Stephen Seymour Thomas was born to early settlers in Texas, James Edwards and Mary Landon Blount Thomas who built their home in San Augustine, Texas. Their son, Stephen, showed early interest and astonishing skills in drawing and painting. His successful exhibition of works in New York City was made at the remarkably young age of sixteen. This prompted his enrolment for study at the Art Students League under William Merritt Chase and James Carroll Beckwith. In 1888 he advanced his studies with Alexander Harrison and at the Académie Julian in Paris under Jules Lefebvre and Benjamin Constant. He also studied at the École des Beaux Arts for six years. He exhibited both genre and landscape subjects at Paris Salons for twenty consecutive years. He won his first honors in 1891. Throughout the 1890s he won a number of prizes and a bronze medal in the famous 1900 Paris Exposition, two gold medals (1901 and 1904) and the Hors-Concours Salon award of 1904 and a gold medal at the Munich International. In 1905 he was decorated with the Cross of the French Legion of Honor. For the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, Thomas was commissioned to paint a portrait of Sam Houston for the Texas building. This was a huge equestrian portrait that, following the fair was displayed in the Paris Salon of 1898. In 1920 it was presented by Col. And Mrs. Francis Drake to the city of Houston and finally hung in the San Jacinto Museum. Tomas, produced several representing Woodrow Wilson, as well as many other portraits of famous persons. One of the presidential portraits of Wilson hangs in the White House. He also made numerous landscape paintings. His daughter, Mrs. Jean Haskell donated a large collection of his paintings to the Ezekiel W. Cullen Home in San Augustine, Texas. On Feb. 29, 1956, after a distinguished career as an artist, he died at his home in La Crescente, California, where he is buried.