Biography of Thomas Fording
Allegheny County, PA Biographies

THOMAS FORDING, superintendent of the bureau of water assessment, of Pittsburg, was born in what is now Pittsburg, and has spent most of his life within the present city limits. He was born in 1841, and taken, in infancy, by his parents to what was then called Elliott's Delight, later Temperanceville, and now thirty sixth ward, Pittsburg, Here Mr. Fording was reared and given a limited education. His father was killed by a boiler explosion, so the boy left school at ten years of age, and was employed first for a year in an ax factory, and then in a nail factory. In August, 1862, he enlisted to fight for his country in the Civil war, as a private in Battery E, Mississippi marine brigade, light artillery, where he served with distinction throughout the war. After the engagement at Vicksburg, he was promoted for bravery in battle to the position of first duty sergeant, in accordance with the following order issued by Capt. D. P. Walling, commanding the battery:

Vicksburg, Miss.,
Headquarters Light Battery, M. M. B.,
Copy July 22, 1863.
Battery Order, No. 5.
Promotion - Corporal Thomas Fording to be sergeant for gallantry in action on De Soto Point, opposite Vicksburg, June 21st and 22nd, 1863, vice James A. Nevin, dead. To rank from July 1st, 1863. D. P. Walling, Capt. Com'd Battery, M. M B.

Mr. Fording served in this capacity until February, 1865, when he was mustered out at Vicksburg. During the war, he fought in the Red river campaign, on the Black river, at Vicksburg and in many minor engagements. The war over, he returned to Pittsburg and resumed his work in the nail factory. In 1867 he went to Wheeling, W. Va., where he worked about two years. Returning to Pittsburg, he worked in the nail factory again until 1873, when he was appointed inspector of the board of health. He served in this capacity until 1878, and then the coimcil elected him street commissioner. This position Mr. Fording filled most creditably for fifteen years, the title being changed, in 1888, to assistant superintendent of streets. In 1893 he was appointed to his present office, where he has made an enviable record as an able and faithful public servant. Mr. Fording is a member of Garfield post, No. 215, G. A. R., of which he was commander for five consecutive years, 1895 to 1900. He is at present treasurer of the G. A. R. association of Allegheny county. He is a member of the Knights Templars and Mystic Shrine and the Jr. O. U. A. M., and has been for the past twenty one years treasurer of St. Clair lodge, No. 362, I. O. O. F. Mr. Fording is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.


From:
Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
personal and genealogical with portraits.
Publishers: Northwestern Historical Association
Madison, Wis. 1904.


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