HON. JOHN B. THOMAS, judge of the county court of Jones county, is a native of Trigg county, Kentucky, born August 26, 1865. His father, Thomas E. Thomas, was born in Virginia in August, 1817, and lived in Tennessee near Clarksville until after his marriage, when he removed from that state to Kentucky. He had wedded Miss Fannie E. Shaw, a native of Stewart county, Tennessee, and they made their home in Trigg county, Kentucky, from the time they took up their abode there, where the father died and the mother still lives. The father was a farmer by occupation and followed that pursuit during the greater part of his life. He died in 1894 at the age of seventy-eight years but is still survived by his widow, who yet resides upon the old homestead in the Blue Grass state. In their family were several children who died in infancy, while two other sons and two daughters are yet living.
Judge Thomas was reared to farm life, working upon the old homestead as soon as old enough to manage the plow. He became familiar with agricultural pursuits in every department and continued under the parental roof until nineteen years of age, when he went to Cadiz, the county seat of Trigg county, and was there employed in the office of his uncle, John D. Shaw, who was the circuit clerk of the county. He thus served for two years and at intervals during that period he attended the public schools. Judge Thomas arrived in Texas in May, 1889, and entered the law office of B. Frank Buie, who was then a practitioner at the bar of Anson. In February, 1890, he obtained a license to practice law and entered into partnership with his former preceptor under the firm style of Buie & Thomas, continuing as such until he was elected county attorney of Jones county for a term of two years. He then severed his partnership with Mr. Buie and entered upon the discharge of his official duties. Following his retirement from office he resumed the practice of law alone and was accorded a liberal clientage that connected him with much of the important litigation tried in the courts of his district. He was elected county judge of Jones county in November, 1900, and has held the office to the present time in the fall of 1905. He is likewise ex-officio county superintendent of public instruction. On the bench he makes a dignified presiding officer, fully sustaining the majesty of the law, while his decisions are marked by strict impartiality and are characterized by a thorough understanding of legal principles and by due regard to the equity of the case.
In November, 1894, Judge Thomas was married to Miss Josie Treadwell, a native of Louisiana but at that time a resident of Anson. They have a family of four children: Owen, Fannie, John and Edwin. The judge has been a member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity for two years and he likewise belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian church. He is an earnest and discriminating student of everything pertaining to legal matters and during his service on the bench he has decided many important cases, his decisions being generally regarded as just and showing great care and investigation from every point of view.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 529-530.