THOMAS A. WAYNE
The leading contractor and builder of Atwater, Merced County is Thomas A. Wayne, born in Effingham County, Ill.,
on January 21, 1873, the third in order of birth of four children and the only son of G. W. Wayne, a native of
Kentucky and a wheelwright by trade. In 1875 he came to California, followed the next year by his family; and the
family home was established in Lake County, where he worked in the Sulphur Bank Mine. They later moved to Lower
Lake, where he opened a wagon shop, carried on the business many years and died at the age of sixty five years.
He had married Cynthia Ellen Jaycox, who died at the age of sixty four years. Both parents are buried in Lake County.
Thomas attended the Lower Lake public school and at the age of sixteen went to work in his father's shop, remaining
for five years. At the age of twenty one he engaged in carpenter work, learned the business thoroughly, and in
1902 came to Merced and worked as a journeyman until 1911, when he removed to Atwater, then a village of about
100 inhabitants. Since that time he has done most of the building in that town and vicinity, his handiwork showing
in many of the best residences, business blocks and school buildings; in 1925 he erected the Bloss Memorial Library
costing $15,000. He is the owner of a ten acre vineyard in Arizona Colony and his home property in Atwater; and
he is the proprietor of the Atwater Billiard Hall and Cigar Store and is considered one of the substantial men
of the town, as well as a public spirited citizen of the county.
Mr. Wayne was united in marriage with Miss Bertie L. Cunningham of Lower Lake, daughter of the late W. H. Cunningham,
a pioneer blacksmith, who was also assessor of Lake County three terms. He was well and favorably known in Northern
California. The children of this union are: Leonard A., Nora E., Ethel I., Mildred M., Leta and Thomas A., Jr.
Mr. Wayne was elected a member of the first board of trustees of Atwater upon its incorporation in August, 1922.
Fraternally, he is a member and a Past Grand of the Odd Fellows lodge at Lower Lake, and a member of Merced Lodge
No. 1240, B. P. O. E. He stands at all times for cooperation in all public development and is a champion of the
rights of the people.
History of Merced County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by John Outcalt
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1925
Merced County, CA
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