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For upwards of half a century, Thomas Page has been one of the prominent commercial figures in Kansas. With possibly one exception, he is the oldest miller in the state, and for years has been a factor in the milling and grain interests and as much as any other individual has contributed to make Topeka a center for the manufacture of flour.
A native of Scotland, he was born in the little manufacturing hamlet of Dunshalt in Fifeshire, September 3, 1843. With a practical schooling he began an apprenticeship in the milling business.
For some time he was employed in a mill on the River Clyde, where he daily witnessed the arrival and departure of some of the great ocean vessels which brought to him all the sense of mystery and the messages of far off lands which the sight of them inspires. No doubt it was the vessels plying between America and Great Britain that gave him his first definite idea of making the United States his future home.
It was in 1866, when he was twenty-three years of age, that he took passage on one of these vessels for America. Not long after his arrival he found employment at his trade in Albany, New York. Then in 1869 he started westward, for a short time worked in Peoria and for a longer time at Rockford, Illinois. At Rockford he became acquainted with Josiah Griswold, who with his partner J. L. Shallabarger, owned the Shawnee Flouring Mills at Topeka, then the only flour mills of the capital city.
It was through the inducement of Mr. Griswold that Mr. Page arrived in Topeka in March, 1871. For about eight years he was connected with the Shawnee mills. Then in 1879, having a wide acquaintance and experience among grain men in Kansas, he accumulated the capital by which were erected the Interocean Mills. He was proprietor of these for twelve years, and on selling his interests built the Mid-Continent Mills. These mills are now the property of the incorporation known as the Thomas Page Milling Company, and though now past three score and ten Mr. Page is still in active business and the directing head of this important enterprise. Thus for forty-five years his name has been closely associated with the milling business in Topeka.
As a result of industry and sound business judgment he has acquired wealth, but has also attained that which he prizes more highly, an honored name, the respect and confldence of his fellow men, and the affection of family and a wide circle of intimate friends. Wherever this name is mentioned it is at once associated with honorable, upright business dealings.
Aside from his regular line of lifework Mr. Page has been connected with other commerical affairs, and is now president of the Shawnee State Bank of Topeka. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church in which he was reared, and politically is a republican. He is also a true Kansan in the sense that he never uses strong drink.
In 1880 he married Miss Jessie McClintock. They are the parents of three children. David G. is associated with his father in the milling business, Grace L. is the wife of John Redden of Winnipeg, Canada, and the other daughter is Miss Effle.