William Joseph Thomas was born in 1871 and attended Gooding Public School and the University of South Carolina, where he earned an LL.B. degree.
He married Miss Tennessee Calhoun of Clio, South Carolina in 1902. He represented Hampton County in the South Carolina General Assembly from 1898 until 1920 and practiced law in Beaufort County for forty years.
He was a member of the Masons, the Shriners, Knights of Pythias and the Baptist Church of Beaufort.
“The calm, courteous and gentlemanly manner in which Mr. Thomas met and dealt with his associates, old and young, legal and social, and in and out of the court room, was an inspiration to his fellow lawyers and a molding influence of appreciation and respect of the law to the laymen who had the good fortune to know this gentleman of the Bar.”