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Thomas K. Harding (1847-1912)
Native of St. Catherines, Can., fire chief at Bay City.

1892 biography.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Saginaw and Bay Counties, MI
Chicago Biographical Publishing Co. - 1892



THOMAS K. HARDING, chief engineer of the fire department and fire marshal of Bay City, has been connected with the fire department here longer than any other man, having been with it since 1866, and chief engineer since February, 1883. He is a man of broad intelligence, great popularity, and has numerous friends; he was Vice President in 1890 of the National Fire Engineerís Association. He has worked hard to secure for Bay City a good system with modern improvements in the fire department and it is owing to his energy and work that the city now has one of the finest fire departments in the State.

Our subject was born at St. Catherines, Canada, and had his early training within sight of the stupendous object of nature, Niagara Falls. His father, Robert, learned the trade of a shoemaker at Queenstown, Ireland, and came to Canada, where he established himself as a successful manufacturer of and dealer in boots, shoes, and leather findings. There he did an extensive business and spent the remainder of his days, dying at the age of seventy-eight. His wife, whose maiden name Mary Kelley, was born in Drogheda, near Dublin, Ireland, and now resides at St. Catherines. They had four sons and three daughters, the eldest, John, served his country for three years in the Civil War, being a member of the Eighth Michigan Calvary.

Thomas K. Harding was born March 31, 1847, and after studying at St. Catherines, finished his course at the Buffalo (N.Y.) High School. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to the printerís trade and worked for three years on the St. Catherines Constitution, a weekly paper, after which he took charge of the printing-office of the Journal there, which he carried on for three years, and then after a short sojourn in Buffalo he came to Michigan, and in 1866 took charge of the Bay City Journal, being foreman of the job department. Later he started the daily Tribune in connection with G. Lewis, E. Kroenke, and John Culver, and in this he had charge of the job department. He afterward served Henry Dowe, and later James Birney, in the same kind of work, and then entered into partnership with Mr. McMillian, and published the daily Observer.

Since 1883 Mr. Harding has paid his entire attention to the fire department, with which he has been connected since 1866. In the spring of 1883 he was appointed by the City Council as chief engineer, and he has built up this part of the city service until it is in as good condition as that of any city in Michigan. He is also connected with the common council as secretary of the house and buildings committee. He serves in the same capacity upon the Board of Electric Light Control, and also upon the Board of Building Inspectors, and is likewise inspector of buildings and churches.

In 1885 our subject introduced into the Michigan State Firemanís Association a resolution requiring all insurance companies outside of the State, doing business in Michigan, to pay a percent of money to the Firemanís Benevolent Association, but did not succeed in the matter because of the controlling influence of the insurance companies. He organized and drew up the Constitution for the Bay City Firemanís Mutual Benefit Association, and was its first President and is now Treasurer.

We have here a record as one of the most import events in the life of Mr. Harding his marriage, in 1876, to Miss Margaret A. Roache, who was born in Petersboro, Canada. Six children have blessed this union, namely: Fred W., Robert F., Thomas, Harry, Lee and Helen. The social orders with which this gentleman is connected are the Knights of Pythia, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Knights of the Maccabees.

Additional Notes.

    Family Genealogy.

  • Thomas K. Harding died Oct. 20, 1912, son of William Harding and Mary Kelley; siblings were: Mary (1839-?), John (1840-92), Anne M. (1845-1929), Catherine (1849-?), William (1852-1930), Robert (1853-1863), Margaret (1855-1924) and Richard (1857-?).

    1880 - Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Harding, Thos. K - b. 1848 Canada
  • Margaret, wife - b. 1851 Canada
  • Fredie W., son - b. 1875 Mich.
  • Thomas W., son - b. 1879 Mich.

    1890 - Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Harding, Thomas - b. 1847 Canada
  • Margaret, wife - b. Jan 1850 Canada
  • Thomas W., son - b.May 1879 Mich.
  • Henry, son - b. Dec 1890 Mich.
  • Edward, son - b. Aug 1892 Mich.
  • Helen, dau., b. Feb 1894
Related Note & Pages

Thomas K. Harding

Related Pages:
Kempter, Gottlieb F.
Bay City Fire Dept. 1918
{Pictorial: Fires Depts.]
Also see "Writings/Diasters/"
People Referenced
Birney, James
Culver, John
Dowe, Henry
Harding, Anne M. (sis)
Harding, Catherine (sis)
Harding, Edward (son)
Harding, Fred W. (son)
Harding, Henry (son)
Harding, Helen (dau)
Harding, John (bro)
Harding, Lee (son)
Harding, Magaret (sis)
Harding, Mary (sis)
Harding, Richard (bro)
Harding, Robert (bro)
Harding, Robert F. (son)
Harding, Thomas K. (subject)
Harding, Thomas W. (son)
Harding, Wm. (father)
Harding, Wm. Jr. (bro)
Kelly, Mary (wife)
Kroenke, E.
Lewis, C.
Roache, Margaret A. (wife)
Subjects Referenced
Ancient Order of United Workman
Bay City, MI
Bay City Journal, paper
Bay City Observer, paper
Bay City Tribune, paper
Board of Building Inspectors
Board of Electric Light Control
Buffalo High School
Buffalo, NY
City Council
Civil War
Drogheda, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Eighth Michigan Calvary
Fireman's Benevolent Assoc.
Fireman's Mutual Benefit Assoc.
Housing & Bldgs. Comm.
Knights of Pythia
Knights of the Maccabees
Michigan State Fireman's Assoc.
National Fire Engr's Assoc.
Nigara Falls, NY
Petersboro, Canada
Queenstown, Ireland
St. Catherines, Canada
St. Catherines Constitution, paper
Internet References
  • None at this time.
  • WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.