Another true and enthusiastic speciman, one of the most untiring of the “Old Guard,” and withal a gentleman of the finest qualities of the head and heart, has passed to the “shadow land,” leaving a void in that circle that can never be filled. Col. J. W. B. Thomas departed this life at his home, four miles southwest of Columbia, on the night of the 26th of January, aged 75 years and 18 days. The funeral services were conducted at his residence by Rev. M. E. Gabard, who paid a high tribute to the dead, a lluding particularly to his love for his wife and children and his devotion to his church, of which he had been a faithful and efficient officer for over twenty years. He was a member of McCain’s Cumberland Presbyterian Church and in its interest he appl ied all the energies of his heart and head. His religious character evidenced itself in every emergency, and when an effort was made a short time since to get up funds to purchase literature for the Sunday-school at Sunnyside, he offered the necessary mea ns for that purpose, exerting a potent influence in leading the young to a higher and better life. Occupying the home where he died for nearly half a century, he had the amplest opportunity for knowing and being known by the community of which he formed a part. He was a man of pronounced integrity of character, positive and strong in his convictions; thouroughly consiencious, strong in his feelings and warm in his friendships. The large concourse of people which attended the funeral services and follow ed his remains to their last resting place, attested the universal esteem in which he was held, and also expressed the sympathy of the public with the widow and children, so sadly bereaved of a companion, a counsellor, and a tender father. He was buried at Zion, and the pall-bearers were his old sporting friends, who associated with him in the wild woods and around the camp-fire. Col. Thomas was favorably known to the sporting fraternity as “Bulger,” and his name has become famous as a deer hunter and a crack shot. As it is his memory is enshrined in their souls, and they will mourn him as he should be mourned. Often on the banks of some murmuring stream in the grassy hassocks, will thoughts of him be near the sportsman’s heart, haunting it as with re al presence. Often when in the heat and hush of a summer noon we recline, weary and worn with fatigue on the mossy banks of some lone spring, down deep in the emerald woodlands, will the tear steal down the cheek to the memory of him who cherished so thos e hours of sylvan rest and knew so sweetly how to enjoy them. Green be the grass above him! His very bones would pine beneath the weight of marble, he should lie in the shadow of some deep woodland, where the whispers of the wind should make wild music in the vocal boughs; where some clear streamlet, rippling along its pebbly bed, should wake that melody beside his ashes which his ear loved so well while living; where the hum of the bee and the carol of the bird and all the calm soft harmonies of nature should sing requiescat of our sportsman friend.
In Pace Resquiescat
Others more capable will write for you the obituary of our friend; others yet living will write of the few of the “Old Spirits” left, but none can more warmly appreciate the living, and more sincerely mourn for the departed, than
Yours ever truly, WAT.
Mt. Pleasant, Feb 1st, 1892
Contributed by Paulette Carpenter, 2005