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.

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