Floyd Thomas (Thomas) as he was known, was born January 6, 1881, on the Claybanks farm of his parents, James and Elizabeth Fordham. Thomas served 20 years as township clerk and on the County Board of Supervisors for two terms. He served on the County Board of Election Canvassers. Thomas was an authority on Claybanks and Oceana County history. He was a grandson of Dr. Thomas Philips, a pioneer physician of that area. He had large collection of Indian arrowheads picked up on his farm and surrounding area. While farming was a means of income, his true love was music, making and playing the violin. He taught violin lessons to children. Tom enjoyed attending the Masonic Lodge in Montague and playing semi-classical music for church functions, graduations and other community events. Tom was a talented violin maker, and versed in the history of violin making and famous violin makers. He made 10 violins, two mandolins and at the time he was stricken with paralysis had just completed a cello. Thomas was married June 26, 1919 to Lydia Butzer at the Butzer home in Claybanks, Michigan, Lydia was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Fred C. Butzer Sr. Thomas attended Claybanks Methodist Church. Thomas died in 1961 and is buried in Flower Creek Cemetery, In Claybanks Township, Oceana County, Michigan. They had four children. Floyd Thomas 1920-1981, Clifford 1922-1982, Olive 1923-?, and Charles who died soon after birth.
Courtesy: O. Fordham
Claybanks, Oceana County
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