Saturday, July 09, 2005

A Little Family History

I put a picture of the original Samuel Alexander Thomas on the dresser in my entrance today. The dresser belonged to him and was the only furniture saved when his house burned down in 1944. The dresser was saved because it was in his bedroom at his son's house where he and his wife were staying because of illness. I think that might indicate that the couple loved the dresser and wanted it with them wherever they were. I am so pleased to have it now.

Samuel Alexander Thomas (after whom my husband was named) came from a long line of preachers, politicians, doctors, drunks and scalawags. His grandfather, Garland, fought in the Civil War and was captured at Shiloh. "Gar" also fought the Indians with Davy Crockett (as the family story goes). "Uncle Sam" (so called by most of the people in the small town north of Waco where he lived) was a farmer, singer, orator, and politician. He was the County Clerk of Limestone County and served in the Texas Legislature as a Representative in the 1921 session. Sam's brother Ralph served as County Commissioner of Limestone County for several terms and enjoyed writing letters to the newspaper when he left office telling the local government how things should be run.

My husband Sam worshipped his grandfather Sam A. whom he called "Back". The grandparents took Sam and his siblings in when family life got rough. Back advised Sam as he grew up and enjoyed tormenting him with tricks and surprises. I am sorry I never got to meet the old man, but I believe my Sam was very much like him. "Uncle Sam" was highly esteemed in Groesbeck, and he loved going to town every morning to brag about his prize chickens who by reputation "out laid" all other chickens in town. Samuel Alexander Thomas was also a master storyteller and embellisher.

As I look at his picture (a publicity picture for his re-election as County Clerk), I can see him standing before the dresser brushing his thick, auburn curly hair, putting in his collar pins and cuff links, getting ready to go out and campaign. A natty dresser, he was probably checking with Ollie, his wife, to make sure she had pressed his suit and shined his shoes.

And now we have another Sam in our family--will he be a doctor, politician or a scalawag? I pray he will be a man of God and will honor His name as his grandfather Sam and his father Brandon have done.

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