When Vergil Thomas first built Thomas Trailer Town in the 1960s, he envisioned an affordable housing option for construction workers flocking to the area to help build the La Cygne power plant.
The trailer town, located on Lone Star Road north of 327th Street, turned into a longstanding family business that Vergil and his wife, Mary Ellen, eventually sold to their son, Doyle, in 1985.
Doyle has owned and operated Thomas Trailer Town ever since thanks to the help of a number of family members, including his children and sister Marlene Riebe of Crown Realty. Marlene remembers living in one of the trailer town units after she got married in 1972.
After 35 years of management, though, Doyle has decided it’s time to retire and sell the trailer town, and Oregon-based investor Phillip Merrill was more than happy to jump at the opportunity to purchase a trailer park in the Midwest.
“It’s good, affordable housing for hardworking people,” Phillip said. “That’s what I love about America.”
Marlene and Phillip both said the sale appeared destined to take place.
Phillip’s middle name is “Thomas,” and it’s a name that has been passed down in his family for five generations. In honor of his family history, as well as the history of Doyle and Marlene’s parents, Phillip said he plans to keep “Thomas” in the new name of the trailer park, which is Thomas Estates.
“It’s a God thing,” Marlene said.
Phillip is teaming up with his friend Jason Mabon of Oklahoma on the business venture, and he said they already have plans to make improvements to several of the units, along with the playground.
There are 60 lots in the trailer town, and Phillip said there is plenty of space available for new housing units or RVs. For more information, contact Thomas Estates at (913) 400-2044.
As for Doyle, he said he plans to wake up each day in retirement asking himself the same question: “Should I go fishing or play golf today?”