Biographical Sketch of Dr. Charles Francis Thomas
August 20, 1870 – December 19, 1931
Charles Francis Thomas was born at Rowell, in Cleveland County, Arkansas August 20, 1870, the son of James Stephen and Mary Elizabeth Williams Thomas. James S., a Confederate veteran, having enlisted under Col. Pastlack in a regiment of Arkansas Infantry, went on to serve in the cavalry and was with Price on his raid through Missouri. After the war he became one of the wealthy agriculturists of Cleveland County.
Charles Francis educated himself for the medical profession and began his practice in Wilmar, Drew County in 1898. According to the 1914 fourth edition of the American Medical Directory, Dr. Thomas was licensed in 1903 and graduated from Gate City Medical College, Texarkana, Texas in 1904. Later he followed his profession for two years in Oakland, Okla., moving to Fordyce in 1906 to establish a practice that became noteworthy in its success.
He was married in 1892 in Jefferson County to Alma Brewster of Pansy, Cleveland County. To them were born two daughters, Della Mae and James Elizabeth. Alma died in 1914. On December 14, 1915 Dr. Thomas married Miss Vera May Hearnsberger of Fordyce, the marriage taking place in Jefferson County.
“Faithful and conscientious in the performance of his duty, he won the love and respect of countless citizens, who at some time or other found themselves dependent upon his knowledge and skill.
Ever ready to respond to the calls for assistance in time of trouble and sickness, or when aid was needed to usher a new life into the world, there the Doctor was found ready to render service. And many a man, woman and child, who now enjoys good health, can look back at the time they were ill and give thinks for the good doctor’s judgment and the experience which enabled him to bring them relief from misery and pain, which illness or accidental injury subjected them.”
For some time prior to his death, Doctor Thomas confined his work almost entirely to office practice because of his ill health and for the last few months, he was unable to leave his home except on rare occasions. The death that came to end a lifetime of service to his fellow man was not unexpected. On Saturday morning, December 19, 1931 Dr. Thomas died at home. “Funeral services were held at the Methodist church of which the deceased was a faithful and loyal member. The large auditorium would hardly hold the many who came to pay their last respects to one who had served them so efficiently and so tenderly in times of sickness and trouble.”2
Dr. Charles Francis Thomas lies buried at Oakland Cemetery in Fordyce, Dallas County, Arkansas.
1 Editorial, The Advocate, Fordyce, Arkansas, December 24, 1931, p. 2
2 The Advocate, Fordyce, Arkansas, December 24, 1931, p. 1
John T. Mitchell, BBA
April 18, 2020