James Thomas

Source: Roberts, et al, History Of Lehigh County Pennsylvania, 1914.


James Thomas, son of Hopkin, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., Sept 22, 1836. He appears to have inherited his father's genius in mechanics, and early in youth thoroughly learned the iron industry, in which business his attentions were engaged all his active life and in which he has been eminently useful. He superintended the Parryville furnaces some years and about 1870 he went South and erected furnaces there. He left Oxmoor, Alabama, to come to Catasauqua, where in 1876 or 1877, he became an equal partner with George Davies in the firm of Davies & Thomas. The plant, located at East Catasauqua, was the means of building up that town. Mr. Thomas remained a member of the company until his death on December 18, 1906.


He was active in the religious, social and political affairs of Catasauqua. As a pillar of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he served it in all its offices for many years; also was the honored superintendent of the Sunday school for many years. He was connected with all the bodies of the Masonic Fraternity, and in politics he was a strong Republican. He was a national delegate in 1892, to the convention that nominated General Benjamin Harrison for President. Mr. Thomas also was a member of the town council and the school board of Catasauqua for some years. His wife, Mary Ann Davies, was a daughter of Daniel Davies who was the father of George Davies, his business associate. Seven children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas as follows: Blanche, the wife of C. R. Horn.; Mary, died at the age of twenty-eight years; Rowland D.; Ruth, the widow of W. A. McKee; Helen, is married to Dr. J. J. Hornbeck; Catharine, died aged eighteen years; and Hopkin.


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