Pueblo County, Colorado
John Jay Thomas
Contributed by Karen Mitchell and Jean Griesan. Photo by Floyd Kelling.
John Jay Thomas 1837 - 1911
John Jay Thomas was a native of Ohio who lived in Illinois and Missouri before coming to the west in 1857. During his lifetime, Thomas was a Pony Express rider, drove a team of mules while serving in the U. S. Army, and served in the First Colorado Volunteers during the Civil War. He came to Pueblo in 1865. Thomas engaged in numerous business ventures, served as postmaster, city councilman and county treasurer. He also owned considerable real estate in Pueblo. Thomas was a charter member of Pueblo Masonic Lodge No. 17. He was a rancher on the Greenhorn south of Pueblo during the 1870s, and served in the Second Colorado General Assembly in 1879. Thomas then took up mining in the White Pine vicinity in Gunnison County. This apparently wasn't a successful venture and he was appointed register at the U. S. land office in Gunnison. The Thomases returned to Pueblo in 1887. He served a term as county commissioner, was director of a bank, and opened an artificial ice manufacturing business. Like many others, Thomas suffered great financial loss in the Panic of 1893. He engaged in commercial vegetable farming on West Fourth Street in Pueblo until his death. Thomas married Amelia Edwards in 1871. They were parents of five children, two of whom died in infancy.
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