Senator Thomas, Governor’s Photograph Album, 1878, RG-22, PSA
Born in Doylestown, Bucks County, June 15, 1830, the son of Elias and Sarah (Snyder) Thomas; Joseph Thomas attended private schools; Doylestown Academy; taught at Fox Chase, Philadelphia, 1847-1853; and graduated with a medical degree from the Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1856. He practiced at Applebachville and raised a militia company, 1859, assuming the rank of Captain, Co. H, 3rd Regt., PVI; saw action during the Peninsula Campaign; Seven Days Campaign (Richmond); Harrison’s Landing; and Charles City Crossroads, where he was wounded in the breast – “a memorandum book” saving his life by blocking the full force of the minie-ball. After recovering from his wound at Harrison’s Landing, Thomas received a commission as surgeon, August 15, 1862, 118th Pa. Vols. (Corn Exchange Regiment): participated at Antietam; Shepherdstown; Marye’s Heights; Chancellorsville (Fredericksburg); Hanover; Gettysburg; Centreville; Bristoe Station; the Wilderness; Mechanicsville; Dabney’s Mills; and Appomattox. Mustered out with his regiment on June 1, 1865; Republican Presidential elector, 1876; state Senate 1879-1886; delegate to the Chicago Republican National Convention, 1884; author of several wildlife books and a history of Bucks County. He married Sarah Ott in 1860. The Senator passed away in Quakertown, January 28, 1908.