Thomas P. Janes was born September 11, 1823 in Crawfordville, GA, in present-day Taliaferro County (formerly the eastern part of Greene County). There he attended Mercer Institute. He would go on to receive Masters of Arts degrees from Columbian College (George Washington University), Mercer University, and the College of New Jersey (Princeton University) before earning his medical degree at the University of the City of New York in 1847. A successful farmer and physician he was commissioned in 1861 as Assistant Surgeon, 16th Regiment, Georgia Militia.
Janes served as Georgia's first Commissioner of Agriculture from 1874-1879. On March 11, 1885, Janes died at his home, "Redcliff Farm," and was buried there in his family cemetery. His obituary in The Atlanta Constitution went on to say that Janes "was a man who has done much to advance the farming interests of the state. He was a kind and affable gentleman, and a man of large experience. His death will be felt in the county and will cause much regret." A marker was erected as his burial site by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Historical Commission as directed in a resolution passed by the 1961 session of the Georgia General Assembly.