John K. Thomas, a prosperous vineyardist and well known citizen of Sacramento county, residing near Florin, where of his forty-acre estate thirty acres are devoted to the growing of choice grapes, is now well on toward the threscore and ten mark of life and in a varied career passed in different localities has made for himself a substantial place in life.

He was born in Wales October 28, 1838, a son of William and Mary (Williams) Thomas, worthy Welsh people. Reared and educated in his native land, at an early age he learned the mason's trade and followed it for a livelihood until he came to America. He crossed the Atlantic to seek a home in the new world in 1869, and after residing for varying lengths of time in Clarke county, Missouri, in Keokuk, Iowa, and Niles and Youngstown, Ohio, he came to California in 1877. Located for a number of years near Florin in Sacramento county, afterwards for several years in Santa Clara county, in 1893 he made permanent location in Sacramento county on the place where he still lives. Starting out in life with no advantages of capital or of special training, therefore relying on his own industry and enterprise for everything he desired to attain, he has achieved a very satisfactory degree of success and enjoys the esteem of all his fellow citizens.

In 1867, before leaving Wales, he was married to Miss Kittie Evans, who was also a native of that country. Six children were born of that union, all but one of whom are living, namely: Mary A., wife of Jmes Stewart of Amador county; Peter A., who died in 1903 leaving two children, Erma and Rodney, who live their their widowed mother near Florin; John E., in Sacramento county; Benjamin, in Sacramento county; William, who is a well known professional baseball player, at this writing being connected with the Tacoma Baseball Club; and Elizabeth, wife of Frederick Kennedy, of Sacramento county. The mother of these childrend died in October, 1901. Mr. Thomas married for his present wife, April 27, 1903, Mrs. Mary Van Norman, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, a daughter of Christian and Rosina (Fesgher) Folkomer, her parents natives of the same country and both now deceased. Mrs. Thomas came to Sacramento county in 1873, and has resided there continously since. Politically Mr. Thomas is a Republican, and his fraternal connections are with Elk Grove Lodge, I. O. O. F., at Elk Grove.

Source: History of the New California - Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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