Bio-Pen Pictures

Ephraim M. Thomas is the owner of a fine property on Hicks Avenue, at Willows.  He bought his estate, of 11 65/100 acres, in June, 1878, it then being a portion of a grain-field.  He erected his fine residence in 1884, and during the following winter planted his orchard, consisting principally of prune and apricot trees, with a general variety for domestic use.

Mr. Thomas is a native of Lincolnville, Waldo County, Maine, where he was born May 3, 1832.  He was reared to a farm life in that State but left home at the age of eighteen to learn the carpenter’s trade.  In 1856 he followed the hosts of men who came to California in search of wealth.  He engaged in mining in Placer County and lived in that county at Dutch Flat for twenty-one years.

While on a visit to his parents, in 1865, he was married, September 30, to Miss Adelia K. Heal, a native of Hope, Knox County, Maine.  Capt. James Thomas, his father, was in the service during the war of 1812, and was a pensioner at the time of his death, which occurred in 1884, at the age of eighty-seven years and six months.  A peculiar circumstance of his life was the fact that he died on the farm where he was born.  Mrs. Thomas, the mother of the subject of the sketch, died in 1875, at the age of seventy-two years and four months.  Mr. Ephraim Thomas the ninth in a family of fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters.  They are widely separated, he having but two brothers in this state:  John Y., a resident of Placer County, and Job I., of Nevada County.

Mr. Thomas pays taxes on quite a large amount of property, as, besides his Willows estate, he is the owner of two houses and lots in San Jose, and a house and lot in Dutch Flat.  His residence at the Willows is a very fine one, worthy of special notice, while the grounds and all other surroundings are correspondingly elegant.  Mr. Thomas was not a rich man when he came to California.  He is the architect of his own fortune, and certainly deserves the prosperity which he enjoys, for he has secured it by energy and good management.

Politically, he is identified with the Republican party.  He is prominent in Masonic circles.  While a resident of Dutch Flat, he became a member of Clay Lodge, No. 101, F. & A.M., and he has acted as  Master of the Lodge for three years, and held elective offices for eleven years.  He is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Garden City Lodge, No. 142, San Jose.  He has passed all its chairs, serving nineteen years as an officer.

 Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H.S. Foote. - Chicago:
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
p. 458, 459
Transcribed by Debbie Combs


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight