Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

Benjamin Platt Thomas (1871-1903), was born December 25, 1871, at Pemberton, Burlington County, New Jersey, son of James S. Thomas (1839-194), a lawyer, and Elmira Platt Thomas (1851-1909), was so named after his paternal grandfather Benjamin Thomas (1789-1871).

In 1885, at the age of 14 years old he began buying and selling postage stamps as a collector and dealer.

Business card and letterhead of Benjamin P. Thomas as a stamp dealer. Letter is addressed to Herbert P. Atherton, Holyoke, Massachusetts. Ex-Belasco. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

He was a donor of the American Philatelic Association's Exhibit of Postage Stamps in the Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893.

He was the Counterfeit Detector of the Society of Philatelic Americans.

He was the Vice President of the Sons of Philately for New Jersey.

In 1901, he married Martha "Mattie" Johnson Pickering (1878-1950). They had a son Benjamin Platt Thomas, Jr. (1902-1956), who became a noted historian of Abraham Lincoln.

He died six days short of his 32nd birthday, December 19, 1903. He is buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Pemberton, Burlington County, New Jersey.

His obituary published in the New Jersey Mirror, December 23, 1903 :

Benjamin Thomas, one of our prominent grocers and best known citizens, died at his home here on Saturday morning, after a long illness from a complication of diseases. Mr. Thomas established a grocery store here some years ago, and at the time of his death was one of the borough's most successful business men, besides being an active member of and worker in the Methodist church. He was also prominent in secret society work and was one of the prime movers in the organization of the P. O. S. of A. here. Deceased was 32 years of age, and is survived by a wife and son. The funeral took place yesterday afternoon, interment being made in Odd Fellows' cemetery. The borough has lost a valuable citizen.

According to the New Jersey Probate Court he left an estate of six thousand dollars in cash.

For some unknown reason his tombstone reads Benjamin F. Thomas.

Bibliography :

Mount Holly Herald, December 23, 1903, page 3

New Jersey Mirror, December 23, 1903, page 3