Thomas Jacob Shryock was born on February 27, 1851, in Baltimore City, the son of Henry S. Shryock (ca. 1808-1881) a Baltimore cabinetmaker. His mother was Ann Ophelia (ca. 1814-1882), daughter of Thomas Shields of Virginia. He was the great-grandson of Henry Shryock (ca. 1730-1814) who served in the Lower House of the Maryland Legislature from Washington County, 1788-1789. Shryock was educated in the public schools of Baltimore City and at the Light Street Institute, also in Baltimore.
From the age of sixteen he was a partner with his brother in the lumber business of W.H. Shryock & Co. at Union Dock and Eastern Avenue in Baltimore. From 1872 until 1880 he was the sole proprietor. In 1880 he founded Thomas J. Shryock & Co. and he remained its president until his death. The company grew, built Shryock wharf in Baltimore and established a branch in Washington.
Thomas J. Shryock also served as president of the St. Lawrence Broom and Manufacturing Co. of Ronceverte, West Virginia. By 1912 the company owned over 100,000 acres of white pine lands and manufactured 25 million feet of lumber per year.
Shryock was a director of the Consolidated Gas and Electric Co. and the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. as well as of several banks and financial institutions. He was a dedicated and active Mason who was credited with putting the Grand Lodge of Maryland on a more secure financial basis, organizing and standardizing training of Lodge officers, and infusing new life into Masonry in Maryland. He served as Grand Master from 1885 until his death.
Politically, he was a Republican and was elected treasurer of the Republican State Central Committee in 1897. In 1899 he was elected chairman. He was Treasurer of the State of Maryland from 1896 to 1900. As Treasurer he also served as the vice president of the State Insane Asylum and vice president of the Maryland House of Corrections. He was chief of staff with the rank of Brigadier General under Governor Lloyd Lowndes.
He married twice. He married his first wife Maria Eliza Heckman Mann (?-1886) in 1869 and had five children: Daise Elizabeth (1871-1929), Amelia Heiskell (1874-1953), Maria Elizabeth Hickman (1877-?), Thomas J. (1879-1880), Anna Brewer (1880-1973). In 1887 he married his second wife Cassie Belle Miller (1865-?) and had three children: Caterhine Marguerite (1889-?, Thomas Jacob, Jr. (1894-1953), and Orpha Bella (1898-?).
Thomas Jacob Shryock died on February 3, 1918, of pneumonia at his home on Madison Avenue in Baltimore City. He lay in state at the Baltimore Masonic Temple at 222 North Charles Street. A funeral with full Masonic ceremonies was held on February 6th. He was buried at Lorraine Cemetery.
This Biography has been derived from research done by Maryland State Archives