Biography of Fred W. Thomas
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

FRED WILLIAM THOMAS. The ordinary citizen, giving his attention day after day to his private business and personal interests, may seldom give much thought to the actual operation of civic government in its details until, perhaps, some exigency arises in his own affairs that awakens him to knowledge that is apt to be enlightening. Among other things he discovers that the orderly management of municipal affairs, to which he has owed protection by civic laws and the enjoyment of civic privileges, is on a comprehensive plan that could not be effectively carried out without the faithful cooperation of those especially fitted for .their tasks. A well known citizen of Cleveland who has been identified with official life at Cleveland for many years is Fred William Thomas, a man of high personal character and thorough business training, who is now serving in the office of clerk of the city council of Cleveland.

Mr. Thomas was born at Cleveland, Ohio, November 17, 1876, a son of George R. and Bertha W. (Hanna) Thomas, the former of whom was born in Wales, and died at Cleveland September 12, 1922, at the age of seventy two years. The latter was born at Cleveland, of German parentage, and still survives. Of their family of six children Fred William was the older born of twins, son and daughter.

In 1860 the father of Mr. Thomas came to the United States, locating first in old Newburg, and while living there served on the board of education. For fifty years he was engaged in the retail shoe business, living retired during the remainder of his life. He took intelligent interest in public affairs in Cuyahoga County in particular, and at one time served as deputy sheriff under Sheriff Sawyer. He was a member of the Early Settlers Association, and belonged to the fraternal order of the Knights of Pythias, an honorable, trustworthy man in every relation of life.

Fred William Thomas completed his public school training in the Central High School, after which for twenty years he was in the hat business and with Browning, King & Company in various capacities. being one of the buyers of that firm when he retired. Mr. Thomas then became secretary to Mayor Davis, and remained with this high minded public official until the latter resigned in order to accept the nomination for governor, to which office he was elected on the republican ticket. Mayor Fitzgerald succeeded Mayor Davis at Cleveland, and Mr. Thomas served as his secretary for nine months, then became director of parks and public property, and on January 1, 1922, became clerk of the city council of Cleveland. In this capacity one of the duties of Mr. Thomas is to render the council office of the most possible advantage to the public. The records are kept up to date, six clerks are employed and information is given quickly and cheerfully. The office publishes the City Record, a weekly which contains the proceedings of the board of control, of the civil service commission and of the city council. Mr. Thomas' courtesy and spirit of accommodation have been in evidence ever since he took charge of the office and are greatly appreciated by his fellow citizens.

Mr. Thomas married on December 7, 1907, Miss Esther Thompson, who was born at Bedford, Ohio. Her parents, who were natives of England, are deceased. Mrs. Thomas is more interested in providing a comfortable, well ordered home for her husband and their two young daughters, Blanche and Margaret, aged twelve and ten years, respectively, than outside matters. They are members of the Christian Science Church.

In political sentiment Mr. Thomas is a republican. He is a member and past master of Halcyon Lodge No. 498, Free and Accepted Masons. He is also a member of Al Sirat Grotto, Al Koran Temple and Lake Erie Consistory of the Scottish. Rite, and of the Loyal Order of Moose. He belongs further to such representative organizations as the Exchange, the Advertising, the Tippecanoe clubs and the Western Reserve Republican Club and the League of Republican Clubs.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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