Thomas Leven Blankenship was born on December 9, 1871 in Howard County, Arkansas. His father was Thomas Cannon Blankenship born in 1832 in Morgan County, Alabama, the son of Edmond Blankenship and Sarah Cargile, both of which were born in Georgia in 1793. His mother was Mary Ellen Huffman born 1837 in Alabama.
At the age of 18, on 14 Sep 1890, Thomas wed Naomi Leona Dawson in Tipton County. Thomas worked his farm to provide a simple life for his family. He grew crops for personal use and grew Sorghum to sell.
On one such trip, in December of 1911, Thomas loaded up his wagon with Milo and traveled to nearby towns to sell it. Thomas sold all of his grain. Then he picked up supplies for the family and started for home. However, having a taste for the hard drink, Thomas would often stop for a sample on the way home. Thomas, who was a good natured and friendly man, talked to a couple of fellows while having his drink and then headed for home.
The old mare pulling his wagon had made this trip before and knew the way home. It was a pretty cold night so Thomas hunched down low for the trip home. Rumor has it that maybe Thomas flashed his money to the wrong people, because someone followed him. They robbed and beat him up, left him unconscious in the wagon. The mare continued pulling the wagon but was crossing a wooden bridge, where one of the wheels got caught in a broken board. That night it stormed badly and by the time Thomas was found next morning, he was gravely ill. He lingered a couple of days and died Christmas Day, December 25, 1911.
It is unknown where Thomas is buried.