Thomas T. Minor

Last updated
Thomas Taylor Minor
Thomas T. Minor.jpg
17th Mayor of Seattle
In office
Preceded by William H. Shoudy
Succeeded by Robert Moran
Personal details
Born(1844-02-20)February 20, 1844
Manipay, British Ceylon
DiedDecember 2, 1889(1889-12-02) (aged 45)
Camano Island, Washington
United States
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Sarah Montgomery
ChildrenElizabeth Montgomery Minor
Judith Strong Minor
ParentsEastman Strong Minor
Judith Manchester Taylor
Alma mater Yale School of Medicine
OccupationPhysician, Mayor of Seattle, Washington and Port Townsend, Washington and founder of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad.

Thomas T. Minor (February 20, 1844 – December 2, 1889) was a physician, businessman, civic and political leader who founded the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway and served as mayor of Seattle and Port Townsend, Washington.

Physician professional who practices medicine

A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients, and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines, such as anatomy and physiology, underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.

The Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway (SLS&E) was a railroad founded in Seattle, Washington, on April 28, 1885, with three tiers of purposes: Build and run the initial line to the town of Ballard, bring immediate results and returns to investors; exploit resources east in the valleys, foothills, Cascade Range, and Eastern Washington in 19th-century style, attracting more venture capital; and boost a link to a transcontinental railroad for Seattle, the ultimate prize for incorporation. The historical accomplishment of the line was Seattle to Sumas at the border, with British Columbia, Canada, connecting with the Canadian Pacific transcontinental at the border at Huntingdon, British Columbia, now part of the City of Abbotsford.

Port Townsend, Washington City in Washington, United States

Port Townsend is a city on the Quimper Peninsula in Jefferson County, Washington, United States. The population was 9,113 at the 2010 United States Census and an estimated 9,704 in 2018. It is the county seat and only incorporated city of Jefferson County. In addition to its natural scenery at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, the city is known for the many Victorian buildings remaining from its late 19th-century heyday, numerous annual cultural events, and as a maritime center for independent boatbuilders and related industries and crafts. The Port Townsend Historic District is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District. It is also significantly drier than the surrounding region due to being in the Rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains, receiving only 19" of rain per year.



Early life and ancestors

Thomas Taylor Minor [1] was born on February 20, 1844, in Manepy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) an island country in South Asia, located about 31 kilometres (19.3 mi) off the southern coast of India. He was a son of Eastman Strong Minor, part of an old and esteemed Connecticut family [2] [3] that descended from Thomas Miner, originally of Chew Magna in North East Somerset, England. An early New England diarist, Thomas Minor arrived on the Lyon's Whelp and helped found New London, Connecticut, and later Stonington, Connecticut. He married Grace Palmer in 1634, daughter of Walter Palmer (Puritan). [4] Eastman Minor was also a descendant, through Jonathan Brewster, of Elder William Brewster (c. 1567 – April 10, 1644), the Pilgrim leader and spiritual elder of the Plymouth Colony and a passenger on the Mayflower. [5] [6] [7]

South Asia Southern region of Asia

South Asia, or Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.

India Country in South Asia

India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Chew Magna village in the United Kingdom

Chew Magna is a village and civil parish within the Chew Valley in the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset, in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England. The parish has a population of 1,149.

Eastman was a successful printer in Boston, Massachusetts, when he closed his printing business in October 1833 and traveled with his first wife, Lucy Bailey, to Ceylon. The couple worked as Congregational missionaries, seeking to convert people to Christianity, first in Ceylon, then India, Singapore, and Bangkok. At some point, Eastman married Judith Manchester Taylor, who was born in Madison, Madison County, New York, in 1814, and died in New York in 1900. She was an orphan and the daughter of Isaac and Judith Taylor. She ran the local school in Ceylon, learned Singhalese, and taught it to her two stepchildren as well as her own six children.

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with about 2.4 billion followers.

Singapore Republic in Southeast Asia

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state in Southeast Asia. The country is situated one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%.

Bangkok Special administrative area in Thailand

Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand, and has a population of over eight million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population. Over fourteen million people lived within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region at the 2010 census, making Bangkok the nation's primate city, significantly dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance.

In July 1851, Minor and his family returned to the United States and settled in New Haven, Connecticut. Thomas T. Minor attended the local New Haven school.

New Haven, Connecticut City in Connecticut, United States

New Haven is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York metropolitan area. With a population of 129,779 as determined by the 2010 United States Census, it is the second-largest city in Connecticut after Bridgeport. New Haven is the principal municipality of Greater New Haven, which had a total population of 862,477 in 2010.

