Monday, May 14, 2012

“Grand Arrival” – new items at the B. C. Thomas & Co. Store in West Plains, Missouri, June 23rd, 1876

My 2nd great-grandmother, Dora KING, was the daughter of Tabitha HOUSE and Robert KING. Robert KING supposedly died in 1876 in either Oregon or Howell County, Missouri. While I was looking through Southern Missouri newspapers in 1876 for a death notice of Robert KING, I came across an advertisement for the B. C. THOMAS & Co “Grand Arrival” of new stock and goods (click on image to make larger):

Grand ArrivalOf new goods at B. C. THOMAS & Co’s.
Our new stock carefully selected with
reference to the needs of this community,
is now arriving. Our Prints, Domestics
and Ladies’ Dress Goods will be found
especially fine. Call and see us and see
how cheap we sell goods.
                                                B. C. THOMAS & Co.

I learned a few months ago that I have quite a long line of THOMAS’ in my family. Tabitha HOUSE, my 3rd great-grandmother, was the daughter of Hollingsworth HOUSE and his first wife, Millie THOMAS. Millie THOMAS was the daughter of William THOMAS and Nancy HUDDLESTON. If you are from Southern Missouri, then you are sure to know the HUDDLESTON family! However, Oregon County, Missouri, where the THOMAS, HUDDLESTON, and HOUSE families are from, was said to have been founded by a THOMAS family. I am unsure if my William THOMAS was related to John and Matilda THOMAS who is said to have founded Oregon County, Missouri. If so, they were probably brothers. Learning more information about my THOMAS family is definitely on my to-do list.

Most of my THOMAS and HOUSE family stayed in Oregon County, but some crossed back and forth between Oregon and Howell Counties. Unfortunately I do not have a list of Millie THOMAS’ brothers and sisters, so I do not know for sure if this B. C. THOMAS was related to my THOMAS family or not. I did a little research on him and found the following on

His name was Blackman Coleman THOMAS, born about 1817 in Tennessee. According to the 1880 Howell County, Missouri census report, he was married to Hannah, he was a stock dealer and both his parents were from Virginia. This actually matches up very well for him to be my Millie THOMAS’ brother. Millie was born in 1818. Her father, Ephraim THOMAS, was born in Franklin County, Virginia. He moved to Smith County, Tennessee about 1815 and stayed with his wife’s TEAL family for a bit before removing to Missouri.

Unfortunately, most online family trees have Blackman as the son of William THOMAS and Harriett KEYS from Tennessee. And of course, I couldn’t find any trees (or census reports) pointing to a single source of evidence supporting this theory.

Either way, I just wanted to share this item from the newspaper that my ancestors would have been reading at the time they lived in West Plains or possibly even while living in Thomasville or Alton in neighboring Oregon County, Missouri. Did they visit the B. C. Thomas Store? Did they buy stock from him? I highly doubt the missus purchased dresses from his store as they were probably too poor for that. But they might have purchased fabric to make their children’s clothing out of.

Oh and still no mention of Robert KING’s death in 1876…so I will keep looking. I wonder what other interesting stories I will find in this paper? Oh and I wonder how long it will take for those 33 online family tree owners to find this post and copy this newspaper article to their online family tree and NOT attribute it. Anyone want to place any bets? And how many do you think will even take the time to write a source citation giving the date and name of the newspaper. Ah hem, even though I have included a citation at the bottom of this post (and note, I did not include a mention of my blog as the secondary source from which the next person to copy this article from also should use.) Hey, it's a start, right? 

Source: West Plains Journal, (West Plains, Howell County, Missouri, USA), 23 June 1876, Page 2, newspaper clipping; The American Antiquarian Society, Massachusetts, USA. Column 1, "Grand Arrival".

1 comment:

  1. tantalizing clue, eh? Maybe you'll be the first to find an obscure little item buried in another story about your Robert King's death... you never know! Laughed out loud about your citation bet!