History of  Gallatin County, Part 28


Frequently, the most useful and the most elevated characters in the medical profession are found in men whose lives have been passed in comparatively remote sections, outside the great centers of population, wealth, and industry.  A notable case in point is Dr. Robert Pierce Thomas, a native son born of Gallatin County. He has the honor of long service as a physician and surgeon in both Gallatin, Grant, and Owen Counties.  Dr. Thomas was born February 7, 1852 on a farm three-quarters of a mile west of Glencoe.  His parents were John C. and Frances Ann Lewis Thomas, and his paternal grandfather was Capt. John Thomas, a descendent of an English Thomas who settled in Maryland in colonial times.  Capt. Thomas was born in Maryland in 1801 and accompanied his parents to Boone County, Kentucky at an early date.

In 1830 he removed to Owen County, and prior to his death, in 1867, to Shelby County.  In Boone County, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Castleman, a daughter of an early pioneer John Castleman, who was a tanner and farmer of Boone County.  J. C. Thomas, father of Dr. Thomas, was born August 17, 1827 in Boone County, and died October 1906 in Gallatin County, where he had lived since 1849, situated three-quarters of a mile west of Glencoe in Gallatin County where he had a large family of eleven children of whom Robert Pierce is the second son.

Dr. Thomas attended the schools of Gallatin County and was graduated from Glencoe High School in 1873.  He then entered the medical department of the University of Louisville, and was graduated in the class of 1875 in the same year taking his addendum degree in the medical department of Transylvania University of Lexington, Kentucky.  Immediately afterwards he entered into medical practice in Owen County, two years later removing to Grant County, where he remained for twenty-two years and then settled in Glencoe where he is the dean of his profession.  He is a member of the Gallatin County and the Kentucky State Medical Societies and of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Thomas was married April 11, 1878 in Grant County, to Miss Aggie Collins, who died in 1897.  Dr. Thomas was again married October 12, 1898, to Miss Marguerite Maude Pirce [sic] of Covington, a daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth Jones Price, natives of Wales.  Dr. and Mrs. Thomas have one son, Robert T., who was born August 12, 1900, who is now a resident of Covington and who married Miss Katherine Wilson, of Glencoe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Wilson, one of Glencoe's leading citizens.

In politics, Dr. Thomas has been a lifelong Democrat.  During the world war he gave liberally of his time and resources to speed the cause, setting an example of loyal citizenship that was most commendable.  He is a 32nd degree Mason, and a member of the Glencoe Lodge No. 498, F. and A. M., and of the Chapter, Commandery of Consistory, at Covington.  He belongs also to the El Hasa Temple, Mystic Shrine, at Ashland, Kentucky.  Additionally, he belongs to Glencoe Chapter, O.E.S.; to Williamstown Lodge No. 74 Knights of Pythias, of which he is a past chancellor commander; and to Glencoe Council J.O.U.A.M.  He is a member of the Glencoe Christian Church in which he served as an elder for a number of years.

Dr. Thomas is also an up-to-date farmer.  He operates a farm just south of the corporation limits of Glencoe in which he takes great pride.  He is a lover of fine horses and excellent rider and may be seen most anytime mounted upon a spirited Kentucky saddler dashing across the county on his way to visit a patient wherever the automobile is unable to travel.  During his long and beneficial professional life, Dr. Thomas has had occasion to rejoice over marvelous advances made in his beloved science., and has guardly [sic] kept abreast with new methods and modern theories, thus gaining substantial results.

These long years of practice in his native state and county combined with efforts and gratifying to one who has spent his life carrying out the highest ideals of his calling.  No man can be greater than his appreciation of the debt he owes the world, and the professional men who rise highest are those who endeavor to aid humanity and assist their associates, such has been the career of Dr. Thomas.  Gallatin County is justly proud of him (our native son) upon whose soil he first saw the light of day.


September 21, 1929, from the Gallatin County News