East New Market


Denton Journal

15 July 1916 - Thomas O. Jefferson Dead

A Popular Citizen of Federalsburg - Leaves a Large Family.

Thomas O. Jefferson, proprietor of drug stores at Federalsburg and East New Market, who had been missing since 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, was found dead Wednesday morning by William H. Skinner, a negro tenant on Mr. Jefferson's farm.  Skinner was hauling manure when he discovered his employer's body in the ivy swamp on the main road near a clump of bushes.  The negro hurried to town and informed the family.

Dr. R.K. Jefferson and George H. Jefferson, brothers, were summoned and, in company with several other citizens, hurried in an automobile to the scene.  When they arrived they found their brother dead.  A short distance away they found a bottle which had contained a sedative.  His body was taken to his home and an inquest held by Magistrate J.P. Patchett.  The jury rendered a verdict of accidental death due to an overdose of the sedative.

The druggist was last seen alive late Tuesday evening going toward his farm, which adjoins the ivy swamp.  It is supposed he sat down to rest and took a dose of the elixir, a drug he had frequently used to produce sleep, and accidentally took an overdose.

When Mr. Jefferson failed to return home at bed time the family became worried.  Search was made for him, but it proved futile.  Wednesday morning the news of his disappearance spread like wildfire and searching parties were headed toward the swamp when the negro arrived with the news of his discovery.

Mr. Jefferson was widely known.  For over 30 years he had been proprietor of a drugstore in Federalsburg.  Several years ago he purchased the old Dorset Pharmacy at East New Market.  He was recognized as a leader in the Republican party and was formerly a member of the Republican State Central Committee.  For 16 years he was postmaster at Federalsburg, being succeeded three years ago by his brother Charles W. Jefferson, who is a Democrat.  He was proprietor of the Nanticoke Bakery and a large land owner.  He was 52 years old.  Besides his widow and aged mother, he leaves seven children -- Philetus Jefferson, cashier of the First National Bank, Federalsburg; Jerome D. Jefferson, manager of the Nanticoke Bakery; Miss Caroline Jefferson, nurse in John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore; Mrs. Hayward Hignutt, and Misses Rachel, Ruth, and Adelia Jefferson.  The funeral was held yesterday.  Mr. Jefferson was a son of the late Dr. Charles W. Jefferson, one of the leading physicians of the Eastern Shore.