Thomas Tilghman Lloyd, local industrialist and civic leader served as executive vice-president of Albion’s largest industry, the Albion Malleable Iron Company and its successor, the Hayes-Albion Corporation.
Lloyd’s Albion roots were deep, as his maternal grandfather was none other than “Albion’s Most Distinguished Citizen,” the Hon. Washington Gardner (1845-1928). Gardner served as Michigan Secretary of state in the early 1890s and then as a U.S. Congressman. He also was the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1913-14. Washington Gardner was one of the organizers of the Albion Malleable Iron Company when it was founded in 1888 and had served on its board of directors. Gardner’s son Raymond (1884-1954), an uncle to Thomas, continued the family tradition by serving on the Malleable’s board of directors and as its chairman for many years. Thomas’ uncle by marriage, Harry B. Parker (1871-1930) was married to Theodosia Gardner, and was president of the Malleable in the 1920s. Thomas T. Lloyd joined the firm in 1934 and worked his way up the corporate ladder. His brother Gardner R. Lloyd joined the firm in 1938. Thomas Lloyd’s paternal grandfather was also a congressman, from Missouri.
Thomas T. Lloyd was born in Washington, D.C., on November 7, 1912, the son of Thomas Leslie and Helen (Gardner) Lloyd. After spending part of his youth in Albion, Lloyd attended the Culver Military academy, then enrolled at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y., for two years. He was graduated in 1934 from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. with a degree in architecture. He practiced architecture in Chicago for a short period before coming to Albion.
When Thomas Lloyd arrived at the Albion Malleable Iron Company, he worked in various departments before being assigned to the operations division. He later became manufacturing manager and in 1938 was elected a director and vice-president of the company. He was serving as vice president of operations when his uncle Raymond Gardner died in 1954. In 1960 he became the company’s executive vice president. Upon the merger of the Albion Malleable Iron Company with the Hayes Corporation of Jackson in 1967, Mr. Lloyd became president of the Albion Malleable Group and vice-president of the new Hayes-Albion Corporation. He was named executive vice-president of Hayes-Albion in 1969.
Thomas Lloyd was a recognized leader in the foundry industry and was the recipient of numerous awards and honors in the nation. He was a trustee of the Foundry Educational Foundation, chairman of the Central Michigan Chapter of the American Foundrymen’s Society in 1951, and in 1963 served as President of the National Foundrymen’s Society. In 1961, Lloyd was appointed to the AFS president’s committee of foundry executives from the major industrial areas of the United States and Canada.
In January 1965 as part of Michigan Foundry Week, Mr. Lloyd received an outstanding citizen award from Governor George Romney. He was honored again by the state in 1968 during Michigan Week, when he was one of 50 Michigan residents who received governor’s citations for “extraordinary and distinguished service as a spokesman for Michigan and for promoting the state.” In 1977 for his outstanding work in the field, Thomas T. Lloyd received the American Foundrymen’s Society John A. Penton gold medal for a lifetime of dedication, leadership, and motivation in his profession.
Thomas T. Lloyd was married to Mary Wooldridge (now Mary Strand) of Woodford County, Kentucky, in 1940. The couple had one daughter, Helen Russell, and three sons, Thomas T. Jr., Sam W., and Duncan H. Thomas. T. Lloyd retired as executive vice-president of Hayes-Albion Corporation in November 1974, and from the board of directors on December 1, 1975, after 40 years of service to the company. He died in Albion on March 12, 1978, following a long bout with cancer, and was buried in Albion’s Riverside Cemetery.
Lloyd’s industrial accomplishments and expertise were equally matched by his civic philanthropy and involvement. Lloyd was one of the organizers of the Albion Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1939, serving as a vice-president and president of that organization. He was the first chairman of the City Planning Commission on which he served in 1946 and 1947. Lloyd was active in numerous community organizations, and served on the boards of directors of the Albion Community Fund, the Albion Industrial Development Corporation, the Citizen’s advisory committee for the Center for Community Advancement, the Albion Area Program for Progress, and as a senior warden of St. James Episcopal Church.
Mr. Lloyd was active in the local Albion Chamber of Commerce. At its annual January dinner in 1976, Lloyd was named Albion’s “Ambassador of Goodwill” by the Chamber. Chamber President William Garcia noted at the time that this was the first time such an appointment had been made by a chamber of commerce in the state, or perhaps even the nation. When asked what his duties as ambassador would include, Lloyd quickly replied, “It means I am going to try to help Albion, enjoy Albion, and have time for Albion.
In the mid 1960s, Thomas Lloyd met with officials of the Charles S. Mott Foundation of Flint, and learned about its operations. In 1968 Lloyd contacted his family attorney, William O. Allen of Jackson, about organizing a community foundation for Albion. The pair discussed and worked on the concept, using the structure of the Jackson Community Foundation as a guideline. Incorporation papers were received at the Michigan Department of the Treasury on October 15 and filed by State Treasurer Allison Green on October 23, 1968. The Articles of Incorporation listed Lloyd and Allen as directors, along with Albion Mayor Victor S. Burstein.
Source: Frank Passic. Presenting 25 Years of the Albion Community Foundation. 1993.