Gibson, Thomas Morton - Erie County

THOMAS MORTON GIBSON. To Thomas Morton Gibson, Vice-President and managing executive of that representative mercantile house, the Adam, Meldrum & Anderson Company, belongs by universal consent a place in the foremost ranks of Buffalo business men. Distinctively a merchant and financier, he is none the less a citizen.

Mr. Gibson is of Scottish birth. He comes of the Gibsons of Kilmarnock, an Ayrshire family prominent in the West of Scotland, his father being John Gibson and his mother's maiden name Sarah Fraser. Thomas M. Gibson was the youngest of a family of eleven children. John Gibson, the father of Thomas M. Gibson, was the manager of a large carpet factory in Kilmarnock.

Thomas Morton Gibson was born at Kilmarnock July 11th, 1845. He received his education at a private school kept by William Eraser in East Shaw street, Kilmarnock. After leaving school young Gibson served a regular apprenticeship in the dry-goods business.

Mr. Gibson recalls that for four years' work he received only 40 pounds, or about $200 of our money.

Thomas M. Gibson early conceived the idea of going to America. Taking ship on a sailing vessel bound out of Liverpool, in 1864, he arrived at St. John, New Brunswick, the voyage consuming 42 days. Mr. Gibson there obtained employment with Ennis & Gardner, a dry-goods firm, with whom he remained two years. In 1867 he went to Chicago, where he remained until 1869, during which time he was connected with the dry-goods establishment of Ross & Gossage. In the fall of 1869 he made a visit to his birthplace. Upon coming back to America, Mr. Gibson settled in Buffalo in 1870, entering the store of Adam & Meldrum as a clerk in the linen department, the salary being $15 a week.

Mr. Gibson's rise was steady. After a few years as clerk he was promoted to the position of floor manager and later manager of the retail department. Upon the death of Mr. Meldrum, a corporation was formed, under the name of the Adam, Meldrum & Anderson Company, and Mr. Gibson became owner of part of the stock of the concern. After the death of Mr. William Anderson, Mr. Gibson was elected to fill his place as managing partner and director, the other members of the board being R. B. Adam, Sr., and R. B. Adam, Jr. Upon the death of Mr. R. B. Adam in 1904, Mr. Gibson was elected Vice President of the company.

On January 6th, 1876, Mr. Gibson married Lavancha T. Stannard of Buffalo, a daughter of the late W. W. Stannard, who was for many years associated with the firm of Jewett & Root, and who served the city as Assessor and Alderman, and the State as Assemblyman. The children of this marriage are: Lieut. Walter Fraser Gibson, who is connected with the Adam, Meldrum & Anderson establishment, and Edla S. Gibson.

For many years Mr. Gibson has been a communicant of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, of which he is also a warden. He is a Mason of long standing, is a member of the Buffalo and Ellicott clubs and of the Chamber of Commerce, besides being actively interested in many Scottish societies.

Among the most striking characteristics of Mr. Gibson is his loyal devotion to the memories of his native land. He pays frequent visits to Scotland, and side by side with his sterling patriotic sentiment for the country of his adoption, cherishes grateful remembrance of the land of his birth.

SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I