee and at Milligan College. At an early age he became a member of the First Christian Church to which faith he remained true. He was a member of the Masonic, Odd Fellows and Woodman of America Lodges.
J.W. Thomas came to the Durham community in 1899 and homesteaded on the farm where he had resided continuously since; a period of more than fifty years. During this half of a century he contributed much toward the betterment of the community. A believer in providing better educational opportunities, he was active in the organization of one of the first schools of the community, the old Fairview District, where he served as a member of the school board for a number of years. He was aggressive in the campaign for consolidation of school districts and helped to form the first consolidated school in Roger Mills County, Durham No. 1, where he served as a member of the school board for a number of years.
James W. Thomas was civic minded and always ready to serve his fellowman. When his political party sought him to serve as a county officer he served two terms as County Commissioner. As commissioner he was one of the first active promoters of better roads and succeeded in bringing about the formation of the first highway in Roger Mills County. As County Commissioner he was a champion of improved methods of farming and was among the earliest advocates of a County Agent for this county.
Among other advancement in Roger Mills County in which Mr. Thomas pioneered, was the organization of the Roger Mills County Branch of the Federal Land Bank of which he served as a director for a number of years.
James W. Thomas always stood for what he thought was right and in his firm stand for the right he won the respect of members of his family and his friends. All of his accomplishments were achieved in a quiet, humble manner, he never seeking anything for himself, but rather to serve others. An honored citizen has passed from among us.
Interment in the Fairview Cemetery, Durham, Roger Mills County, Oklahoma in which he had donated land for the cemetery.
Cheyenne Star, December 1952