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Thomas W. Bruce


Mr. Thomas Bruce was 89 years old when he died in 1958. He is buried in historic Ellsworth Cemetery in Westminster, Maryland.

Mr. Bruce was born in the late 1860s, perhaps the youngest child of Mr. Alfred and Angeline (Bell) Bruce. When he was only 11, he was working on the neighboring farms alongside his father and brother. Many young people would be “working out” with their wages being paid to their parents. Boys would typically be beholden to their parents until their 21st birthday. Girls might be on their own, likely married, by their 18th birthday. School attendance was not mandatory in the state of Maryland until 1902, and then only until the age of 12. Later in life, he would claim a 7th grade education.

In 1898, Mr. Bruce married Ms. Dora Bowen, a fellow native of Carroll County who grew up in Union Bridge. They had at least two children.

By 1900, the couple was living with his widowed mother. Mr. Bruce worked now as a coachman, likely for a private family. The 1910 census finds the small family on York Street, with Mrs. Bruce’s mother & sister as well as a number of boarders. Mrs. Bruce had started work as a cook for a private family, while Mr. Bruce was a porter at the Main Court Inn. Remarkably, their child attended private school.

Sometime in the 1910s, the couple began working for Mr. F. Neal Parke, a prominent Westminster lawyer. They likely remained in his employ until her death in 1940. By 1950, Mr. Bruce had retired and remained living with his sister-in-law.

Mr. Thomas W. Bruce died at Johns Hopkins Hospital on May 14, 1958. He is buried near his wife and child (who also pre-deceased him) in Ellsworth Cemetery. Their shared headstone has recently been cleaned as part of the general restoration of the cemetery.


Carroll County Times, 22 May 1958


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