JOSEPH THOMAS. One of Greensburg's most successful citizens is Joseph Thomas. The parents of Mr. Thomas were both natives of Germany, having been born on the banks of the Rhine. William Thomas, his father, was a carpenter and cabinetmaker. He married Mary Anna Auen, and six children were born to them, three of whom survive: William, a florist at Sharon, Pennsylvania; Joseph, mentioned hereafter; and Agnes, wife of Frederick Muehlenbeck, of Tarentum, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. In 1881 Mrs. Thomas died, and in 1890 her husband followed their children to the United States, where he passed away in 1892.
Joseph Thomas, son of William and Mary Anna (Auen) Thomas, was born June 9, 1869, in Prussia, on the banks of the Rhine, and as early as his fourteenth year apprenticed himself to the trade of a florist. Previous to this time he had attended the public schools, and while learning his trade completed his education at the evening schools. In 1888 he came to the United States and accepted a position as landscape gardener for R. P. Duff, of Pittsburgh. Later he worked in the same capacity for Mrs. McMasters, of Turtle Creek, and in 1890 became foreman for A. W. Smith, the well-known florist of Pittsburgh. This position he retained about eighteen months, and was then engaged as gardener and florist by St. Xavier's Academy of Westmoreland county, where he remained four years. He then went to Greensburg and for six months was employed by D. M. Sheerer. At this stage of his career Mr. Thomas engaged in business for himself as a florist and landscape gardener. He leased the Barclay lot on North Main street for seven years and there erected his greenhouses. In September 1902, he purchased a portion of the Belvedere farm, two and one half miles northwest of Greensburg, where he built extensive greenhouses and a substantial residence. His business, meanwhile, increased rapidly and he now stands at the head of his line of enterprise in Greensburg, having a salesroom in the Wealty building, on Ottoman street. He is a Democrat in politics, and is a member of the Roman Catholic church. Mr. Thomas married in 1892, Henrietta Pickert, and seven children were born to them, six of whom are now living: Agnes, Marie, William, Frederick, Joseph and Robert. In 1902 Mrs. Thomas died. In 1903 Mr. Thomas married Susanna Clements, by whom he is the father of one child, Henrietta.
Source: Page(s) 106, History of Westmoreland County, Volume 2, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed June 2001 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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