Anthony E. Thomas

Birth: 01-01-1826
Death: 07-05-1870

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Anthony Thomas was born in 1826 in Ireland. He emigrated to America and married Mary McCoy in 1854. Mary McCoy (1838-1911) was from Ohio.

Anthony operated a general store in Forest City, Sarpy County, Nebraska. When the Union Pacific Railroad was built as far as Elkhorn, NE, a Mr. Crawford sold his store to Anthony Thomas. Anthony moved into Forest City and took ownership. He added more supplies and services onto the existing grocery department in the form of liquor, cider, and drugs. He did big business and was well liked by the people of the town.

There was one fellow that lived adjoining Anthony's property to the south named Jack Nolan. He was a bachelor, a blacksmith, and blind in one eye. He had his shop set up in the woods on the bank of the Elkhorn River. He was a bad hombre and he and Anthony never could get along together. He came down to Anthony's store one day and got himself some of that "forty-rod" whiskey. He got liquored up and decided to "clean up the joint." He ordered all the people in the store to "skedaddle" and proceeded to pull his six shooter cap and ball cavalry revolver and started shooting up the place. When the smoke cleared, it was discovered that Anthony had been shot in the arm, the ball entering the wrist and exiting at the elbow, and his brother John Thomas Jr. had been shot in the side. 

Jack Nolan left for his place and the locals rushed in to give first aid. They put John on his horse and Mrs. Joe Cleburne gave John her father's sword to protect himself with on his way home. John got as far as the Welch house before he grew weak from loss of blood and fell from his horse. Mrs. Welch and Mrs. Dolan helped him back onto his horse and while one led the horse, the other held him on the horse, until they came to Mrs. Dolan's dugout. They sent word to his family that he was injured.  Old Fitzgerald the schoolmaster came down and tried to remove the ball.  In trying to dig the ball out with the handle of a spoon, he ended up pushing the ball into the abdominal cavity.   It remained there for the rest of his life and always caused him a lot of trouble.

A short time after that, Jack Nolan went up to Elk City and got into a dispute about a bet and shot a fellow.  He thought he had killed the man, so he skipped town.  That was the last he was seen on the area of Forest City, but P.J. Melia caught site of him in Wyoming some 20 years later.

Anthony died in 1870 at the age of 44 and is buried in the Thomas Calvary Cemetery.