Brief History from
Thomas County was
organized on October 8, 1885, by Andrew
Reed; M. W. Witham; F. S. See; C. Hubbard;
W. H. Archer; A. B. Janline; Thomas
Reed; Robert Jardine; W. H. Reed; Joseph
and John Barcer; Frank and William Lord;
J. W. Irwin; W. H. Miller; P.
Huddleston; P. T. Turney; John Kuuntz; N.
Byars; R. T. Heming; M. L. Lucey; E.
D. C. Jardine; J. Davidson; Ira
Jennings; M. Hamling; J. R. Colby; Peter
Gallagher; John Kelly; Hugh Gallager;
and John Brennan. The county was
named for Major General George H. Thomas,
of Civil War fame and contains the towns
of Colby, Gem, Menlo, Rexford,
Oakley (part) and Brewster.
Railroads were important
in Thomas County. The Union Pacific
Railroad arrived in the county in 1887 and
by 1888, three
different lines of the Union
Pacific, and the Rock Island, were all
located there. The early real estate
development in the
county beginning in 1885 saw the
population increase from 161 in January of
that year, to over 1900 by October.
The railroads contributed to this