|Entrance to Jail with Miles Hoskins, Montgomery Co. Historical Society|
So if you can't beat the government, why not join them? It will become apparent in future posts that Thomas was popular among the citizenry of Mt. Sterling. However, in this post Civil War town, it was becoming nearly impossible to support his family with a "coffee house." Fines were becoming too costly and the Commonwealth revoked his license to run a coffee house. So what to do next? RUN TO BE COUNTY JAILER!
Published in the Mt. Sterling Democrat 8-7-1866 and reprinted in the Cincinnati Enquirer
There are a couple of significant things to notice in this article. We have evidence that Thomas Probert was pro-union at the beginning of the Civil War. After all, he named his son after a famous Union Colonel. The war was conducted by President Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. But five years later, the political climate had completely flipped. Note that "the Democrats have elected all the county officers." Note also that "Radicalism has fizzled out in this county." The sweep of the Democrats in this election represented a sea change of politics in this area.
Thomas and his elected representatives would have their names published daily in the Mt. Sterling Democrat as part of a County Directory. Thomas emerged from the war with a steady job and income running the jail. He would keep this position until his death.
Mt. Sterling Democrat published 12-24-1868
So what do we know about the jail?