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Hillsborough Biographies


Author: The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol. II, pg.100

CARUTHERS, THOMAS J. In studying the lives and character of prominent
men it is but natural to enquire as to the contributing sources of their
success and the motives which actuated their efforts. Success is not entirely
a matter of genius, but rather the results of experience and sound judgment.
The careers of those who stand highest in public esteem prove in nearly every
case that they are those who have devoted their lives to effective study and
close application to business, and have risen gradually, fighting their way
against all opposition. Self-reliance, conscientiousness, energy and honesty
are some of the qualities that produce some of the highest emoluments and
greatest rewards. To these may be attributed in large measure the success of
THOMAS J. CARUTHERS, president of the Caruthers Lumber Company of Tampa, and
one of the leading citizens of Hillsborough County. He was born in Sumter
County, Florida, January 1, 1863, a son of THOMAS and SUSAN (MONROE)
CARUTHERS. The father was born in Burke County, Georgia, and the mother was
also born in that locality, and they were brought to Florida by their parents
when children, in 1844, location being made in what is now Sumter County.
They became the parents of eight children, five of whom survive, THOMAS J.
CARUTHERS being the seventh in order of birth.
Growing up in his native county, THOMAS J. CARUTHERS attended the common
schools and then took a course in the primary department of Emory College.
After a short experience at Oxford, Mr. CARUTHERS came to Tampa in 1891 and
established himself in business as a wood dealer, continuing to conduct this
yard for twenty-nine years. In 1920 he branched out and established the
Caruthers Lumber Company, which he has already developed to large proportions.
In 1884 Mr. CARUTHERS married JESSIE KING, who was born in Missouri, and
they became the parents of seven children, namely: CHRISTIE, who is the widow
of FRANK DORSEY, and lives in California; ETHEL, who also lives in
California; WALLACE, who is an electrician of Tampa; LAWRENCE, who is an
attorney practicing at the bar of Charleston, South Carolina; MABEL, who is
the wife of J. H. ZANES, of New York City: and WILBUR and HERBERT M., both of
whom are unmarried and associated with their father in the lumber business.
Mr. CARUTHERS belongs to the Tampa Heights Methodist Episcopal Church, of
which he ahs been a steward and trustee since its organization twenty years
ago. The old homestead in Sumter County is still owned by members of the
Caruthers family, and during the seventy years it has been owned by the
Caruthers there have been but three deaths on the farm. Careful, conservative
and possessed of good judgment, Mr. CARUTHERS has gone steadily ahead,
widening the scope of his business as occasion demanded or circumstances
justified, and in addition to scoring a success in a material way he has at
the same time lived the right life and been an example to others. Public
spirited and charitable, Mr. CARUTHERS always finds time for studying and
fostering movements which aim to improve the public weal.
Presented by  Nancy Rayburn
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