Museum the New Llano Colony



Blair Thomas

Birth: He was born around 1898 in Pennsylvania.  

Description: In 1918 he was described as medium height, slender build, with blue eyes and light hair.  

Pre-Colony History: In September of 1918 he was still living in Pennsylvania where he worked as a molder for the Canton Steel Co. On his draft registration he listed as his next of kin, Anna Thomas.  

Family Information: Brother of Guy Thomas.

Married Eleanor "Gladys" Kimball while living in the colony.

In January 1933 the couple welcomed a little girl weighing seven and one-half pounds. On April 14th the infant died and was buried in the Newllano cemetery the following day. Comrade Moore officiated at services conducted at the Thomas residence.  

Job in Colony: While living at the rice ranch, he worked as a mechanic, but also frequently was reported to be helping with other things like irrigation, repairs to furniture, wagons and more; even once set up a "barber shop" under the live oak. In 1931 the Rice Ranch mechanics included Blair Thomas, Royall Thompson, Adrian Risley, Sam Klette, John Rix, and John Swagger.

Starting in November 1931 he was almost exclusively reported to be working in the garage at the main colony, though occasionally he helped out in the machine shop. In 1932 Clyde Mitchell was the foreman of the garage and they were swamped with not only colony work, but also "slathers" of outside jobs to attend to. His helpers were Blair, Harold Kemp and Royall Thompson.

In January 1933 he, Warren Fread, Gordon Pickett and George Campbell were "wrecking some of the old wrecks that have been wrecking the looks of the place for so long." They were putting up bins in the old shed back of the machine shop to hold the parts that could be saved from the wrecked cars.  

Home in Colony: In July and August 1931 was living at the Rice Ranch. In July, however, Septer Baldwin arrived from the main colony bringing Beatrice Jensen and Blair's future wife, Gladys Kimball, with him -- often young ladies would stay for a while at the location to help out with the work, then new ones would be sent to take their turn. Possibly their attraction began at that time, because by November 1931 he was always reported as living and working at the main colony, to which she, presumably had returned.

In July 1932 it was reported that he had been unable to resist the "old colony call" and he had returned to live the life they understood inside the colony, so apparently he had been gone for a time and for unknown reasons.  

Other Info:  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he was living with his wife, Gladys and their two children in Orange, Texas where he was working as a laborer on a WPA project.  

Death: Died in 1960 at Orange, Texas, where he'd been working as a painter, from carcinoma of the lung.  

Sources: Family Member: Sharon Marsh Thomas; US Census: 1910, 1940; US Draft Registration: WWI; "Llano Colonist": July 11, 1931, July 18, 1931, August 22, 1931, November 21, 1931, January 2, 1932, January 9, 1932, January 16, 1932, February 20, 1932, March 26, 1932, April 9, 1932, April 16, 1932, July 2, 1932, October 8, 1932, January 14, 1933, January 28, 1933, April 22, 1933; Texas Death Certificate