Thomas Jefferson Skiles

  Thomas went to the California Gold Rush when he was 23 years old in 1849. He came via the Oregon trail across Nebraska. On the way home, he skinned dead bulls that he came across, so he had a big pile of skins when he got back.
   He had not taken off his clothes since leaving California, because he did not want anyone to see that he had a mony belt with about $8000 worth of gold strapped around his body. When he finally took off the belt, he found that it had dug into his flesh right to the bone. When it healed it left a scar that remained for the rest of his life. He bought a farm with rich black soil where he spent the rest of his life.
  Another version from Gloria Ator: Thomas went to the Gold Rush by ox team and returned around Cape horn via ship. Then up the Mississippi river.
  From Dick Derry <>

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