Barney Schilansky lived in Thomas as early as 1886. He was a pack peddler, selling his wares from home to home or possibly even to lumber camps. He had a general merchandise shop in Davis as is evidenced in the advertisement. I feel sure he had a store in Thomas, also. He as well as the other Jewish residents of Thomas were strictly Orthodox. Several different Rabbis including Morris Levine, Harry Barbakow, Lazer Flax, and others served the needs of the Jewish population. Barney had a special room set aside in his home where the Sefer Torah was kept, and the religious services of the Thomas Community were held. It is believed that the Torah never left the house and that it was kept in a small ark. One person reported that the Torah belonged to the Schilanskys. Barney operated a sawmill, several small farms and owned or operated many buildings in Thomas. In the great fire of 1901, 65 of the buildings that he owned or operated burnt to the ground. Ideas, comments, suggestions, or items to share contact Tim Turner (304) 478-3389.