Four members of the Thomas family are memorialized at Hood College: Ella Virginia Thomas, her son George Frank, her daughter Julia Elizabeth, and her son-in-law Clyde Eugene Thomas. Lifelong residents of Frederick County, Md., the Thomas family are descendants of John Thomas, who migrated to this country from Klein-Schifferstadt, Germany, in 1730.
The Rosemont Avenue gateway to Hood College is named in memory Ella Virginia Thomas, and was a gift of Julia E. and Clyde E. Thomas and G. Frank Thomas. Born in Adamstown, Md. on April 29, 1860, she was the daughter of D. Peter and Elizabeth R. Remsburg Thomas. On November 12, 1885, she married Stephen Albert Thomas, and they lived on the Thomas family homestead in Adamstown, a 189-acre farm near Sugarloaf Mountain.
The Thomases had four children: William H., who died shortly after birth; George Frank; Julia; and Genevieve. Mrs. Thomas’ interests centered on her family and she was a devout member of Trinity Evangelical Reformed Church in Adamstown. She died in 1956 at age 96 and is buried in the Church Hill Cemetery in Adamstown.
The Magnolia Avenue gateway and the Thomas Athletic Field behind Coblentz Hall are named in memory of George Frank Thomas, known by his friends and family as G. Frank. A well-known and respected businessman, he was born in Adamstown in 1886, attended Frederick County Public Schools and was a summa cum laude graduate of Western Maryland College. Inheriting a love of farming from his father, he took an interest in the feed, grain and canning business and founded the Adamstown Canning and Supply Company. Later he bought and operated several canneries in Gaithersburg. His companies specialized in canning peas, corn, tomatoes and sauerkraut. The Frederick Trading Company, a well-known Frederick hardware distribution company, was founded by G. Frank Thomas as a subsidiary of the original Thomas Company.
Active in civic, cultural and religious affairs, G. Frank was a trustee of Western Maryland College and the Home for the United Church of Christ, serving as an elder, treasurer, a member of the Consistory and Sunday School teacher.
Six months prior to his death he married his secretary, Catherine Betson. Proceeds from the estate of G. Frank and Catherine Betson Thomas established the G. Frank Thomas Foundation which has funded scholarships at Hood College. G. Frank Thomas died June 18, 1965, and is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Julia Elizabeth Thomas was born on August 7, 1893, in Adamstown. A 1914 graduate of Hood College, she was active in community and civic affairs and an active member of Calvary Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday School. She married her cousin, Clyde Eugene Thomas, who was born June 26, 1891, the son of Curtis William and Abbie Lavina Thomas. Clyde Thomas graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 1912, where a residence hall is named in his honor.
Interested in real estate and farming, Clyde Thomas was a founder with his brother-in-law of the Frederick Trading Company and served many years as chairman of the board. He was also a member of the Board of Directors and contributed generously to Frederick Memorial Hospital and was an active alumnus of Franklin and Marshall College. Prior to going into the hardware business he had worked in his brother-in-law’s canning business. He was a Rotarian and active in numerous service organizations. A devout member of Calvary Methodist Church, he was a trustee, chairman of a drive to build the Christian education building, and a member and teacher of the Leaders Bible Class.
Mr. Thomas was president of the Hood College Board of Trustees from 1964-1966. The annex to the Apple Academic Resource Center (formerly the library), completed in 1962, was named in honor of Julia E. and Clyde E. Thomas.
A foster daughter, LaRue Thomas Bryce, graduated from Hood in 1936.
Clyde Thomas died June 18, 1965, and is buried beside Julia, who died May 19, 1987. Both are buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Frederick.
The sister of G. Frank and Julia, Genevieve Thomas Fravel, graduated from Hood College in 1916; a cousin, Lucille Thomas Sykes, graduated from Hood in 1937.