Thomas E. Lewis biography

THOMAS E. LEWIS, of Fort Worth, Texas, is a native of Moultrie county, Illinois, and a son of Dr. T. Y. and Cordelia (Elder) Lewis.

Dr. T. Y. Lewis was born in Shelbyville, Illinois; studied medicine and became a prominent physician at Sullivan, where he lived for many years; came to Texas with his family in 1881 and located at Dublin, in Erath county, where he is still in the active practice of medicine and is a well known citizen, having besides his professional interests a fine ranch stocked with Norman horses and Durham cattle. His wife, a native of Sullivan, Illinois, is a member of a Tennessee family who were for the most part merchants.

Mr. Lewis’ paternal grandfather was born and reared in Boston. He was descended from the Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame, the original progenitors of the family having come to this country from England, settling in Massachusetts Colony, where they figured prominently in commercial affairs, invariably being successful. Ancestors of Mr. Lewis were owners of the Long Wharf at Boston in Revolutionary times. Grandfather Lewis pioneered to Illinois at an early day, making the journey by way of canal boats, stage coaches, etc., and settled at Shelbyville, where he was a prominent merchant.

Thomas E. Lewis received his education at Sullivan, and was a young fellow when the family came to Texas. In those days cattle being the paramount industry in this portion of Texas, he engaged for some time as a manager of a cattle and horse ranch. When still quite a young man he went into the hardware business at Dublin, and was successfully engaged in the same for four years. Being ambitious and wishing to conduct larger operations, he went to Corpus Christi, Texas, on the gulf coast, which was then in the incipient throes of a boom, and commenced dealing in real estate. In this venture he was successful until the panic of 1893 caused a collapse. He was there about two years, and then he took the general southern agency for the Torshon Balance Scale Company of New York. Following this he went on the road for a buggy manufacturing company, selling buggies in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Indian Territory, and Oklahoma. About this time the discovery and application of acetylene gas came to his attention, and he was one of the first in the United States to introduce acetylene gas and sell machines for generating same, introducing it all over Texas and adjacent territory. Previous to going into the gas business he had spent a short time as right-of-way and town-site agent for the Denison and Northern Railway, which was projected to the built northward from Denison through the Indian Territory.

After discontinuing the acetylene gas business, Mr. Lewis cast about for a suitable home and business in or near Fort Worth, which has been his headquarters for some time, and after driving over considerable country around the city he decided to locate at what he subsequently named Sagamore Hill, about four miles east of the Fort Worth courthouse. Here he purchased some land. In 1903 the Fort Worth and Dallas interurban electric line was completed, which runs directly by his property, making it an ideal place for suburban residence, with the quick and easy transportation thus afforded. Since the completion of the road the adjacent property as far out as Handley is becoming settled with pretty suburban residences, and has greatly enhanced in value. Mr. Lewis’ own home site is ideally situated, being on the highest point between Dallas and Fort Worth, and commanding a magnificent view of the latter city. Besides his home place, Mr. Lewis has adjoining valuable acreage and platted residence lots which he is selling to home builders. Sagamore Hill will undoubtedly be one of the most attractive suburbs of Fort Worth.

Mr. Lewis married Miss Hattie M. Brown, who was born and reared in Mexico, Missouri, and they have one son, Thomas Y.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 465-466.