Monday, January 28, 2013

Ida Pearl Thomas

The glass dresser set pictured here belonged to Ida Pearl Thomas. Pearl, as she was known, was the first daughter born to John Griffin and Mary Jane Thomas, on November 19, 1892. Just days before, Grover Cleveland had been elected President of the United States. Pearl never married but she was her mom's right hand in raising the nine younger children in the family. Pearl lived her whole life in Dexter, Georgia and is buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Dexter. She died at age 83 on May 25, 1976.
Pearl was my mom's aunt, her father's sister. I am not sure who gave the set to my mom and trusted her to keep it safe but I will never forget the day I found it, safely stashed away on a shelf, wrapped in tissue paper in a Tupperware container with this note on the top. Finding the note in my mom's handwriting brought tears to my eyes again that week as we were clearing out her apartment after her death. I brought the set home with me along with many of my mom's other possessions and it is now displayed on her antique dresser in our home.  I am so grateful that my mom was careful to note important family treasures, without her attention to detail we would not have known the origin of this special family heirloom.

This picture of Pearl was taken at a family reunion that we attended in the late 1960's in Dexter. I believe it was taken on the lawn in front of the home she lived in with Lois Thomas Daniel, her sister, and Lois' husband Eason Daniel. This home is still located on the Thomas family property that is owned by Pearl's nephew James Earl Thomas.

So, here's my memory of Aunt Pearl...she had a bowl of Circus Peanuts on the table by her chair in the house. I remember eating those delicious orange, marshmallow-y treats during that visit to Dexter. I also remember (Uncle) Eason telling us kids to stay away from a certain part of the property because there was an alligator in the well.  Not necessarily a deep or profound memory but it was a grand day of fun for a little girl, her siblings, and a bunch of cousins!


  1. This is my first time to visit your blog. I read your most recent post and this first one. How lucky you are that your mother left notes like the one above! We should all do the same. Guess I should get busy!

  2. Thanks Kathy! It was an absolute gift, hoping my blog will be that gift for my family :)