Obit: Thomas, Thomas (1882 - 1941)
Contact:  Crystal Wendt
Email: crystal@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

Surnames: Thomas, Carter, Stewart, Millard, Rose, Anderson, Fradett, Mills, Braun, Trewartha

----Sources: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Thurs., 27 March 1941

Thomas, Thomas (5 Feb. 1882 - 24 March 1941)

Funeral arrangements for Thomas Thomas, 59, chairman of the Clark County board of supervisors, who died last Saturday were being delayed this week as police and friends in states from Michigan to Florida attempted to find his daughter to inform her of the death.

The daughter, Mrs. Wendell (Irene) Carter, and her husband are vacationing somewhere between Detroit and Tampa, Fla., and had not been located up to Tuesday night. Mrs. Carter was without knowledge of her fatherís illness, when she left Detroit March 17, and she was not expected home until April 1.

Although the date for the funeral remained unsettled, arrangements were being made by County Clerk Calvin Mills to conduct the rites in the Armory here. They will be morning services, following which the body will be taken to Berlin for services and burial.

36th County Chairman

County board members, over whom Mr. Thomas presided during the last year, county and Weston town officers and member of the Neillsville Lodge No. 198, I. O. O. F., of which he was a member, are expected to attend the services in a body.

Mr. Thomas was the first county board chairman to die in office. He was the 36th man to hold that position in the 85-year history of Clark County.

His death came unexpectedly between 5:15 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the local hospital, But a scant 15 minutes before he had talked with Mrs. Elizabeth Stewart, county nurse, and L. M. Millard, county school superintendent.

Throughout the day he had been jovial, and apparently was on the road to recovery from an illness which had confined him to the hospital for two weeks. He had expected to be removed to his Weston farm home Monday.

A conscientious, hard working county board chairman, Mr. Thomas had insisted on carrying out the manifold duties of his office during the winter, in spite of a continuous heavy cold, and an attack of influenza. During the fore part of the month he had accompanied other county officers to Viroqua to study the food stamp plan as it was making working there.

At that time he complained of a pain in his legs.

A few days later, on March 6, he drove to Madison with a group of county officers to attend the mid-winter legislative conference of county boards. Others in the party were: Mr. Mills; E. F. Braun of Longwood, vice chairman of the county board; James H. Fradette, county treasurer; and H. E. Trewartha, county welfare director.

Forced to Rest

About noon of that day the pain in his legs became so acute that he was forced to rest, and a physician was called. He returned to Neillsville two days later with Mr. Mills and Mr. Fradette, and entered the hospital immediately on order of his family physician.

At that time his condition, while serious because of a weak heart, was not considered critical. It was believed that rest would restore his health. He showed improvement while in the hospital, and as late as late Thursday he was examined by a specialist, who considered his improvement satisfactory.

But Mr. Thomas was the conscientious sort of man who worries. He was greatly disturbed because he was not able to attend the town of Weston caucus; and he worried about the town and county duties he was forced to neglect because of his illness.

Confers From Bed

He conferred with members of the county board and officials of the county and his township as much as he was allowed; and carried on as much of his work as possible from his hospital bed.

But that was Thomas Thomasí way. That was the way he went at farming when he settled on his 80-acre farm in the town of Weston nearly 27 years ago. He came to Clark County from Waushara County in June, 1914. He had been born in the town of Aurora, Waushara County, to Henry W. Thomas and Polly H. (Rose) Thomas on February 5, 1882, and after completing his formal education, he became a butter maker.

When he moved to Clark County Mr. Thomas continued an active interest in community affairs, and in 1920 he accepted the position of treasurer of the Mound School district. It was his first public office, and he held it until he was first elected chairman of the town of Weston, in 1933.

At that time he had suffered a heart attack, and was advised by his physician against running for the chairmanship. The following year he was defeated for reelection; but regained the town chairman in 1935, and held it from that time on.

During the years he served on the county board of supervisors Mr. Thomas was known as a conscientious, fair and earnest worker in the interests of his constituents and his county. These qualities were recognized in the spring of 1940, when he was elected chairman of the board to follow Elmer F. Anderson of York, who had held the position for six years.

 

 


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