Orlen F. Thomas was born on April 25, 1882, a son of Andrew C. and Caroline (Reese) Thomas. Andrew C. Thomas was born on September 27, 1846 and died on July 4, 1900. He was the son of Hiram T. and Elizabeth Thomas. Hiram Thomas came to this county and entered land from the government. He walked from Hancock county to Indianapolis and entered his tract of land. The land was covered with timber and was not well drained. On this he built a log cabin and barn and cleared a part of it. Caroline Reese, the daughter of Elisha and Eliza Reese, was born on June 28, 1850, and came to Hancock county in 1860 when she was ten years old. She came with her grandmother, Rebecca Hibben, and lived for a while with an uncle, John Thompson, in Brandywine township. She was married to Andrew C. Thomas in 1873 and to this union were born three children: Clarence George and Orlen.
Andrew C. Thomas received his early education at the Thomas school house. He worked and made money enough to purchase a tract of land and he cleared most of this land and drained it and put it in a high state of cultivation. He built a house and barn and other buildings. At the time of his death he was one of the most successful farmers in this part of the county. He was a member of the Christian church and so was his wife. He was one of the best supporters of the church. He was a Democrat in politics.
Orlen F. Thomas was married on October 16, 1907, to Ethel Gertrude Boring, who was born in Shelby county on October 1, 1885, and who was the daughter of Franklin Pierce and Elizabeth Ann Noe Boring. He was born in Shelby county on September 12, 1852, and she was born in Rush county, July 22, 1854. He was a farmer and had a hundred and forty acres of land, well improved. On this he had a good barn and house. He had a well planted orchard. He died on July 30, 1914, at the age of sixty-one years. He was a Democrat in politics and both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He belonged to the Knights of Pythias and the Red Men's lodge. His active life was spent in Shelby county, but his last years he spent in Hancock county. His wife is still living. They were the parents of the following children: Vernie C.., Mrs. Alma E. Karr, Elmer, Leslie, Ethel G., who is the wife of the subject of this sketch, and Earl E.
Orlen F. Thomas received his early education in Brandywine township in the common schools. He lived with his father until his father's death and then afterward lived on the old homestead of sixty-three acres. He has improved the place and has built new buildings. He is a progressive farmer. He is the father of the following children: Frances Laverne, born on January 26, 1909, and Earl Cleo, who was born on May 21, 1913.
Orlen F. Thomas is a member of the Christian church and his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and Red Men's. lodge. He is a Democrat in politics and has always taken an active interest in the success of his party. At present, he is township trustee, having been elected at the last election. He is one of Hancock county's best citizens and a young man whose honesty and integrity is beyond question.
George B. Thomas, who is the eldest brother of the subject of this sketch, was born on May 31, 1879. He lives in Hazeldell, Illinois. He is a practicing physician. He received his early education in the common schools of Brandywine township and later went to the State Normal at Terre Haute and the University of Valparaiso, at Valparaiso. He taught school in Brandywine township and at New Palestine for a number of years and afterward spent two years in the government service, working among the Indians in Oklahoma and in North and South Dakota. He was general overseer of the different reservations of which he had charge. He was in this service two years and after his time was up he went to Bennett Medical College in Chicago for four years. After his graduation he received an internship at St. John's Hospital and after this he went to Illinois and has been engaged in the practice of his profession. He graduated from medical school in 1914 and located in Hazeldell in January, 1915. For a young man without friends he has built up a large practice. It is his intention to come to Indiana later and begin practice if he does not enter the Indian service.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 1125-1127.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI November 28, 2001.
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