Margaret Sophie Thomas (Evans) (1819 - 1904)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Wales, UK
Death: Died in Anaconda, Mt, USA
Managed by: Janice Straight-Evans
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About Margaret Sophie Thomas (Evans)

The Anaconda Standard -- January 18, 1904 DEATH OF MRS. MARGARET S. THOMAS --

One of the First White Women to Arrive in Montana and One of the First Settlers in the Deer Lodge Valley Succumbs to Disease and Age, Leaves a Large Family.

--- Montana pioneers will regret to learn of the death of Mrs. Margaret Sophie Thomas, who was a member of the Montana Pioneer society and one of the first white women to come to Montana. Mrs. Thomas died at her home in the Deer Lodge valley, about four miles below the city of Anaconda, last evening at 5:30 o'clock. she was 84 years and 7 months of age, and had lived on the farm where her death occured since April 1865. She was one of the first white women to settle in the valley of Deer Lodge, and one of the first to arrive in the territory which has since become known as Montana.

Many of the old pioneers will remember the arrival at Bannock in May 1863, of William Price Thomas, accompanied his wife and family. Mr. Thomas and his estimable wife were not gold seekers, but they were hunting for a new country where they could raise their family in peace and contentment. Both had beem inured to almost untold hardships in crossing the great plains to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1851, and they were not unprepared for anything that might transpire in their new home. The family followed the rush to Virginia City in 1863 and was there during the days of the rise and eclipse by death of the road agents. The family was always well-to-do, but it was not the purpose of either Mr. Thomas or his wife to follow the life of the gold seeker and make frantic rushes from gulch to gulch in search of sudden wealth. Accordingly they removed from Virginia City to the Deer Lodge valley in the spring of 1865 and located some valuable land, which is now owned by their children. Here the husband died about 10 years ago, and was buried in the Hill cemetery, Anaconda. Since the death of her husband Mrs. Thomas has made her home with her son Daniel, on the old homestead.

Margaret Sophie Thomas was born in Wales in June, 1819, and was married to her life partner before emigrating to this country. She removed to the United States, landing at New Orleans in 1849, and came on to St. Louis, Mo., in the same year. The family removed to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1851. She was the mother of 11 children, 4 of whom - John P. Thomas, Daniel Thomas, Mrs. H. S. Showers and Mrs. S. Woodward, all residents of this county survive her. She is also survived by 21 grandchildren and one great-grandhcild.

Until about two months ago Mrs. Thomas had been hale and hearty. About that time she was afflicated with rheumatism and dropsy, and the later disease caused her death.

The funeral will take place from the family residence Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock and there will be services at the Baptist church. the interment will take place in Hill cemetery.

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The Anaconda Standard -- January 19, 1904 --

FUNERAL OF MRS. MARGARET S. THOMAS --

-- Many of the old pioneers of the state have sent condolences to the family of Mrs. Margaret Sophie Thomas upon the death of the aged pioneer. Quite a number of the old-timers will be present at the funeral, which will take place from the family residence, about four miles from the city of Anaconda. The funeral cortege will stop at the Baptist church, where services will be conducted by the pastor of that church. The body will then be removed to Hill cemetery and laid at rest beside that of her husband and life partner, who died about 10 years ago. Mrs. Thomas was a member of the Montana Pioneer society and all members who can possibly do so will be in attendance at her funeral.

Although Mrs. Thomas was sick for about two months prior to her demise, she suffered very little pain and her death was as peaceful and painless as the slumber of a child in its mother's arms. Nearly all of her children and many of her granchildren were present at the last moment.

Perhaps no woman pioneer of Montana experienced such trials and vicissitudes incident to life in the far West as did Mrs. Thomas. Accompanied by her husband, she was one of the first to cross the plains to Salt Lake. Her life and that of her children was continuously in deadly peril. An Indian attack was a common occurrence and there was no less danger from the murderous road agents.

Mrs. Thomas was of a kindly disposition and those who knew her best loved her most. She was brave in life and had no fear of death. It is expected that the funeral will be a large one.

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The Anaconda Standard -- January 20, 1904

A PIONEER IS AT REST -- Remains of Mrs. Thomas Consigned to the Earth.

FUNERAL LARGELY ATTENDED -- Leading Citizens Act as Palbearers and Prominet Old-Timers Turn Out to Pay Their Last Respects at the Funeral of the Departed.

---Two generations were well represented yesterday at the funeral of Mrs. Margaret Thomas, who died a few days ago at her son's ranch, a few miles from Anaconda. The history of Mrs. Thomas, who was one of the first white women to enter this section, is too well known to be more than casually referred to. Her numerous children and granchildren, numbering some of the leading residents of the county and city, followed the cortege to the grave. The funeral procession, which formed at the Thomas home, was composed of the carriages of the neighbors and friends from far and near and many Anaconda people. There were also quite a few from Deer Lodge and Butte.

After impressive ceremonies at the home the cortege proceeded to the Baptist church, where services were held by the pastor. There were also services at the grave. Floral offerings elaborate and beautiful attested the high regard in which Mrs. Thomas was held and the large attendance as well gave evidence of the numberless friends she had acquired during her long and useful life.

The pallbearers were Jesse Miller, T. C. Davidson, William James, Morgan Evans, James Jensen and S. E. Larabie of Deer Lodge.

Among the mourners were her four survivng children, John P. Thomas, Dan Thomas, Mrs. H. S. Showers and Mrs. S. Woodward, and many grandchildren. Mrs. Thomas had been hale and hearty up to a short time before her death.

<http://files.usgwarchives.net/mt/deerlodge/obits/t/thomas121gob.txt>

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Margaret Thomas's Timeline

1819
1819
UK
1843
1843
Age 24
1845
1845
Age 26
1849
February 22, 1849
Age 30
1850
1850
Age 31
1852
May 23, 1852
Age 33
Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah
1852
Age 33
1853
June 7, 1853
Age 34
Brigham City, UT, USA
1858
1858
Age 39
1861
1861
Age 42