Designed by Dallas architect Thomas J. Galbraith and completed in 1919, this house is an excellent regional example of the Prairie School style of architecture. Its strong historical associations with area ranches and with the Ranger oil boom lend additional significance to its place in the architectural history of Palo Pinto County.Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2002
Rancher Randal Burton Thomas, Sr. (1886-1969), grew up in West Texas assisting his mother, Mary Ellen Satterfield Thomas, in running her family ranch. Having first arrived in Strawn from Bowling Green, Kentucky, by 1881, when railroads began to reach this area, their family was among the region's first settlers.
The Ranger oil boom, begun in 1917 with McClesky No. 1 Well, brought new wealth to the family from the many producing wells on their properties. When Thomas began making plans to move into town, he designed this house with living quarters for his family on the north side and for Mary Ellen Satterfield Thomas on the south side. It remained their home until their deaths.
The Thomas House features strong elements of the Prairie style, with its horizontality enhanced by the use of wide, projecting eaves. Designed to be heated with coal from the nearby mines in Thurber, the house features extensive use of concrete and a red metal roof. Still in the Thomas family at the turn
of the 21st century, the house is an important reminder of West Texas history and culture.