DR. MARVEL THOMAS, one of the leading young physicians of this county, now successfully engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Gillespie, was born near Plainview, in Hilyard Township, on the 8th of October, 1855, and comes of good old Revolutionary stock. The great-grandfather of our subject, John Thomas, was one of five brothers who enlisted in the Revolutionary War, but during that struggle they became separated, and the family has since been divided; in fact, they have few known relations. John David Thomas, the grandfather of the Doctor, was born in South Carolina, and after marrying a lady of that State, began life upon a farm. Some years later he emigrated westward with his family and settled in St. Clair County, Ill., as did also his father, who was Secretary of the Territory, and after the admission of Illinois to the Union, became the first Secretary of State. He died at an advanced age, a man of prominence and influence, whose loss was mourned by many friends. His name is inseparably connected with the early history of the State, for he did much in the interests of the public.
John Thomas and his wife resided in St. Clair County during the Territorial days of Illinois, and on the 29th of June, 1818, the year of the admission to the Union, William A. Thomas was born. When a lad of sixteen years he came with the family to Macoupin County in 1834, and subsequently entered land from the Government in Hilyard Township, developing therefrom a farm, upon which the parents resided until called to their final rest. The old homestead fell into the hands of their son William A., who died in December, 1881, and left the property to his four children. It is now in the possession of the Doctor and his brother Harris, and consists of two hundred and forty acres of highly improved land. This farm has never been out of the family since it was obtained from the Government about sixty years ago. William Thomas spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the usual manner of farm lands, and when he had attained to mature years, wedded Lucinda LeMay, who was born in Indiana, and when a child came to Illinois with her parents, the family settling near Plainview, where the father and mother died. The death of Mrs. Thomas occurred in 1863, at the age of forty years. She was a member of the Baptist Church, and a lady whose many acts of kindness and deeds of charity won her the love of all. Mr. Thomas became a prominent citizen of Hilyard Township, and was a leader in local politics. His business affairs prospered, and he became quite well-to-do. he was a believer in religion, and all that tended to elevate mankind and lived an upright life. In harmony with the thought that "the groves were God's first temples," his father, John D. Thomas, would often repair to a beautiful grove near his home for a quiet hour of prayer, and in reverence William Thomas would never permit it to be cut down or molested in any way.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who upon the old Thomas homestead was reared to manhood in the usual manner of farmer lads, spending his boyhood days midst play and work. His literary education was acquired in the public schools, and when he had determined to make the medical profession is life work, he began reading under private direction. Our subject entered Blackburn University in the fall of 1873, and after completing a regular course, he was graduated with the degree of B.S. After a time he entered the Missouri Medical College of St. Louis, from which institution he was graduated with the Class of ‘84. He entered upon practice in Palmyra immediately thereafter, and five years ago opened an office in Gillespie, where he has since built up a large and lucrative practice.
The Doctor was married in Palmyra, to Minnie F., daughter of D. N. Solomon, a prominent business man and leading citizen of that place. The lady was born in Macoupin County, on the 8th of April, 1863, and is a graduate of the University of Lincoln, Ill. She was also a student for some time in the Jacksonville Female College, and is a lady of intelligence and culture, who occupies a prominent position in the social world. Hospitality abounds in her home, which she presides over with the grace and dignity of an accomplished lady. In politics the Doctor is a Democrat. He has worked his way upward to the front rank of the medical profession, and his skill and ability have won him a liberal patronage.