Thomas J. Cone was born in Unadilla, Georgia, December 19, 1867. He was the only child of Andrew Jackson and Amelia Gay (Pound) Cone. Thomas married Marie E. Tyson (dau. of Joel Washington and Sarah Martha (Griner) Tyson) on August 28, 1894 in Alachua County, Florida. Several children were born to this union.
Thomas J. Cone’s generational history was that of strong, industrious minded men of remarkable character. His great-grandfather fought in the Revolution, serving as a captain. His grandfather served in the Georgia Legislature from 1847 to 1850 and was also a Judge in Dooly Co., GA. His father fought in the confederacy along with is uncle, who was captured the last five months becoming a POW at Point Lookout before being paroled at the surrender. Returning home his father studied and became a lawyer and moving his family to Florida in 1876, settling in Orange County before moving to Alachua County in 1884, where he became interested in politics.
When he was just eighteen years of age Thomas began working at a mercantile business, but not satisfied he saved his money and five years later embarked in the lumber and naval store business, finding success along the way. By 1905 Thomas and his family were living in Raleigh, Levy Co. and he was “an extensive operator of a saw mill” and considered to be “a splendid businessman,” and by 1915, was fencing off his land and delving into the cattle business.
A sad and tragic incident happened in 1910, which shows the character of Mr. Cone. During an incident in a nearby town whereby some Negroes were rounded up and taken to jail, he (Thomas Cone) learned that a couple of his own employees were among the arrested. He and his foreman quickly secured their release and headed back to Raleigh. As they were crossing the railroad in an open car, they were met by a train just a yard from them and swerved the vehicle, but the two employees were thrown and one unfortunately was hit by the train. He died a few hours later. Thomas sent his foreman to see that the body was properly taken care of and his remains were then sent to Raleigh for burial.
Sometime between 1921 and 1930 Thomas moved his family back to Gainesville. He was the owner of a hotel as shown by that years census records. They were still living in Gainesville when they both passed away; Marie in 1938 and Thomas in 1945. They are buried together at Evergreen Cemetery, Gainesville, FL.
Author: Linda Flowers
Source: Ancestry, Find A Grave, Ocala Evening Star, Google Books (An Historical and Biographical Work by an Able Company of Writers-Published by the FL Historical Society of Jacksonville.