Like most, what he didn't find was gold. He did take note however, of how others were spending their hard earned cash. The men were purchasing picks, shovels, boots, pans and other supplies in their pursuit of finding very little. Most lost the money they went west with, very few in comparison left being a rich man.
Thomas went home, became a door-to-door salesman for a time in the town of New Bedford saving his money. It was here that he met his future wife, the widow Mary Ann Besse. They were wed on May 27, 1865 in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.
The couple moved back to his hometown of Middleboro, where he put his gold hunting experience and knowledge to work. He learned that men needed supplies and he would be the one to supply it. He eventually became owner of the Pierce Hardware Store.
During his whole career he was always considering carefully the wants and needs of his customers and the growth of his business was attributed to his integrity. His entire working life was devoted to his business and almost to the day of his death was offering advise and council as to the conduct of business.
After being confined in bed for a short of period of time, Thomas died at home on June 27, 1910 from heart trouble at the age of 68 .