Thomas Essex

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Thomas Essex was the assistant land commissioner of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railway. In 1867 he was elected to the Missouri Senate, and after his re-election in 1870 served two years as Senate President pro tempore.

Essex came to Little Rock, Arkansas, in December 1875, and assumed the duties of assistant land commissioner of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railway. He became land commissioner in January 1876. He was appointed tax commissioner of the Arkansas branch of the Missouri Pacific Railway in 1881. In February 1889 his duties included service as land commissioner for the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railway.

Essex was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 15, 1837, to James C. Essex and Rebecca (Lea) Essex. His grandfather was the English physician Thomas Essex. Essex received his education at St. Louis private schools and the Arcadia, Missouri, High School. He received an A.B. degree from McKendree College of Lebanon, Illinois, in 1858, and an A.M. degree in 1860. He then studied law under St. Louis lawyer Thomas C. Johnson before graduating LL.B. from the Cincinnati Law School in 1861. Upon graduation he began teaching at the Arcadia High School, and then practiced law in nearby Ironton. He also established the Democratic newspaper the Iron County Register. He married Adeline V. Hypes of Lebanon, Illinois, in June 1866.

Essex was a member of the Little Rock Knights of Honors, the Little Rock Lodge No. 452, the Royal Arcanum, the Quapaw Council No. 97, the Knights of Pythias, Damon Lodge No. 3.


  • Goodspeed's History of Pulaski County, Arkansas (1889).
  • T.B. Mills, A History of the North-Western Editorial Excursion to Arkansas: A Short Sketch of Its Inception and the Routes Traveled Over (Little Rock, AR: T.B. Mills & Co, 1876).

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