History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index


DR. JOSEPH THOMAS, of Quakertown, Bucks county, one of the best known public men of Upper Buck, was born in New Britain township, June 15 1829, and is of Welsh, English and Ger­man descent His paternal ancestor, Alban THOMAS, a native of Wales, lo­cated in Plumstead township about 1720, purchasing of Richard Hill 125 acres of land west of Danboro, and in 1749, adding fifty acres more, most of which remained in the family for four generations, Danboro itself being named for his son Daniel. Alban Thomas died June, 1776, his wife Jane surviving him a few years. Their children were Joseph, Daniel, and Isaac. Isaac, the third son, inherited the homestead, purchased other land adjoining, and lived there all his life, dying in 1825. He left several children, among them a son Alban, who was the grandfather of Dr. Thomas. Elias THOMAS, son of Alban and grand­son of Isaac, was born at Danboro, Plumstead township, and on attaining manhood married Sarah SNYDER, daughter of Frederick SNYDER, of German ancestry, and settled on a farm in New Britain township, near the present village of Levin where his son, Dr. Joseph THOMAS was born.

Dr. Joseph THOMAS received a good English education, and at the age of seventeen began teaching school, which vocation he followed for eight years. In 1854 be began the study of medicine, and, entering the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, graduated in 1856. He located at Applebachs­ville, where he practiced his profession until the breaking out of the war in 1861 when he organized a company of which he was commissioned captain, and it was assigned to the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. in the autumn of 1862 he was appointed surgeon of the 118th Corn Exchange Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and subsequently became surgeon-in-chief of the field hospital and filled that position to the close of the war.

At the return of peace he again lo­cated at Applebachaville and resumed his professional work. In 1866 he was appointed assistant assessor of internal revenue and removed to Quakertown Bucks county, where be has since re­sided. In 1870 he organized the Quak­ertown Savings Bank, was made its cashier, and filled that position until the bank closed out its successful career in 1877, by paying out to its stockhold­ers four dollars for every one dollar in­vested. The Quakertown National Bank was then organized, and Dr. Thomas became its president, and has filled that position ever since. Like its predeces­sor the Quakertown National Bank, with Dr. Thomas at its bead, has been one of the most successful banks in Bucks county, and has always stood in the first rank of financial institutions. In 1904 the Quakertown Trust Company was organized, and the veteran finan­cier Dr. Thomas was one of its prom­inent promoters and sponsers, and is still intimately identified with the conduct and management of this institution. Jonas S. Harley is its president.

Though be has not been in active practice of his profesion for many years, he is still considered one of the able physicians of Upper Bucks, and is fre­quently called in as a consulting physi­cian. Politically Dr. Thomas is an ar­dent Republican, and has always taken an active interest in the success of the party in whose principles he believes. In 1878 he was elected to the state sen­ate by a handsome majority, though at that time the county was strongly Dem­ocratic. He has served as delegate to state and national conventions, and has filled a number of local positions. In the midst of an extraordinary busy life Dr. Thomas has found time to devote to science and literature, and is one of the best versed men in the county on orni­thology and, natural history. In con­nection with his former colleague, Dr. I. S. Moyer, of Quakertown, he prepared the catalogue of the flora, birds and mammals of Bucks county for General W. W. H. Davis’s first edition of the History of Bucks County. He is past master of Quakertown Lodge, No. 512, F. and A.M., and is also a member of the chapter, commandery and other high branches of the Masonic fraternity, as well as a member of Quakertown Lodge, No. 712, I.O.O.F. He belongs to Peter Lyle Post, G.A.R., No. 145, and to the Loyal Legion of the Unites States. Dr. Thomas married, April 3, 1860, Sarah OTT, daughter of Samuel and Eliza (FLUCK) OTT, and they are the parents of one son, Byron, who has been for many years teller of Quakertown National Bank. Dr.. Thomas is one of the best known and most highly respected men in Bucks county.

Text taken from page 223-224 of:

Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of BucksCounty, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: the Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] volume III

Transcribed April 2001 by Judy Jackson of MO as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project,

Published April 2001 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb

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