Biography of Thomas Francis Cahill
Cahill, Thomas Francis: President Cahill, Swift Manufacturing Company, 1112 to 1120 Market street, St. Louis, Missouri; manufacturers and jobbers of plumbing, heating and mill supplies. Born in St. Louis, May 22, 1857; son of Patrick Cahill and Ellen (Slattery) Cahill. Parents were both natives of County Tipperary, Ireland, and settled in St. Louis more than seventy years ago. The father, Patrick Cahill, engaged in the blacksmithing and horseshoeing business, which trade he had learned in Ireland and was associated with such men as Edward Butler, who later became so well known to all St. Louisans; P. J. and John Pauley, later known for their connection with the Fulton Iron Works.
Thomas F. Cahill received his education at St. Patrick’s Parochial school, Seventh and Biddle streets, conducted by the Christian Brothers. At the age of fifteen he started out as an office boy for Sheffield & Stone, advertising agents, located at Fourth and Olive streets. In an adjoining office, at the same time, Festus J. Wade, a well known citizen of St. Louis, was employed in a similar capacity. Later Thomas F. Cahill engaged his services in a clerical capacity with Francis Whittaker & Sons, pork packers, at Sixth and Carr streets. About this time he had reached a decision as to the line he preferred to follow and engaged his services with M. C. Bignall & Company, dealers in heavy hardware supplies at No. 810 North Second street, where the groundwork was laid for his later success in business life. The firm was succeeded by Goulds & Ostrander and a few years later was taken over by the N. O. Nelson Manufacturing Company. In the intervening years Thos. F. Cahill had worked his way up until he eventually became the purchasing agent for the N. O. Nelson Company.
In the year of 1886, at the age of twenty-nine, the progressive spirit of success and self-confidence had awakened in him to such an extent that he resigned his position with the Nelson Company and formed the partnership known as Clegg, Cahill & Collins, manufacturers and jobbers of plumbing, heating and mill supplies. This partnership was succeeded by Cahill, Collins & Company; and later became Cahill, Swift & Company. The business was incorporated in September, 1898, as the Cahill, Swift Manufacturing Company and Thomas F. Cahill became president of the corporation. His instinct and ability to foresee market conditions, coupled with a liberal spirit towards his employes and the happy faculty of being able to surround himself with a capable, loyal corps of assistants, has made the business one of the most substantial and successful in their line.
In 1884 Thomas F. Cahill was united in marriage to Miss Nora E. Sullivan, of St. Louis; and out of this happy union there was born to them seven sons and a daughter. The eldest son, John F. Cahill, is cashier and director of the Austin National Bank, Chicago, Illinois; Mary E. Cahill, the daughter, lives with her parents at their beautiful home at Cahill avenue and Laclede road, Webster Groves, Missouri; Joseph died in infancy; Thomas F., Jr., is vice president of the Cahill, Swift Manufacturing Company; Roswell B. is receiving clerk for the same company; Francis J. is associated with the company as traveling salesman; Louis B. is in the office of the company; and Richard V. is a student at St. Louis University.
Thomas F. Cahill and family are members of the Roman Catholic church and he gives his political endorsement to the democratic party. He is a member of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce and the Knights of Columbus. He has always been an active man and displayed a real enthusiasm for whatever particular undertaking he interested himself in. His genial mannerism and kindly, charitable disposition have won for him a host of friends and admirers who esteem him highly and recognize the latent talent which has enabled him to build up a high place in the business and social life of the community. But above all he is a home loving man, devoted to his family and asks nothing better than an evening at home surrounded by those he loves and who love him.