This week from our pages in history
— Each week, we take a look back in time to examine what was on the minds of Cecil County readers. Rotating through the Whig’s 177-year history, we hope to not only provide direct text from our archives, but also context as to why the issue was important at the time.
Join us as we thumb through the pages of our history.
Ex-Sheriff Richard Thomas, a well known citizen of Elkton, died suddenly of heart failure on Tuesday evening about 6:15 o’clock, at his residence on Main Street. Mr. Thomas had been unwell for a considerable time but was not confined to his home. A short time prior to his death he was on the street, and upon his return home complained of feeling badly and sat down in a chair in the store, expiring in a few minutes. He was a native of England, and when young came to this country, locating in Baltimore, whence he removed to this county in 1842. He held the office of lumber inspector at Port Deposit for several years, later engaging in the lumber business which he continued until 1855 when he met a serious loss in the sinking of several boats used in carrying the lumber, and which were owned by him. He was elected Sheriff on the Democratic ticket, in the fall of 1871 and served two years. He purchased the Gray’s Hill property now owned by the estate of the late John E. Wilson, and expended considerable money in mining iron ore, but the project proved failure, and he sold the farm, returning to Elkton, afterwards engaging in the confectionery and fruit business.
He served as registrar of voters for this election district, for two years, having been appointed in 1887. He was the first warden of the new jail. In 1884 he was appointed crier of the Circuit Court and which position be held until his death. He took an active interest in the Singerly Fire Company of Elkton, of which organization be was the president, and one of the incorporators.
Mr. Thomas was seventy six years of age. A widow and an adopted daughter, Mrs. Frank J. Denny of Elkton, survive him. The funeral services were held from his late home on Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock, interment in Elkton Cemetery. The Singerly Fire Company attended the funeral in a body.
Considerable excitement was occasioned in the neighborhood of Harlan’s Mill, five miles north of Elkton, on Sunday night. A man employed as a stone cutter on the Lancaster, Oxford & Cecil Railroad, now in course of construction boards at the residence of Henry Spence, and occupied a room on the second door.
On Saturday he was noticed in Elkton and it is supposed he took home that night a quantity of the ardent, which he liberally imbibed during Sunday. That night be was attacked with delirium tremens and in a naked condition jumped from the window of his room to the ground and quickly ran off in the darkness.
A number of persons pursued him but the man escaped when the search was discontinued for the night. It was resumed on Monday and at noon the crazed man was discovered lying among a quantity of leaves in a stretch of woods along the railroad embankment at a distance of one mile and a half from Mr. Spence’s house. He is recovering and seems little the worse for the night in the woods.