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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Celebration set for woman with area ties

Thursday, January 24, 2008

On Monday, Stella Thomas will turn 100. Thomas was born Jan. 28, 1908. Her family lived in Clay County at one time.
On Sunday, the family of Stella Thomas will be hosting a party for her 100th birthday. The time is from 2-4 p.m. at Asbury Towers Retirement Community, 102 W. Poplar, Greencastle. All are welcome to attend.

According to family information, Stella Thomas was born Jan. 28, 1908, to Oscar E. Pell and Mary Elizabeth (Early) Pell.

She was the seventh of eight children and is the only child living.

Thomas lived with her family in the Pell Homestead, which still stands by Great Dane on United States 40. The residence was built of brick and wood by her grandfather, Richard Pell. The family cut the trees on the property, sent them to Terre Haute to be cut and planed, then returned to the farm. The bricks were made on the farm.

Thomas attended school in Harmony and graduated from Van Buren High School on April 25, 1927. She married Herbert Thomas April 30, 1927. One child was born from that union, John G. Thomas in June of 1928. Her husband died in December 1987 and their son died in December 1991.

She lived in Harmony until her marriage and eventually relocated to Greencastle. She worked for DePauw University. She also worked for a curtain factory.

Thomas also is an avid painter and has been since high school. She works with oil paint and china. Many of her paintings are in her room in Asbury Towers.

She is of Scottish, Irish, and English descent. Her family has a rich history in Van Buren Township.

According to information provided by the family, the Thomas' traveled to Europe in 1974 as a retirement gift for Stella. Her favorite places the family visited during the trip were in Italy.

Her grandfather Richard Pell married Eliza Jane McKinley and had four children. The father of Eliza was George McKinley who contributed to Harmony's history. He was the first Post Master in Harmony for Van Buren. The First Methodist Church in Harmony bares his name, McKinley Chapel. He also worked with the town leaders encouraging approval for the railroad to come through Clay County. McKinley's father Michael, from Pennsylvania, was related to President McKinley.

Thomas's grandfather John Early was a civil war veteran. He was in the 8th Kentucky Infantry for the Union. He lived in Putnam County before moving to Clay. He built the first sawmill in Putman County. He married Mary Jane Steelle on Nov. 4, 1890, and moved into the Pell homestead. They had 11children, which include Thomas's mother Mary Elizabeth.

Thomas's niece will have copies of the family tree for any relative attending.

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Happy Birthday, Mrs. Thomas!

God Bless you.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 7:31 AM

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