1864-1908

Fifth Generation: Thomas Benson Warner < James Warner < William Warner< William Warner < William Warner


Tom was the fifth child and the third son of James Warner and Margaret Ann Quinn. He was born in Toronto on March 3, 1864.

I’m not aware of any Thomases in the family before him, but his middle name went back to his great grandmother, Hannah Benson, the mother of his grandfather, William Warner.

He had nine siblings:

  1. Martha Warner
  2. William James Warner
  3. Robert John Warner
  4. Hannah Maria Warner
  5. Elizabeth “Daisy” Warner
  6. Sarah “Sadie” Warner
  7. Edward Warner
  8. Ella Warner
  9. Harold Rix “Harry” Warner

It seems that Tom had a troubled life. He changed jobs often and moved back and forth between Toronto and New York City whenever he needed to find work as a printer.

He married a German girl named Maria Hantz in Manhattan on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1891. He was twenty-seven. She was twenty-three. Everyone called her Mary.

Mary would die of tuberculosis four years later at the age of twenty-seven. They had no children.

Pittsburgh Daily Post, June 25, 1901

On June 24, 1901, Tom was travelling from Pittsburgh to Cleveland when his train derailed just south of Monaca, Pennsylvania. Two people were killed and thirty-nine were injured. Tom was among the injured. His right hand was crushed: a devastating setback for a man who made his living setting type.

Pittsburgh Daily Post, June 25, 1901

We don’t know how Tom coped, but we do know that married for a second time the following year, almost seven years after Mary’s death. He had met Grace Taylor in Toronto and he married her in New York on August 30, 1902. He was thirty-eight. She was twenty-three. Tom and Grace had no children.


Tom died by his own hand on September 27, 1908. It was at 242 East 39th Street in New York that he decided to turn on the gaslight but not to light it. He was forty-four.

It was probably a rooming house of some kind, because there was no one there who was able to identify the body. It would be a month before the identification was made, the investigation and the paperwork were done, and Tom was finally laid to rest in Green Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

You can visit his grave (virtually) here.


To be continued ...