Jacob H. Bechtel papers  1858-1862
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George Albert Thomas (1819-1907) was born in Portland, Maine, to Elizabeth Widgery and Elias Thomas. He attended the Portland Academy, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1841, and received a degree from Harvard Law School in 1844. Though he worked in the offices of Judge Howard and was admitted to the Cumberland bar, Thomas never practiced law. He left Maine in 1850 to prospect during the California gold rush and worked in mines near San Francisco until 1855, when he returned to supervise his family’s estates in Portland. Thomas became involved with the anti-slavery movement and supported the Underground Railroad in Maine. He never married and lived with his sister Charlotte Julia Thomas. Thomas was known locally for his musical talents and served as a choirmaster at the Third Presbyterian Church of Portland, and as the musical director of St. Stephen’s Church. Later in life, Thomas was the director of the Aged Brotherhood and Citizens’ Mutual Relief Associations. He died in 1907.