Levi Noyes. George Menees. R.K. Hicks. These are the names of doctors from Robertson County’s past.
Another early doctor was the remarkably interesting Archibald Thomas, who came to Springfield from Virginia in 1805. He traveled with Andrew Jackson as a surgeon during the Creek Indian War. Later he accompanied Jackson all the way to New Orleans.
After the famous battle, he returned to Springfield. Charles Love’s “Springfield’s First 100 Years” tells that R.K. Hicks was associated with Dr. Thomas as a physician.
Hicks had come to Springfield in 1828. He became a 19-year-old student at Liberty Academy and graduated in 1831.
Hicks taught there for two years before studying medicine. His connection with Thomas started in 1835.
According to Love, their office was located on the west side of Courthouse Square. The old 638 Tire Company building was more recently on that lot.
In 1841, Dr. Hicks bought out Thomas’ part of the office. Later Doctors George and Thomas Menees occupied the building.
Histories of the Springfield Methodist Church, now the First United Methodist Church on the corner of South Oak and 7th Avenue, mention the name of Archibald Thomas.
In 1834, he had owned Lot #57, which he had purchased from Thomas Gafford.
This land was deeded to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1837.
A one-room log church was built that same year. It faced Spring Street, now 7th Avenue. Part of the current church is on this same lot.
Archibald Thomas had married Edith H. White, and together they had seven children.
Archie Thomas, Jr. was born in 1836. He entered the newspaper business when he was young, serving as an apprentice and a typesetter.
After the Civil War, he became editor of the “Robertson County Register,” according to Goodspeed’s “History of Robertson County.” The newspaper moved to Clarksville, and Thomas, with his brother, established the “Springfield Record.”
This brother was Richard F. Thomas. born in 1841. He had clerked for his brother in a grocery store before entering the newspaper business with him. In 1880, due to bad health, he left the “Springfield Record” and become a coal merchant.
Originally, Dick Thomas and his family lived in a house where the Baptist church now stands.
In 1898 Dick Thomas ran for “County Register,” but he was badly beaten. He felt that every man who voted against him was an enemy, according to Charles Love. Dick Thomas vowed to leave Springfield, and so he did.
Dr. Thomas’ son, B.A.M. Thomas, was one of the three Robertson County men who died at the Alamo.
Official documents show where Archibald Thomas sent an advocate to investigate his son’s land. (B.A.M. Thomas had accompanied Davy Crockett to Texas.)
Dr. Thomas died in 1852.Edith White Thomas died in 1866.They were buried in the old City Cemetery.
When reburial was done due to the construction of Cheatham Park Elementary School, he was reinterred at Elmwood. She was buried elsewhere.
In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.