THOMAS BOTHWELL JETER was born in Union County, South Carolina. After graduating from South Carolina College in 1846, he studied law and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1848. In addition to practicing law, he was president of Spartanburg and Union Railroad for more than a decade. He was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1856 and a member of the South Carolina Senate from 1872 to 1882. As President Pro Tempore of the Senate in 1880 when Governor Wade Hampton left office after being elected to the U.S. Senate, he became Lieutenant Governor, and in turn took over the governorship when acting governor William Simpson resigned, holding office until the inauguration of newly-elected governor Johnson Hagood. Jeter went on to serve on the South Carolina Railroad Commission from 1882 until his death.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 12. New York: James T. White & Company.