Biography of Thomas Lowell Mauldin
Thomas Lowell Mauldin, one of the founders and the secretary and treasurer of the Lund-Mauldin Company, Incorporated, was born near Magnolia, Arkansas, March 20, 1873, his parents being Thomas L. and Nancy Catherine (Skinner) Mauldin. The father was born in Hardeman county, Tennessee, and in 1872 went to Arkansas, where his death occurred the following year. He was a farmer by occupation and he served as a soldier of the Confederate army between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one years. His wife was also a native of Hardeman county, Tennessee, and by her marriage became the mother of two children, William John and Thomas Lowell.
In the public schools of Grand Junction, Tennessee, where he was reared by an uncle, Thomas Lowell Mauldin pursued his early education and his collegiate course was pursued at Memphis, Tennessee, but he did not graduate. He initiated his business career at Como, Mississippi, where he entered the employ of D. Craig & Company, general merchants, with whom he continued for twelve years. In December, 1900, he arrived in St. Louis and was associated with the large wholesale dry goods house of the Ferguson-McKinney Company, remaining with that corporation for twelve years as salesman and sales- manager. He has always been an optimist in business, which accounted for his great success as a salesman in his early business career and later as a manager of traveling salesmen before he entered business for himself. It is said of him that such is his personality that when he was acting as a traveling salesman no merchant ever refused to go to the hotel to see his goods. He has a wonderful influence over men and his ability as a letter writer, diplomatic or otherwise, excels that of the great majority. After twenty-four years’ experience along mercantile lines he determined to engage in business on his own account and entered into a partnership under the name of the Lund-Mauldin Company, which was incorporated in 1915. They are manufacturers of and wholesale dealers in men’s fine shoes and have developed one of the important productive industries of the city, employing four hundred people in their factories and offices. Twenty of their employes joined the army for service in the world war and one lost his life on the battlefields of France. Since the establishment of the business the trade of the house has steadily and consistently grown and the enterprise is one of the leading concerns of the kind in this city, which, is the center of shoe manufacturing in the west.
In 1897 Mr. Mauldin was united in marriage to Miss Florie Johnson, of Courtland, Mississippi. He is a member of the University Club, also of the Sunset Hill Country Club and is well known in Masonic circles, belonging to George Washington Lodge, No. 9, A. F. & A. M., Ascalon Commandery, K. T., and Moolah Temple of the Mystic Shrine. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the University Methodist Episcopal church and he is secretary of its board of stewards. At the time the denomination endeavored to raise fifty-three million dollars and requested the Methodist churches of St. Louis to raise one hundred and sixty-nine thousand dollars of this sum, Mr. Mauldin became a most energetic worker for the cause and it was largely through his efforts that the churches of the city not only went “over the top” but succeeded in raising three hundred thousand dollars. He makes a splendid short speech and has the ability to put clearly, concisely and yet forcefully before any audience the subject under discussion. He has been a leader in all religious activities of his church for many years and in connection with the raising of the sum of money indicated he organized the four-minute speakers for the St. Louis conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. He is also a member of the board of the St. Louis Young Men’s Christian Association. He was one of the most successful four-minute speakers for the government during the World war and was very active in the Red Cross and the various loan drives. He is a versatile and ready writer of short articles and his ability to “rise to the occasion” has made him in much demand at summer resorts and public gatherings, where one of his quickly written poems or quickly formulated speeches can put before the public any desired question in attractive form. He is a man of fine personal appearance, genial and affable, and has notable executive ability and initiative, whereby he has advanced steadily step by step in his business career until he has made his labors a most important element in connection with the history of the shoe manufacturing interests of St. Louis.