About Robert T. Thomas
"...Thomas, Robert T. – (8th Ten) Born Jan. 8, 1820, in Richmond Co., N.C., to Henry and Esther Covington Thomas. The family joined the Church in 1843 after listening to the preaching of Elder Benjamin L. Clapp. The family moved to Nauvoo, where Robert was ordained to the office of seventy and sent on a mission. He preached in the Southern States for a year, then returned. He was a wagon maker in the first pioneer company. He was in the advance party that arrived in Salt Lake Valley July 22, 1847. After arriving in Salt Lake Valley, he worked for others, including William Stuart and Perrigrine Sessions. In 1848, he was given 60 pounds of shelled corn for his wages by Stuart and he planted in Bountiful, only to have the crickets destroy his crop. He moved back to Salt Lake City and attended school, then joined a group that went south and settled Provo, Utah Co. Just as their crops were growing a severe frost ruined most of them. His wife, Mary Ann Turner Thomas, was the first school teacher in Utah County. When Johnston's army advanced in 1857-58, he was in charge of a company called "Lost Camp" in Echo Canyon. He was also set apart as senior president of the 45th Quorum of the Seventy, a lifetime calling for him. He was elected justice of the peace in 1861, which office he held for 11 years, and was alderman of Provo from 1861-64. He served a mission to Nebraska and Iowa in 1870. Upon his return, he surveyed for a canal at the mouth of Spanish Fork to Springville, and from Provo River to Spring Creek. He organized the Upper East Union Irrigation Company. He was general watermaster of Provo from 1872-82. He died Feb. 28, 1892, at Provo at age 72..."