Smith Slaughter Thomas (Page 1)

S. S. THOMAS {Smith Slaughter}

Was born in the state of Virginia, in the year 1833, and in 1845, he moved, with his parents, to Pike county, Missouri. At the age of eighteen he came to Pleasant Hill, Pike county, Illinois, where he taught school for several terms, and, in the fall of 1851, went back to Virginia. After remaining several months, he returned again to Missouri, locating in Louisville, where he remained a few months, clerking for Thomas Steer. In the fall of 1855 he returned to Pleasant Hill, Illinois, and in January, 1856, bought out E. C. Carroll & Co., who were in the mercantile business. One year after this the great financial crisis of 1857 came, which brought ruin and disaster to thousands; but he, with marked financial ability and skill, and the kind indulgence of friends, passed safely through, but not without heavy losses, yet he paid the last dollar of his indebtedness; and, with unimpaired credit, he re-established his business on the cash system. Money continued rather scarce throughout 1858 and 1859, during which time his business was rather light, with small profits. He attended a full course at James's Commercial College, in St. Louis in 1858. In 1860 and 1861 money became more plentiful, and business more profitable.

     Mr. Thomas passed the summer of 1862 in Minnesota, for the benefit of his health. He was at Gleacoe, near Fort Ridgley, at the time of the bloody massacre, August 29th, and run from seven o'clock in the evening until two o'clock the next morning, to save his life from the hands of the merciless savages. In October of the same year he returned to his business, but in 1864 his health again became poor, and he freighted with ox teams across the plains, to the distant mountains of Idaho. He left the banks of the Missouri on the 17th of May; and after many hardships, privations, and one detention on account of high water, and a very narrow escape from the Indians in South Pass, he reached his destination on the 1st day of September of the same year, and sold goods during the winter in Boise City. He also speculated in mining stocks, which proved to be very profitable. He left Boise City in April, 1865, and went to Red Warrior Gulch, near Rocky Bar, where he carried on placer mining during the mining season. During the same year he sold out and returned to the states. In the meantime his business had continued at home.

     In May, 1870, Mr. Thomas started on a trip through many of the eastern states, and returned home in July of the same year. In February, 1871, he took a southern trip, through Texas and many other states, and returned home on the 20th of April following. He is now engaged in building a fine, large store and warehouse, for the better accommodation of his general mercantile business. He is also extensively engaged in farming, raising stock, buying and shipping grain, &c.
     Mr. T. has never been married. For the last several years he has paid strict attention to his moral and religious duties.