ALBIN THOMA, who is at the head of the jewelry and optical firm of his name, has been identified with his present business for a period of time covering a half century and in point of time is the oldest dealer in this line at Piqua, Ohio, where he was born in 1844. His father, Augustus Thoma, for many years one of Piqua's prominent and useful citizens, was born at Baden, Germany in 1819, came to America in 1832 and settled at Piqua in 1838.
In 1838 Augustus Thoma founded the business which is still conducted by his descendants and under practically the same name. Early in the sixties he admitted his two sons, Albin and August F. Thoma, to partnership, and it was carried on by the three members of the firm until 1893, when August F. withdrew and the business was then continued by Augustus and Albin Thoma until the death of the former, December 29, 1900. In the course of time two sons of Albin Thoma were admitted to partnership and the association still continues.
In September, 1866, Mr. Thoma was married to Miss Anna Weigler, who came to Piqua from Cincinnati, in 1862. Mr. and Mrs. Thoma have nine children, four sons and five daughters, namely Albin L., who is a graduate of the New York Optical College, where he has also taken postgraduate courses; Leo A., who is an expert engraver and diamond setter; Joseph A., who is perfecting his education in optics and watchmaking; Adolph, who is also a student; and Minnie, Louisa, Marie, Anna and Ida. Mr. Thoma has been a member of St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church since its organization. He belongs to the order of Catholic Knights of America and to the Knights of Columbus. He has always been a loyal citizen and early in the progress of the Civil War he endeavored to enter the army but on account of poor health was not accepted. In 1864, however, he went out as a member of Company C, 147th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and during the 100-day period served in the vicinity of Washington City. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He has been connected with his present business since 1858 and is one of Piqua's leading citizens.
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