Russellville, Ky., April 18 - Thomas S. Rhea, a power in Kentucky Democratic political affairs for nearly 40 years, died at his home here Tuesday. He had been in ill health for six months and had been confined to bed since Friday.
The 74-year-old Rhea, known to many as the "Sage of Russellville," was instrumental in the election of several Governors - but Rhea was unsuccessful in the one attempt he made to attain the office for himself.
In fact, Rhea was elected to office only three times in his eventful, turbulent career - usually on the side of the Democrats. In 1905 he was elected sheriff of his native Logan County; in 1911 he was elected State treasurer, and in 1941 he again was elected Logan County sheriff.
Among other highlights of Rhea's career was his unsuccessful race for the Democratic nomination for State auditor in 1915; his announcement for the gubernatorial race and withdrawal in 1919; his service from 1924 to 1927 as a member of the Workmen's Compensation Board; his unsuccessful attempt to win Democratic Congressional nomination in 1928, and his service as member and later chairman of the State Highway Commission during the administration of Governor Ruby Laffoon.
Thursday, April 18, 1946
used with permission