Biography of Harry J. Thoma
North Central Ohio Biographies

Harry J. Thoma, who is secretary, treasurer and general manager of the National Ice Company, of Mansfield, is a native of this city. He was born Aug. 6, 1887, the son of Jacob and Mary (Hedrick) Thoma.

Jacob Thoma and his wife were born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. They were married in Germany and came to the United States in 1879 and located in Mansfield, where Mr. Thoma established the Jacob Thoma Cigar Company. He manufactured the well known brand of cigar called the "Iron Horse," and many other kinds. He retired from active business in 1920. He died in 1923 and his widow died in 1926. Both are buried in Mansfield. Politically he was a Democrat. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Thoma: Valentine, born in Germany, a bookkeeper with the Wagner Hardware Company, Mansfield; Anna, deceased; Jacob, deceased; Louise, deceased; John, deceased; and Harry J., the subject of this sketch.

Harry J. Thoma attended the grammar and high schools of Mansfield and as a boy sold newspapers. For four years he was receiving clerk with the Humphrey Manufacturing Company; from 1908 until 1919 he was associated with the Renner Webber Brewing Company as a salesman. In 1919 in partnership with Philip Schmutzler he established the National Ice Company, Inc., and became secretary, treasurer and general manager of that business. The company started operations in a small way, and bought their ice. In 1919 the present plant was built. It is modern in all respects and electrically equipped. In 1924 a 2000 ton ice storage plant was added. On Jan. 1, 1929, the company purchased the Julius Webber ice plant. From one horse drawn delivery wagon in 1919 their business has grown until they now have 24 delivery wagons, and employ 24 men.

Mr. Thoma was married in 1914 to Miss Clara Becker, the daughter of Alois and Mary Becker, natives of Mansfield. Mr. and Mrs. Becker were killed in an automobile accident on July 21, 1925. Mrs. Thoma died Dec. 26, 1914. On Jan. 1, 1928, Mr. Thoma married Miss Anna Roth, a native of Mansfield.

Mr. Thoma is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Retail Merchant's Association, Ohio Association of Ice Industries, and National Association of Ice Industries. He is a director of the Kallmerten Baer, Inc., and belongs to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, No. 336, of which he is a life member. Mr. Thoma is progressive and enterprising, and one of the substantial citizens of Richland County.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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