George A. Masters

He survived the wreck, but a terrible tragedy would strike him later.
George was one of several young people traveling on board the train’s rear sleeper, Calmar.1 Just weeks before the Thaxton train wreck, George had graduated with an engineering degree from Swarthmore College in Philadelphia.2 3 His father was David Masters, a partner in the Philadelphia clothing firm known as Masters, Detwiler, & Co.4 5 6

George would later leave the engineering profession to become a partner in a Philadelphia shoe company formed in 1898 that would later be known as Masters and Hoffman.7 8 His success in the shoe business was enough to lure a bride within two years, when he married Anna Todd in 1900.9

A terrible, terrible tragedy would strike George and Anna on October 22, 1912. Their eleven-year-old son, George Jr., was hit and killed by a car as he rode to school on his bike at the intersection of Lincoln Drive and Springfield Avenue in Philadelphia.10

Census records seem to indicate that George and Anna continued to live at their home on West Mermaid Lane in Philadelphia through the 1940 census, along with another son, David.

Do you have more information about George Masters? If you think he might have been an ancestor of yours, or if you have some additional information that you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!


  1. Fourteenth Annual Report of The Railroad Commissioner of the State of Virginia, J.H. O’Bannon Superintendent of Public Printing, Richmond, VA, 1890: p. xlv.
  2. “Dr. Magill Resigns”, The Philadelphia Enquirer (Philadelphia, PA), June 19, 1889, Vol. 120, No. 144: p.7.
  3. Swarthmore College Bulletin. Swarthmore, PA: Swarthmore College, 1905.
  4. Gopsill’s Philadelphia City Directory, 1889, p. 1231.
  5. James Gopsill’s Sons, Gopsill’s Philadelphia City Directory, 1890, p. 1271.
  6. Census record for George Masters, Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1188; Family History Film: 1255188; Page: 246D; Enumeration District: 629; Image: 0503.
  7. “Corporation Notices”, The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), March 24, 1898, Vol 138, No 83: p. 11.
  8. See note 3 above.
  9. Ibid.
  10. “Boy Killed When Auto and Bicycle Collide”, The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), October 23, 1912, Vol. 167, No. 114: p. 1.

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