His half brother was Dr. William Chester Minor (June 1834 – March 26, 1920). Also known as W. C. Minors, he was an American surgeon who made many scholarly contributions to the Oxford English Dictionary. It was while living at Lambeth that Minor murdered George Merrett, for which he was found criminally insane and confined for the rest of his life at Broadmoor Hospital. His life was chronicled in The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester (published in the United States as The Professor and the Madman ).

William Chester Minor Union Army officer

William Chester Minor, also known as W. C. Minor was an American army surgeon and one of the largest contributors of quotations to the Oxford English Dictionary. He was also held in a psychiatric hospital from 1872 to 1910 after he murdered George Merrett.

<i>Oxford English Dictionary</i> Premier historical dictionary of the English language

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989.

Lambeth district in Central London, England

Lambeth is a district in South London, England, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Charing Cross. The population of the London Borough of Lambeth was 303,086 in 2011. The area experienced some slight growth in the medieval period as part of the manor of Lambeth Palace. By the Victorian era the area had seen significant development as London expanded, with dense industrial, commercial and residential buildings located adjacent to one another. The changes brought by World War II altered much of the fabric of Lambeth. Subsequent development in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has seen an increase in the number of high-rise buildings. The area is home to the International Maritime Organization.

Education and war years

In 1861, when he was 17, he enlisted in the Union Army as a private in Company G, 7th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. [8] He rose to the rank of captain and served as hospital steward and then surgeon. After the war, he entered Yale School of Medicine, graduating in 1867.

Yale School of Medicine

The Yale School of Medicine is the graduate medical school at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. It was founded in 1810 as The Medical Institution of Yale College, and formally opened in 1813.

Marriage and family

Minor married Sarah Montgomery on August 20, 1872, in Oregon. Sarah (born May 21, 1840, in Pennsylvania; died June 11, 1931, in Seattle) was the daughter of William Montgomery and Eliza Moorhead. Thomas and Sarah were the parents of two daughters:


In 1868, Minor moved from Nebraska to Port Townsend, where he was an owner and partner in the Marine Hospital. In 1880, he was elected mayor of Port Townsend; he was reelected the following year.

In 1883, he moved to Seattle and joined the Chamber of Commerce. On July 11, 1887 he was elected mayor of Seattle by a substantial majority.

He was active in the territorial and national Republican Party.


He died, along with his friend George Morris Haller, [10] and Haller’s brother-in-law Lewis Cox, on or about December 2, 1889, apparently when their canoe overturned in Saratoga Passage near Camano Island. Minor's body was never recovered. The city of Seattle held a memorial service and a procession on Sunday, December 15, 1899.



The names of Seattle’s Minor Avenue [14] and T. T. Minor Elementary School both honor Mayor Thomas Minor.


  1. National Magazine: A Monthly Journal of American History. 12. Magazine of Western History Publishing Co. 1890. p. 85. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. Dwight, B.W. (1871). The History of the Descendants of Elder John Strong, of Northampton, Mass. 1. J. Munsell. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  3. "Thomas Miner and his Descendants". . Accessed 31 July 2007. Note that some accounts have him arriving on the ship Arabella during the Great Migration, arriving in Salem Harbor on June 14, 1630.
  4. "Biography of Walter Palmer". Walter Palmer Society. Accessed 31 July 2007.
  5. Cutter, W.R.; Adams, W.F. (1910). Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts. 2. Lewis historical publishing Company. p. 1066. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2010-01-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. Dr. Thomas T. Minor, Eastman Strong Minor, Eunice Strong, Abel Strong, Tabitha Brewster, Peter, William, Benjamin, Jonathan, William, of the Mayflower.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2008-08-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. Loomis, E. (1880). The Descendants (by the Female Branches) of Joseph Loomis: Who Came from Braintree, England, in the Year 1638, and Settled in Windsor, Connecticut in 1639. 1. Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor. p. 160. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  10. Haller was a prominent, early lawyer in northwestern Washington Territory and was the son of Col. Granville O. Haller, one of the most famous military men of the region. George was an early law partner with Judge Thomas Burke (Seattle), the organizer behind the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway.
  11. "Thomas Minor Pelly (1902 - 1973) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  12. "Obituaries | Former Sen. Charles Moriarty Jr. Was In Group That Changed GOP | Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved 24 August 2015.

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Political offices
Preceded by
William H. Shoudy
Mayor of Seattle
Succeeded by
Robert Moran