Tullie Thomas. Many interesting incidents have characterized the development of the various communities that make up the State of Oklahoma. There are a great many of these, for the state was opened to white settlement by piecemeal and each opening was a distinct challenge to the ingenuity of men with crystallized ideas of what a community transferred from paper to reality should be. Each community is born with an ambition to supersede in achievement its neighbors in one or more phases of municipal endeavor. This ambition in Oklahoma is given voice to in that word “boost,” that must always be the first word in the state’s industrial vocabulary. Because of these important and highly significant facts attaching to the average Oklahoma community, the early history of each is above the commonplace.
Achille was five years old before it became an incorporated town, but the five preliminary years were building ones. It had become commercially and educationally important; in 1915, it attained municipal prestige. The town government was established July 27, 1915, and shortly thereafter the officials began their duties. At the first meeting of the board of trustees, Tullie Thomas, manager of the Achille Mercantile Company, was by his fellow trustees elected president of that body. His election was due to his mature business experience and the governmental experience he had acquired in the capacities of town clerk and justice of the peace, the latter position having been held by him at Achille to fill an unexpired term. Mr. Thomas began a more serious study of municipal matters than he had formerly given to the subject and the fundamental ordinances of the town were set forth in the suggestive stage by him and the other trustees. Then began a period of municipal development that promised to lead in due time to the installation of water, sewer and electric light systems. The beginnings of the town government were auspicious in view of the character of men elected to office, the progressive character of the people, and the rich undeveloped resources of the community.
Tullie Thomas was born at Haynesville, Claiborne, Parish, Louisiana, December 22, 1868, and is a son of W. J. and Martha Jane (Morgan) Thomas. His father, who was a native of Georgia, was for many years a successful planter of Louisiana and died in that state in 1914, at the age of seventy-two years. He was a veteran of the war between the states, having fought in the Confederate army as a member of the forces of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston. There were four children in the family: Tullie; Mrs. J. J. Hawkins, the wife of a Baptist minister of Vienna, Louisiana; B. L., who is a farmer of Haynesville, that state; and Mrs. O. C. Stringer, the wife of a physician at Achille, Oklahoma.
Tullie Thomas was educated in the public schools of Louisiana, and when he finished his studies was engaged in teaching for four years in the public schools of that state. He then entered mercantile business, which he followed for a number of years in Louisiana, continuing in this business when he came to Achille, in 1912. Five years previous, however, he had come to Oklahoma. His store, of which J. H. Holland is the leading owner, is one of the largest in a town of the population of Achille in the state, carrying at times a $49,000 stock of general merchandise. Mr. Thomas was married December 30, 1899, to Miss Effie Hall, and they have one child: Ethel May, who was born January 24, 1901. Mr. Thomas is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in which for eleven years he was a Sunday school superintendent while residing in Louisiana, and a member of the official board for fourteen years. He is fraternally connected with and popular with the members of the local lodges of the Woodmen of the World and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He resides in his own attractive and comfortable home at Achille.