Thomas Windsmore, Member of the Vestry 1884-1916
This month we continue our series on people whose name appears on a plaque on the back of a church pew.
A native of Milford, DE, Thomas Windsmore moved to Southwark with his family as a young child. As an adult he worked in the shipping industry and had a schooner named after him. He was a prominent member of the Board of Port Wardens, the State Quarantine Board and served as Vice President of the Maritime Exchange. He was also a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and was a Past Master of the Masonic Fraternity.
Windsmore was married to Mary J. Steel at the Church by the Rev. Snyder B. Simes on June 2, 1873. Both of his children were baptized and married at the Church by Rev. Simes as well. According to the Book of Memory Windsmore found himself in the “greatest accord” with Rev. Simes and it “was one of his most cherished memories.”
In April, 1884 he was elected to the Vestry and appointed to the Finance Committee. In September 1894 he became a Trustee of the Endowment Fund and made that project one of his particular interests. He was also greatly interested in improving and beautifying the Church and its surroundings. The restoration of the Church interior received his hearty support. He suggested that a hot-house be built to supply flowers and plants for the Church and grounds. He also secured an architect to make a set of working plans of the Church in case it ever had to be rebuilt. He also helped bring about a settlement with St. James Church, Kingsessing, and Christ Church, Upper Merion, in regard to all properties which had been held jointly by the three churches.
Upon his death on January 7, 1916 the Vestry minutes said, “Thomas Winsmore, having been chosen a Vestryman of Gloria Dei Church, and for over thirty years served most faithfully, his death takes from us one whose place we will soon be able to fill. He value as a counselor, his diligence in rendering any service, his desire for fairness, are qualities which have always been valuable to Gloria Dei.”
(Riverside, December 2008)