A civil engineer of unusual ability and high professional standing, C. H. Thomas was selected by the California State Highway Commissioners to take charge of the rebuilding of the State Highway through the Mayfield district, a task that he is bringing to a successful completion. It has been a very difficult road to build on account of the nature of the subsoil. Mr. Thomas was sent here in July, 1921, and he has built a very strong and durable road, of thick concrete, doubly reinforced by steel bars and steel netting, and it is probably the best road ever built by the State Highway Commissioners, replacing one of the worst pieces of highway on the Peninsula.

Mr. Thomas was born at Toledo, Ohio, April 24, 1884, the son of Robert F. and Ann a M. (Crane) Thomas, and both parents are living and make their home at Portland, Oregon, the father, being an auditor for the S. P. & S. Railroad Company. C. H. Thomas grew up at Toledo and graduated from the University of Ohio at Columbus, where he received the C. E. degree in 1902. For two years he was with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as a civil engineer at Toledo, and in 1904 came to the Pacific Coast, locating first at Portland, Ore., where he entered the employ of the Southern Pacific, working on the construction of various roads and structures of this system in Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, Oregon and Montana. Resigning his position with the Southern Pacific, Mr. Thomas entered the Government service and built roads into Rainier National Park in Washington, Crater Lake Park and Yosemite Park. At the latter park he built the El Portal road in 1916, and while there the war broke out and he resigned to enlist, but was rejected on account of the rigid physical requirements in his branch of the service.

In July, 1917, he was employed by the California State Highway Commission in the capacity of civil engineer on road construction and he built the Garberville Road in Humboldt County, a difficult job, and coming to San Francisco was assigned to Division 4, in December, 1918. He completed that portion of the Santa Cruz Highway which runs from Summit to Glenwood, and the stretch of road from Novato and Petaluma, and a dozen other pieces of construction.

In Portland, Ore., in 1909, Mr. Thomas was married to Miss Rose Adeline Gaylord of that city, an accomplished young woman, who has proved herself a true companion. Many times since their marriage, Mr. Thomas' professional duties have taken him to inaccessible places, far removed from any town, but Mrs. Thomas has always accompanied him, sharing the hardships of camp life, at times living in tents and depending on the results of the chase for game, not being able to reach any market, where they could supply their needs. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have made many friends during their stay in Palo Alto.


From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1153


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight